It is a truth universally acknowledged that a container garden planted in May will, by the end of summer, be a sad-looking vestige of its spring glory. Sometimes, though, a lot of pruning and reasonable choice of plant material can yield a container that holds its own right into the autumn.
As noted in previous posts, Betty created something like fifty container gardens this spring. Some of them are necessarily ephemeral: lobelia is going to disappear with the summer heat no matter how much water and shade it is given. Salvia is going to get leggy. Also, some plants are thugs and will take over a container, relentlessly pushing out less aggressive specimens.
But some containers come through the season looking terrific. These photos, taken today (September 8), are of gardens that went through a torrid July and August yet survived looking, if not exactly like grown-up versions of their May incarnations, at least attractive. They were kept well watered and were pinched back regularly. Double-click on any of them to get a full-page photo.
Many containers were moved over the course of the season, most often to fill in holes in various flower beds. One such is visible directly in front of the urn. There, a strobilanthes ‘Persian Shield’ provides a dramatic burst of purple and black, augmenting a heliotrope ‘Fragrant Delight’. At the base is a nice fringe of Dusty Miller (Senecio cineraria). As an aside, on the steps to the right is a light green and very fuzzy plecanthrus. Early in the season, it became home to a large frog which created a pleasant (to a frog) damp hidey-hole in the plant’s root mass. We’ve left it alone all season. The frog is still happily ensconced and doesn’t mind being periodically doused.