For the last in my series of posts on seed and plant orders, I’ll focus on plants bound for containers. We’ve got lots of containers – some in sun, some in shade.
Impatiens Beacon Paradise Hybrid Mix (Impatiens walleriana). We used to grow lots of impatiens in the containers in our shady back garden. The impatiens blight put an end to that, however. Recently, though, Ball Seeds developed Beacon Impatiens, which is blight-resistant. This is the first year that Beacon Impatiens can be purchased in large quantities. They are available from Burpee as seeds or plants. Unfortunately, they are only available in mixed colors. I’m hopeful that next year I’ll be able to order in all white, as I prefer mostly white flowers in the shade.
Zinnia ‘Forecast’ and Zahara Sunburst. I love Zinnias for containers in sun. Butterflies and Hummingbirds love them, too. Zinnias are good for containers also because they are so colorful and relatively drought tolerant. Sunburst is aptly named as its red streaks seem to explode on a yellow background. ‘Forecast’ is taller, about 36″, with single flowers in mixed colors.
Mignonette ‘Ameliorata’ (Reseda odorata). This one I’m trying for the first time. It seems similar to Sweet Alyssum, growing with tiny, fragrant white flowers about 6″ high. I want to see how it does as a filler for containers in sun.
Sweet Alyssum ‘Benthamii’, ‘Snow Crystals’ (Lobularia maritima). Sweet Alyssum are a long-time favorite of mine, though this year I’m trying a couple of varieties that are new to me. I just love the fragrance of the tiny white flower bouquets. Great for underplanting and edging. Last year I discovered that Sweet Alyssum will not bloom until early summer if direct sown. Started indoors, though, it can be planted out a couple weeks before the last frost date, which makes it a good underplanting for late spring bulbs.
Dwarf Morning Glory ‘Royal Ensign’ (Convolvulus tricolor). Another plant I’m trying for the first time. I’m always looking for container plants that can fill the filler or spiller role. Actually, there is no reason why your filler can’t also be your spiller. Also, in my opinion not every container needs a thriller plant, either. But I digress. Anyway, I like blue flowers to go along with all the yellow, red, and orange that will dominate my containers in sun. I found ‘Royal Ensign’ at Select Seeds, which has a really tempting assortment of unusual plants.
Marigold ‘Frances’ Choice’ (Tagetes patula). This is a red/yellow single marigold. I intend to use it mostly to fill in around the determinate tomato plants I’ll be growing in containers on the roof.
Nasturtium ‘Empress of India’ (Tropaeolum majus). Now and then I try Nasturtiums in our containers for sun. I love the red-orange color of ‘Empress of India’, which has a nice, mounded habit.
Caladium ‘Candidum Sr’ and ‘Summer Breeze’. Caladiums are the thrillers of my containers in shade. I order them as bulbs from Brent and Becky’s and start them on a heat mat indoors. ‘Candidum Sr’ are mostly white with green ribs, while ‘Summer Breeze’ has red ribs and some pinkish color. I plant twice as many of the white/green Caladiums as I do of the ones with red in the mix.
Most of my seeds have already arrived, the plants and bulbs will come later. I’m glad I didn’t wait any longer to put in my orders, lately when I look at seed company websites I see a lot of “out of stock” notices. Have you ordered all your seeds and plants for spring, or are you still looking?