This summer pot has my favorite mix of colors… purples, pinks, and oranges, with a splash of lime! The tall kangaroo paws are accented by cleome, angelonia, calibrachoa, osteospermum, cosmos, a variegated potato vine, nemesia, Persian shield, sweet flag grass, and zinnias. Have fun and put your favorite colors together for a special pot that will keep you smiling all summer.
I started the day going to my favorite nurseries to shop for plants for clients. The day was sunny and gorgeous, all the variables that put me in a great mood. I stopped at the first spot, bought some wonderful plants, and headed out to another spot. My senses were on fire, gorgeous plants everywhere. They had so many plants, standards, and interesting items I haven’t seen elsewhere. I started to fill a cart… then another cart… all in all 4 carts of flowers were filled to the brim. I was with a friend but we could not push all four carts into the checkout line. When as we tried to move one cart to pay shoppers started taking items off our other carts! There is, I thought, a nursery etiquette… you do not touch another gardener’s cart. If you see something on a cart you can’t find you ask… you don’t grab.
Now one of us had to stand guard on the plants. I spent another hour at the shop just refilling plants that were taken, and even then as I stood in line with two carts, seeing my two paid carts ahead of me, patrons were still trying to take items off them. I love my time shopping and picking the perfect plants for my clients but this day was a bit offsetting. I made it back to my clients and worked till 7pm, which was not my plan. The plants were wonderful and as my hands hit the dirt and the magic began the stress of the shopping disappeared. It is amazing how gardening relaxes and brings you peace.
A fuchsia standard, begonias, coleus, nico vine, lobelia, and impatiens… perfect for shade.
Sometimes the simplest planters are the best. This is an old clay pot birds nest fern and hybrid begonias. Easy!
Fresh herbs for cooking are the best. We turned this old fountain into a little kitchen garden. Rosemary stands tall, along with horseradish, thyme, sage, marjoram, parsley, cilantro, varieties of oregano, and basil. Red cabbage, chamomile, strawberries, chives, nasturtium, and leeks round out this wonderful container.
This is a sun-shade container filled with wonderful plants that should bloom all summer. The mainstay is a mandevilla vine, underplanted with fuchsia, ferns, various coleus, begonias, angelonia, sweet flag grass, zinnias, nico vine and ivy. We stayed in the various pink/purple shades and played with the accent plants to add variety. The nurseries are filling up with amazing options, new plants coming in every day. It’s a great time to start planning your summer pots.
There is nothing easier than a succulent container. Once it is planted there is very little watering involved. They love the sun and heat. The plants may not give off a wide array of color but the varied textures and shapes as well as the variety of greens with accents of rich dark cranberry make a very interesting container. I love the patterns and shapes the Hens & Chicks make as well as all the different sedums. If you haven’t tried this type of container I suggest you do. You won’t be disappointed and the best part is you can bring this container indoors when the cold weather hits. Some of my clients are bringing them back outside after spending the winter accenting their indoor spaces.
A full cart at one of my favorite garden centers fills my heart. This is what “Feast & Flowers” is all about for me. It’s a full table, a feast of another kind.
No matter what type of mood I wake up in going to a nursery and seeing beautiful plants makes me smile. I am energized by the colors, textures and varieties of flowers. One cart is usually never enough as I shop for clients to pick the perfect plants for their containers. I suggest the next sunny day you venture out to Gethsemane Garden Center. They have one of the best selections of perennial, annual and indoor plants around. If you are a beginner in this arena they have knowledgeable personnel that are very helpful. Gethsemane is located on Clark St. in Chicago.
This planter is filled with mostly perennial plants that will stand up to the cold spring nights and look beautiful through the end of May. Delphinium, Columbine, Candy Tuft, Hyacinths, Daffodils, Variegated Ivy, Bellflower, Creeping Phlox, Bergenia, Forget-Me-Nots, Golden Variegated Sweet Flag Grass, Coral Bells, Ranunculus, Stock, Linaria and Forsythia… some annuals mostly perennials a great mix.
Start with a small pot by your entry so you smile as you enter and exit your home.
Anton’s in Highland Park, IL is another great garden spot. I stopped by and picked up five plants to add to the container I planted the other day. I did say I may add more plants. I popped in two variegated Ivy to add some fullness and draping over the containers. I needed some height so I kept in the purple hues and added a beautiful lavender columbine.
Note when I take the container off the roots I pull off some of the surrounding soil being careful not to break the roots but loosen them. This enables the plant to take hold in your container and gives you room for more plants.
My last additions were two Nectarine Primula, a low plant that has a great strong leaf that surrounds a pop of double-flowered primrose. I also love seeing primrose planted in the ground as an annual in our zone for spring and early summer. All the plants do well in sun and part shade. This container will stay put until June when I’ll change the spring plants out and keep the Ivy, Lamiastrum and Creeping Wire Vine. Take a trip to your favorite nursery; decide on a color way and have fun.