Containing My Enthusiasm
I’m not real thrilled with my containers in sun this year. Each of the individual plants is nice, but they don’t collectively have the impact you would wish for. Back in the spring my containers were filled with tulips or pansies with a bit of stock (Mattheola incana). They had real visual punch.
Now my containers in sun seem to be delivering only a faint tap.
Of course, I picked many of this year’s container plants because last year they were attracting hummingbirds in droves (though we never did get a picture). This year: same plants, but no hummingbirds. Which brings their visual appeal to the fore.
For tall plants, I’m using Mexican petunia (Ruellia brittoniana) and cigar plant (Cuphea ignea). The Cuphea flowers are profuse but too small, and the Ruellia flowers are nice but too sparse. (Also, I tried some Mexican petunia in the Driveway Border – it did not do well.)
The starflower (Pentas lanceolata) does better in this regard. It has clusters of little five pointed flowers – in my garden, mostly red.
Also, I am definitely happy that I planted nasturtiums (Tropaeolum majus), both the red/orange ‘Empress of India’ and the ‘Alaska Mix’. Love the color and it trails nicely over the side of the container. Plus the flowers and leaves are edible (tastes like watercress).
I had underplanted the tulips with sweet alyssum (Lobularia maritima), and I left them in because the weather has been pretty mild. Usually they fizzle when after a couple of weeks of really hot temperatures. At this point some have fizzled, but a few are still looking good.
Though one problem with leaving in the sweet alyssum is that now you can see bare patches in some of the containers.
Anyhow, now I’m thinking maybe next year I will keep the nasturtiums and starflower but just combine them with marigolds and tall Zinnias.
What are your favorite plants for containers in sun?