Archive for the annuals Category

Window Box Ideas from Camden Maine

Posted in annuals, annuals, container gardening, container gardening, containers for shade, garden to visit, Garden Tour, How to, landscape design, Maine with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 31, 2015 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

window boxes in Camden Maine 7-14-2015 5-32-58 PMThis beautiful window box full of my favorite color flowers was outside a storefront in Camden, Maine.

As I mentioned in my last post, Michael and I recently visited Camden, Maine, to attend the Camden Garden Club House and Garden Tour.  The town is full of inspiring container ideas.  So many, in fact, that I split the photos into two posts.  This one covers window boxes, and the previous post pictured pots and hanging baskets.  To read it, click here.

Nursery News:  Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, PA, specializing in showy, colorful, and unusual plants for shade.  The only plants that we ship are snowdrops and miniature hostas.  For catalogues and announcements of events, please send your full name, location, and phone number (for back up use only) to carolyn@carolynsshadegardens.com.  Click here to get to the home page of our website for catalogues and information about our nursery and to subscribe to our blog.

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window boxes in Camden Maine 7-14-2015 5-33-46 PMIn containers, you can often use colors that wouldn’t necessarily go well together in the garden.

I was very impressed that most local businesses in Camden invested in flower-filled containers along the sidewalk.  It was very attractive and complemented all the plantings maintained by the Camden Garden Club.  The Camden Library grounds are especially beautiful.  Even if you are just passing through Camden, it is worth stopping to walk around.  The harbor is gorgeous, and there are lots of wonderful restaurants—more on that later.

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window boxes in Camden Maine 7-14-2015 5-45-52 PMThis display was particularly creative with the use of a wooden oar and driftwood in this seaside town.

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window boxes in Camden Maine 7-14-2015 6-02-03 PMIt is not necessary to get fancy: very traditional and very pretty.

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window boxes in Camden Maine 7-14-2015 5-51-40 PMThere is a tendency to go with bold colors in containers, and I do that myself.  However, this combination of yellow, white, and silver is quite elegant.

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window boxes in Camden Maine 7-14-2015 5-48-21 PMWe saw the chef from this restaurant collecting nasturtiums for culinary use.  Containers are not just for viewing.  I intend to put my basil and parsley in my window boxes next year.

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window boxes in Camden Maine 7-14-2015 5-53-45 PMUnlike plastic pots, baskets lined with moss or another organic material are aesthetically pleasing when first planted and the container is still visible.

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window boxes in Camden Maine 7-14-2015 5-47-09 PMThis restaurant down by the waterfront went all out with window boxes lining both stories.  All the remaining photos are of planting combinations from this location.

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window boxes in Camden Maine 7-14-2015 5-47-39 PMRestaurant patrons seated by the windows got not only a beautiful harbor view but also lovely flower arrangements.

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I hope you have gotten a few ideas from Camden’s flowers—I know I have!

Carolyn

Nursery Happenings: You can sign up to receive catalogues and emails about nursery events by sending your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net.  Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.

Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a local retail nursery in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, U.S., zone 6b/7a. The only plants that we mail order are snowdrops and miniature hostas and only within the US.

Facebook: Carolyn’s Shade Gardens has a Facebook Page where I post single photos, garden tips, and other information that doesn’t fit into a blog post. You can look at my Facebook page here or click the Like button on my right sidebar here.

Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information. If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc.) or to subscribe to my blog, just click here.

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Container Planting Ideas from Camden Maine

Posted in annuals, annuals, container gardening, container gardening, containers for shade, garden to visit, Garden Tour, How to, landscape design, Maine with tags , , , , , , , on July 24, 2015 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

Camden Containers 7-14-2015 5-35-55 PMThe display outside a storefront in Camden, Maine.

Michael and I visited Camden, Maine, for the third year in a row to attend the 68th Annual Camden Garden Club House and Garden Tour.  Readers love my posts from Maine so I took lots of photos while I was there.  The garden club maintains most of the public spaces in Camden and seems to have inspired the town to go wild with containers outside many of the homes and businesses.

Nursery News:  Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, PA, specializing in showy, colorful, and unusual plants for shade.  The only plants that we ship are snowdrops and miniature hostas.  For catalogues and announcements of events, please send your full name, location, and phone number (for back up use only) to carolyn@carolynsshadegardens.com.  Click here to get to the home page of our website for catalogues and information about our nursery and to subscribe to our blog.

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Camden Containers 7-14-2015 5-34-06 PM.

