After a month of nearly non-stop travel, it’s wonderful to be home this weekend for some much-needed relaxation and a bit of gardening. Early Saturday, I began the day by changing out the containers on the front stoop. In my previous garden, these reddish-brown glazed pots were sprinkled throughout the landscape, but here they make a nice accent clustered together and they’re much easier to water.
The collection of containers includes four pots plus a deep birdbath, which holds a couple of large stones for perching. After pulling out winter pansies and violas from three of the containers, I potted up the remaining plants for transplanting, except for a variegated boxwood (Buxus sempervirens ‘Variegata’), which was pruned into an upright oval. New Jolly Gardener Premium Potting Mix replaced the old, which was set aside for use as a soil amendment in other parts of the garden.
The containers receive about 90 minutes of light as the sun crosses over the top of the house at the middle of the day, but like the rest of the garden, conditions are mostly shady. It’s always difficult to choose plants that work well in low light and yet still provide an eye-catching display. This season’s selection includes a white and pinkish-purple Torenia hybrid, white flowering New Guinea impatiens (I. hawkeri), and a mix of foliage plants for color and texture (listed below).
The tallest pot holds a cone-shaped yew, which creates a nice backdrop and adds some structure to the arrangement. Two additional pots were stuffed with a mix of plants, while the final container needed only a ring of groundcover to accent a rusted metal agave sculpture.
I found two hanging baskets of golden creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia), which was easy to pull apart for planting along the edges of the container. This is a much better option, I’ve discovered, than purchasing smaller plants in individual cups. As a bonus, it’s also less expensive.
Here’s what the pots looked like today (Sunday):
Though it’s not the best time of year for woody propagation, after finishing the containers, I decided to see if some of the clippings from the boxwood would root. I removed the hangers from the baskets and filled them with a measure of the recycled potting mix before trimming the cuttings into 6-inch pieces. The bottom third of each cutting was stripped of its foliage and held for 5 seconds in liquid Dip ‘N Grow before being firmed into place.
In all, 15 cuttings were stuck. The baskets were then moved to a shady location where I can keep an eye on them to maintain moisture.
Believe it or not, Tim and I were still able to get downtown for our favorite breakfast at Mary Beth’s, followed by a stroll through the Saturday Farmers’ Market and Artisphere, an annual performance and visual arts festival.
If you live in the Upstate, you might like to know that many of the choice plants for the containers where purchased at Roots on Augusta.
Here’s the promised list:
Purple foliage plants: Purple heart (Setcreasea purpurea), purple fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum), Heuchera ‘Plum Pudding’
Chartreuse foliage plants: Kong coleus, golden creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia), Everillo carex (C. oshimensis ‘Everillo’)
Variegated foliage plants: Variegated box (Buxus sempervirens ‘Variegata’), Hosta ‘Risky Business’, variegated creeping myrtle (Vinca minor)
Foliage for texture: Creeping wire vine (Muehlenbeckia complexa), and ferns