September 9, 2011

A Great Autumn Container

Back in May, Betty put together some 50 container gardens.  Some contained a single specimen (a hydrangea, for example) but most consisted of from four to seven different cultivars, principally annuals, designed to provide spring and summer beauty around our garden.

It's like having something from a
Mediterranean villa on the back deck...
By September, nature takes its toll on most containers.  ‘Thugs’ take over, crowding out better behaved plants, leaving lopsided designs.  Those plants that cannot take summer heat (Lobelia, for example) wither and die.

But some containers come through the season in fine form and, occasionally, a few get even better with the passage of time, as though created with September in mind.

One of those containers has been on our back deck for the past four months, improving with age.  The dominant or ‘anchor’ plant is a coleus, a Proven Winners ‘Dipt in Wine’.  The tag said it would grow 20 inches to 36 inches; this one seems extraordinarily happy at the lower height.  Above it are a pair of plants to provide the correct height proportion for the container.  One is a Proven Winner cape mallow called ‘Slightly Strawberry’; the other is a Talinum ‘Limon’ with beautiful green-yellow foliage and a spray of tiny ‘berries’ in an airy halo.  At the base are two accent plants, a pink begonia and a Dianthus ‘Ideal Select Violet’.

The container looked great in May and terrific through the summer months.  Now, with cooler weather, it looks like it belongs in a Mediterranean villa.

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