Last weekend was our official frost free date in SE Pennsylvania. Hurray!!! So I had lots of fun (even though it was raining) spending time in my potting shed and creating my summer container gardens for the season.
This is a photo of all the goodies I use in when filling my container gardens. In case you missed my last blog post, check it out here where I share my secret sauce for creating container plantings that look good all summer without tons of tending.
In this article, I thought I would share my plant combination ‘recipes’ to give you some inspiration for plantings at your home.
We have 7 ‘window’ boxes around the outside of our deck. I had the deck builders create them out of scrap lumber and they made them fit around some rectangular plastic planters that I had purchased. Four of the boxes are mostly in shade on the sides of the deck and 3 are in full sun at the front of the deck.
For the front I usually choose some type of petunia and another trailing annual. This year I picked Sweetunia Johnny Flame and Littletunia Pink. The planter is 29” long by 8” wide ( outside dimensions). For these planters I used 3 of the Sweetunia Johnny Flame alternating with two Littletunia Pinks. Here is a photo of part of the container.
We also have two hanging baskets on either end of the front of the deck. These also get full sun. I have them there for height so I try to pick a striking color geranium to draw attention. The baskets measure 14” in diameter. They are made of coated metal and I line them with cocoa shell liners. In each basket I planted one Classic Mosaic Purple Zonal Geranium, two Lobularia Silver Stream, and one Calibrachoa Noa Mega Pink.
Here’s a picture of the front of the deck showing the window boxes and hanging baskets.
For the shorter containers on the sides of the deck I needed plants that would do well in shade. These planters measure 23.5’ long by 8” wide. I put two Pink Dragon Wing Begonias on either end, a Pink and White Caladium in the center and then two variegated ivy plants on either side of the Caladium.
Here’s a photo of one of the short sides of the deck.
While the Caladium does not look very striking now, it will definitely be more showy in a few weeks. I did a similar planting last year and these planters were really striking by mid-summer.
I also have a long window box on my potting shed which next to one of my perennial beds. The box measures 39” long by 8” wide. This box gets full sun so I planted Proven Winners Supertunia Limoncello petunias, Calibrachoa Noa Yellow and Iboza Vine. I placed 3 Limoncello petunias in the planter first – one on each end and one in the middle. Between the petunias, I put one Claibrachoa toward the front and one Iboza vine toward the back of the planter
Lastly, we have two larger planters on our front porch. They are made of plastic resin to make them easy to move and I partially fill the bottom with discarded annual pots ( or you can use packing peanuts) to make them lighter rather than completely fill them with soil. They are about 16” in diameter.
This area gets sun to part shade. I chose an annual grass for height at the back of the container. Unfortunately, the Amish growers who I purchased it from did not mark the pot. It does look like millet but I won’t really know until it blooms. I am hoping that this grass looks great into the fall so when I am ready to switch out my annuals for fall mums and kale, I can keep this grass for it’s dark color and height. I then added a Classic Mosaic Purple Zonal Geranium, Calibrachoa Noa Mega Pink and two Bacopa Scopia ‘Gulliver White’.
I hope these recipes have given you some ideas and inspiration for your own garden.