The Violet Fern

Creating Art & Gardens


Project: Planters

Getting everything done this month has been a project in between rain, but I have managed to plant most of the potager and put together some planters.

Every year I tell myself I’m going to cut back on containers, especially since I now have more garden. My goal is to incorporate perennials into my containers, or create containers that I can over winter. I haven’t quite mastered container perennials yet. Last year I used lamium maculatum ‘Orchid Frost’ in my containers and planted it in the garden come fall. It survived the winter, in fact, it’s blooming now. I should try herbs but I didn’t think of that until after I snapped out of the annual flower spell. Herbs would do well out front in the full sun. Seas of flowers in all shapes and forms woo me and so, I have containers of annuals like these baskets on the columns leading to our front porch. Planted here are: geranium ‘Indian Dunes,’ coleus ‘Dark Star,’ Superbells ‘Tequila Sunrise,’ bacopa ‘Gulliver Blue Sensation,’ and verbena ‘Obsession Apricot.’

I did manage to overwinter these begonias and a couple other plants that, and I apologize, I do not know the name of. I just moved this from inside to outside. How great! This is a fairly shaded area on our front porch so I am not worried about transitioning the plants to the outside light.

These rosemary pots also spend the winter indoors.

This cedar window box is filled with what I hope, are mostly nectar producing plants: verbena ‘Obsession Apricot,’ verbena ‘Lanai Peach,’ Superbena ‘Large Lilac Blue’ (a verbena hybrid), alyssum ‘Alice,’ lobelia ‘Riviera Sky Blue,’ and a geranium ‘Americana Salmon.’ I try to match or compliment the colors of my garden. I love how the Superbena floats above the Mt. Bluet, centaura.

This year, because we plan to construct a screened-in porch out back, I have moved some planters into my garden beds and I like this so much that I will be doing this every year from now on. I overwinter these fuschias in my cellar. It takes them a little time to come back so I have placed an annual beside them that really caught my eye but I cannot find the tag to share the name with you! I also placed a begonia ‘Gryphon’ in this pot which I will overwinter. I love how moss is beginning to grow on this pot.

This woodland basket contains white impatients, lobelia ‘Riviera Sky Blue,’ and violas ‘Penny Orchid Frost’ which should overwinter and perhaps even make more.

These metal baskets are waiting in the shed to be potted and will be placed in my woodland edge border. I have shpagnum moss soaking to make them plantable. I will be making these a permanent feature in this bed and will try to make these perennial in the future.

The shed window box is also newly planted with verbena ‘Obsession Apricot,’ verbena ‘Lanai Peach,’ Superbena ‘Large Lilac Blue’ (a verbena hybrid), alyssum ‘Alice,’ lobelia ‘Riviera Sky Blue,’ and gazania ‘KissMix.’

Truthfully, “project planters” will be ongoing. I love sage and seem to lose it every year even though I grew it successfully in Maine – go figure. So, I foresee an herb planter once I become a little more organized with sage as its centerpiece that I will attempt to overwinter. And I have a big full sun pot that I overwinter every year in the cellar that will be getting a complete makeover including a new pot. And … well, I’m going to stop myself. How about you? Do you plant containers each summer? What are your favorites?


Spiced Up Sidewalk

This tiny patch of lawn in front was just begging to be dug up! And so it was.

I planted creeping phlox (brought with me from ME), dianthus, hens and chicks (plucked from a nearby apartment), a mungo pine, thymes and even some chives (also from ME) as this area gets FULL sun. A lamb’s ear sprouted up (maybe from ME) and I encouraged it. (Some bulbs were thrown in there, too, for the next spring.) I got a little carried away and dug up some more lawn on the other side and started reshaping the front bed … anyway, these plants should do well with minimal watering.

It filled in nicely right away.
I was surprised to find some petunias (red) and snap dragons from the nearby baskets – fun! And I sprinkled some alyssum seeds in there to see if they would like it – they did.
I had a little trouble at first with the neighborhood dogs – we have a number that “walk themselves.” But a little cayenne or chile pepper sprinkled around this tiny patch does the trick! Too much for those sensitive noses. So, I encourage you to “spice up” your sidewalk.