Summer Containers in Sun: An Update

Now that it’s almost the middle of August, maybe it’s a good time to do an update on the flowering containers in the front garden. Overall, my assessment would be: they’re doing pretty well. Not spectacular, perhaps, but certainly pretty well.


The one thing I’m happiest about was combining ‘Empress of India’ Nasturtiums (Tropaeolum majalis) with ‘Heavenly Blue’ Petunias. They go really well together, I think. That’s ‘Vermillionaire’ Cigar Plant (Cuphea hybrid) on the lower left, and the shrub rose ‘Cassie’ on the lower right.

DSC_0113‘Empress of India’ is an old favorite of mine. It’s been blooming adequately this year, but has stayed a rather modest size.


DSC_0267And here’s several of the pots viewed from the bottom of the front steps. At the beginning of the summer I decided to go with a simpler approach to these containers, planting just one or a couple of types of plants in each pot.

I like how they look planted on successive steps. Salvia ‘Mystic Spires Blue’ is in the container on the top step, then the Cigar Plant with Star Flower ‘Butterfly Red’ (Pentas lanceolata), and finally the Zinnias ‘Magellan Orange’, ‘Magellan Scarlet’, and ‘Zahara Orange’. Sorry the color is kind of washed out here. I took this photo rather than Judy.

DSC_0110I have to say, I’m really crazy about Zinnias, especially the red and orange ones. This year’s containers have not dimmed my enthusiasm. The colors are so great, they’re excellent cut flowers, plus Zinnias are more generous than most when it comes to forgiving lapses in watering. Call them old fashioned or trite, I don’t care, they will always be a favorite.

One of the Zinnias we tried that we really like is ‘Zahara Starburst’, with bicolor orange and yellow flowers. ‘Profusion Fire’ is another top pick for us. For some reason, though, the Lantanas (‘Luscious Marmalade’ and ‘Lemon Zest’) were underwhelming this year.

DSC_0259Here’s a close up of ‘Zahara Starburst’.

DSC_0262‘Magellan Orange’.

DSC_0111We are grateful to have received two Lavender ‘Phenomenal’ (Lavandula x intermedia) plants as part of the swag from the Garden Bloggers Fling this year. They have not yet bloomed, but we will take them inside for the winter. They are planted here with ‘Black Cherry’ Petunias.

DSC_0264Star Flower ‘Butterfly Red’ (Pentas lanceolata).

front containers 1


We’ll finish up with the view from the front door.

That’s all for now.

32 Comments on “Summer Containers in Sun: An Update”

  1. Those colours go really well – the Petunias and the Nasturtiums especially. And I love the zinnias. Makes a wonderful show – a lovely sight when you leave the house in the morning and a nice welcome home too. How do you manage to keep them from growing over the pathway and dropping petals all up to the front door! šŸ˜‰

    • These Nasturtiums have not really grown much, though they have flowered nicely. I think about how the Nasturtiums at Giverney completely cover the central path by the end of August but ours are not inclined to do that. The other plants are more veritcal, for the most part.

  2. Yours is the second blog post I’ve read where the blogger had sensational things to say about zinnias. I guess this means I’ll have to try them next year. Yours look terrific. All of the containers pop, zinnias or not. I grew nasturtiums last year, but they didn’t perform well. I may need to try a different variety. Mine were grown from pass-along seeds.

  3. You don’t often show the view looking from the front door; it’s great, it must give you a real buzz every time you leave the house. I agree about the Zinnias, fantastic plants; I’m thinking of adding some shorter ones to my pots next year, as you say they tolerate or even thrive in the heat. I can’t believe I only started growing them 3 years ago.

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