End of Month View–May 2013–Caladium Calamity?

Except for Garden Bloggers Bloom Day, I’ve posted very little about my own garden lately, so Helen’s meme–End of Month View–is a good chance to get feedback on a plant that is plaguing my mind. The perpetrator is Rose Glow Caladium, seen below in the front garden.

Front garden as seen from my office on the second floor.

Front garden as seen from my office on the second floor.

The caladium was a bit of an impulse purchase…rarely a good thing but understandable when I explain the motivation. Recently, I received a box of plants from Proven Winners to trial in the garden and one of their offerings was Pomegranate Punch Superbells (Calibrachoa hybrid), which I took an instant shine to. Since I don’t have any spot with full sun, I planted the five calibrachoas in the one place they are most likely to bloom, in the front bed where they will get a couple hours of light as the sun rises from behind the house and peeks over the roof. The caladium, with its pink-splashed leaves was chosen as a color echo and foliage contrast to Pomegranate Punch and the nearby cutleaf Japanese maple.

Pomegranate Punch Superbells

Pomegranate Punch Superbells

Simply put, the caladiums are driving me nuts. Because the house is built on a steep slope, the front bed is the only part of the garden I see from inside the house and I’m simply not sure I can look at their flashy foliage all summer. For me, they strike a discordant note. What do you think? Do they stay or do they go? Or, is there something else that might be added to take the edge off their brash display?

Time for plan B?

Time for plan B?

For other, more successful views, visit Helen at The Patient Gardener’s Weblog.

22 thoughts on “End of Month View–May 2013–Caladium Calamity?

  1. entwinedlife

    I love color! The design is lovely with the serpentine rock wall…

    What if the pot was moved into the bed in the empt spot to the right… And some of the caladiums were moved into it?

    Reply
    1. Marian St.Clair Post author

      Jayme–from this angle the pot seems to be in the wrong spot but it looks well-placed at ground level. Everyone always asks me what I’m going to plant in the pot.

      Reply
  2. Laurrie

    I agree with the commenter above. The caladiums are pretty but oddly lined up. Move some into the pot for a more impactful punch of color in that empty spot. Where the pot was you can put any hardscape — a simple birdbath for a little vertical point in front. Where the caladiums were you can put in some shiny European ginger (asarum Europaeum) as a bright groundcover and echo the wall’s curve in a small way. Or our native ginger, asarum canadense. Either one (both like some shade) would be a nice contrast with what’s going on there, and wouldn’t overtop the superbells or hide the cutleaf maple.

    It’s already a very elegant spot as is!

    Reply
  3. Lea

    Oh, drat it! I forgot to include my Caladiums in my End-of-Month post.
    I think Caladiums look better planted under or close around a shrub with dark green leaves.
    I plant mine around my Gardenia close enough that the lower limbs of the Gardenia hang down next to the Caladiums. I love the red/green contrast.
    I really don’t like them standing out by themselves like yours are, unless they are planted closer to each other for an en masse effect.
    Superbells are very pretty!
    Happy Gardening!
    Lea
    Lea’s Menagerie

    Reply
  4. Jane Skolnick

    I think the colors are off and some white flowers would do the trick if you filled in with them. Also white looks so great at dusk.

    Reply
  5. mary shiver

    is there plant in purple that takes the amount of light in the area?……i love purple, red and rich greens together………… in pots…… the spring…purple pansies with red tulips……now red geraniums with purple cascading plants…….takes the shock away….mj

    Reply
  6. Ellen Wall

    Put the caladiums in a pot somewhere else. If you like bird watching you could put a feeder there. Wild Birds Unlimited has a great variety of choices. Take your photo along. That maple will eventually fill that space. Looking good over there.
    Ellen

    Reply
  7. Babs Condon

    I happen to like the caladiums myself – but perhaps you could put something green around or between them to soften the look….

    Reply
  8. Helen Johnstone

    I can see what you mean, they do draw the eye or jar! I think there are two options add more ground cover with light foliage which would tone them down or remove them completely and plant them up in a big flashy pot and replace them with something you prefer

    Thanks for joining in this mont

    Reply
  9. Pauline

    I think that maybe they are just too far apart, they would look nice growing through a green ground cover, I think it is the expanse of bare soil that maybe the problem.

    Reply
  10. Deen Meloro

    Perhaps if something was planted behind them, they wouldn’t stand out so much. The color is a little outstanding in a garden of subtlety, but it’s still pretty.

    Reply
  11. Roots

    All you need is a few Autumn Ferns to go behind the Caladiums. The softer texture from the ferns will tone down the Caladiums and make them less tropical in appearance. Also the Caladiums will fill in quickly now that our days are staying warm and you will love them soon.

    Reply
  12. Gloria

    Caladiums are great, but sometimes they’re hard to work with. I agree with those who suggest planting something behind them. Love the Superbells — very pretty.

    Reply

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