Monday, May 25, 2009

Bloomin' Tuesday...

...at the base of the Colorado Rockies! Last week was filled with gardening. I finally got the lead out and started a few of my more demanding gardening projects. These projects consisted of planting a tiered space with 288 impatiens and filling 14 containers with a variety of blooms. As much as I dislike planting those impatiens every year (it's back-breaking work!), they give me a bounty of color and blooms throughout the summer. Just love 'em. I think the one thing I most love to do each spring is to plan and plant my potted plants. Throughout the summer months they grow and develop and give me a huge variety of sumptuous color! I'll be showing some of the containers that I planted this weekend in this post. Click on the photos to enlarge them to see the flowers more clearly...

I had a few emails and questions about my container planting on the post I published a few days ago, so I thought I'd answer those questions about my potted plantings today. I want to state full out that I am not a gardener -- I'm a lover of flowers. There's a big difference. I don't know much about individual plants or species or habitats other than the fact that certain flowers have worked for me in the past, so I expect their behavior to be consistent in the future. This is where it's a benefit to have a few years on me! I've planted a lot of flowers over the years, so I know what works and what doesn't because of my "experience." (Gadzooks, I'm making myself sound like Whistler's Mother!) I don't think there are any hard-fast rules, but here are a few things I've learned...

In designing a mix of plants for a specific pot, there are three things I consider to add variety to the container:

1.) color
2.) shape
3.) height

Color: Someone asked me this week if I mix colors or if I stay to a couple coordinating colors in my containers. I have found that I am drawn to pink, purple and blue flowers. I have to physically force myself to consider red, orange and yellow blooms. However, when I plant a container I have found the container is much more interesting if I throw a warmer color in with a variety of cooler colors or visa versa. White flowers have a way of "breaking up" coordinating flowers too. Take the container below for example. The principle players are a bright pink gerbera daisy, a pink geranium (not in bloom), and an orange/yellowish osteospermum. I think that dash of golden color adds a lot to the mix -- at least it will when the geranium comes out and creates a majority of pinkish hues in the container...

Another consideration is the shape of flowers and leaves. Having a variety of shapes engages the eye and adds variety to the container...

Finally, I consider the height of plants. In each container I want a variety of height. For example I might put a spike in the center, some medium sized plants like geraniums, osteospermum, gerbera daisies, or marigolds around the spike, and then I'll add some trailing plants that spill over the sides of the container like million bells, bacopa, diascia, vinca, nemesia, apsaragus fern, lobelia or ivy. The flowers in the photo below were just planted so they haven't matured, but you can see the height of the spike in the center, the geraniums and marigolds a little lower and the trailing plants lower still and trailing over the sides of the container -- the vinca with the variegated leaf on the left and the orange diascia on the right. As these plants mature you will see the variance in height more clearly.


I'm sure this has been a boring dialog for the more experienced gardener, but for those who are just developing a love of gardening, I hope it was helpful!

To see more Bloomin' Tuesday posts, go to Ms. Green Thumb Jean's!

9 comments:

perennialgardener said...

Looks like all your hard work paid off with those containers Suzanne. They are gorgeous! Happy Bloomin' Tuesday. :)

Shawn said...

Beautiful pictures!


But I am still sitting here open-mouthed about 288 impatiens!

And you counted them? Speechless.

Anne Fannie said...

Hi Suzanne,
I love all your very colorful containers. I too love impatiens, they give off such pretty mounds of color and they seem to last a long time!
~Ann

Aiyana said...

I like reading posts that give good tips on various garden subjects. I was not bored at all. Your container plantings are beautiful!
Aiyana

Tins and Treasures said...

Your flower pots are sooo pretty. Would you like to come over and do ours too? I can pay for the stuff...

Darla said...

Good golly! I bet your back does hurt....your containers are lovely.

MiaKatia said...

I love the way you explained the pots. They are lovely and I am still enjoying ours!

Laurie and Chris said...

Your potted plants are so pretty. I have all my pots ready but I haven't been to the nersery yet. I can't wait to go.

Jean said...

Your pots are always lovely and I appreciate the ideas. Planting pots is not my speciality, that's for sure! (Neither is watering them!) I'm anxious to see your potting results. Still no Mr L! Jean