Changing of the Guard: Container Gardening Edition

I am one of those people who frets. I fret about important and difficult things. I also fret about things I do for fun, like gardening. I fret, therefore I am.

Pansies on the front steps just starting to hit their stride back in May.

These days I am fretting about pansies. Specifically, when should I replace the pansies with summer annuals in the various containers and planters I have? Right about now they should be getting ragged, but actually they are still looking pretty good. If I pull them out now, the summer annuals will fill in and establish themselves that much sooner. Also, the selection of annuals seems to deteriorate some time in June.

On the other hand, is it somehow wasteful or wrong to throw pansies on the compost pile while they are still in bloom?

Pansies and low-bush blueberries on the back steps.

Anybody out there have any thoughts on this? Also, I am doing some preliminary fretting on which summer annuals I should replace the pansies with. I like zinnias, Lantana, red millet, calibrachoa, petunias, caladium, Impatiens, coleus, and tropical milkweed. Also, Judy likes zonal geraniums so I always have a couple of those. Feel free to let me know what your favorite container plants are for sun and shade.

6 Comments on “Changing of the Guard: Container Gardening Edition

  1. Oh, I fret, too! Sometimes I even lay awake at night, fretting about the yard (and sometimes what the neighbors must think). I’m loving the portulaca I planted in containers this year, and you cannot go wrong with zinnias in my book. I tried coleus on the front porch where it is mostly shady – success! Snap dragons with the portulaca – not so much. And I am so over petunias. Your mentioning red millet has me thinking, though.

  2. I’m not a big fan of portulaca, though perhaps that’s because I’ve never tried it in a container. In flower beds it always looks kind of skimpy to me. But maybe I’ll give it a try.

  3. My recommendation is that he buy a second set of pots to plant the summer annuals. That way the pansies do not have to die prematurely.

    (As Jason’s wife, whenever he does something extravagant in the garden, I always tell myself that he could be wasting the money on a hobby like golf or skiing or fancy cars. With the garden, I get to enjoy it all too.)

  4. I tend to go with the flow (grow flow) and try really hard not to fret about flowers. But I do fret about my vegetables! Will they grow from the see, will they be OK when I plant them out, will they be eaten by slugs, will they produce anything. Fret, fret, fret. I like to plant my pots with pollinating plants for the bees, most of my garden is for the bees, not really for me! Also herbs are good because they tend to grow easily and quickly.

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