I take lots of photos of creative containers over the summer.  I have been reluctant to post a lot of them because most people probably have their pots, window boxes, and hanging baskets filled by late July.  This year I am forging ahead though, hoping that readers will get some creative ideas for next year.  In fact, I found so many beautiful combinations in Camden that I have split the post into two parts:  this one will cover pots and hanging baskets and the next will be window boxes.  For some advice on container design techniques, click here and follow the links in the first paragraph to three other posts.

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Camden Containers 7-14-2015 5-35-08 PMIt is not necessary to get fancy: a container of ordinary pink petunias and blue annual lobelia is lush and beautiful.

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Camden Containers 7-14-2015 5-21-39 PMHanging baskets echo the colors at this local bed and breakfast, The Blue Harbor Inn.

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Camden Containers 7-14-2015 5-21-50 PMA close up, hanging baskets look the best when they are filled to overflowing and the pot is not visible.

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Camden Containers 7-14-2015 6-17-38 PMThis more subtle and elegant combination was sitting on the top of a trash can in downtown Camden.

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Camden Containers 7-14-2015 6-17-17 PMThe other side of the container on the trash can.  Petunias used to be somewhat boring, but there are so many elegant cultivars available now, here white with delicate yellow and pink shading.  The yellow blooms are double-flowered million bells.

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Camden Containers 7-14-2015 6-15-01 PMIf you are looking for a tall, narrow effect, this container and another identical one flanked a store entrance.

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Camden Containers 7-23-2015 10-54-27 AMA cheerful combination of red annual verbena, yellow million bells, and blue annual lobelia.

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Camden Containers 7-14-2015 5-54-22 PMAnother pair of containers at a store entrance using verbena and double million bells.  The grasses give the the pots an added bit of interest and elegance.

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Camden Containers 7-14-2015 5-36-08 PM This large display (also pictured in the first photo) was definitely my favorite.  The color combination is subtle yet eye-catching, the textures are interesting especially the kale in the back, and the rustic containers are very attractive.

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Camden Containers 7-14-2015 5-36-22 PMA close up

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Camden Containers 7-16-2015 11-12-35 AMThis pedestrian bridge was lined with containers of pink petunias, tomatoes, and squash, a utilitarian yet attractive combination.

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Camden Containers 7-16-2015 11-14-03 AMI love the idea of walking out on my deck to harvest vegetables and may try this next year.

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Camden Containers 7-23-2015 10-56-053This last photo shows a traditional Maine scene with a simple but beautiful combination of pink petunias, yellow million bells, and the less common and very lovely pale blue annual lobelia.

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I hope you are enjoying summer!

Carolyn

Nursery Happenings: You can sign up to receive catalogues and emails about nursery events by sending your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net.  Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.

Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a local retail nursery in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, U.S., zone 6b/7a. The only plants that we mail order are snowdrops and miniature hostas and only within the US.

Facebook: Carolyn’s Shade Gardens has a Facebook Page where I post single photos, garden tips, and other information that doesn’t fit into a blog post. You can look at my Facebook page here or click the Like button on my right sidebar here.

Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information. If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc.) or to subscribe to my blog, just click here.

Two Fall Gardens

Posted in annuals, Fall, Fall Color, garden to visit, Garden Tour, How to, landscape design with tags , , , , , , on October 12, 2014 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

Cresson Garden Fall 2014 9-6-2014 4-32-08 PMCharles Cresson’s flower garden peaks in fall.

Although I have many beautiful fall-blooming plants at Carolyn’s Shade Gardens and the gardens are quite pretty in fall, there is no area of the garden that peaks then.  Recently I visited two gardens specifically designed to be at their height in fall, and I want to show you the plants they used.  The first is the garden of Dru and Maurie Kring, which I visited during the Scott Associates’ Garden Day on October 5.  The second is the garden of Charles Cresson, which I visited during the Hardy Plant Society’s Fall Members’ Garden Tour, which took place September 6.

Nursery News:  Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, PA, specializing in showy, colorful, and unusual plants for shade.  The only plants that we ship are snowdrops and miniature hostas.  For catalogues and announcements of events, please send your full name, location, and phone number (for back up use only) to carolyn@carolynsshadegardens.com.  Click here to get to the home page of our website for catalogues and information about our nursery and to subscribe to our blog.

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Kring Garden fall 2014 10-5-2014 3-55-30 PMThe main border on the terrace of the Kring property is backed by a stone wall and lines a beautiful terrace on the top of a hill overlooking three ponds—quite a setting.

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Kring Garden fall 2014 10-5-2014 3-55-46 PMA close up the bed featuring dahlias, phlox, and coreopsis.

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Kring Garden fall 2014 10-5-2014 3-56-32 PMThe other end of the bed with white phlox, re-bloomimg white iris, salvia, and sedum.

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Kring Garden fall 2014 10-5-2014 3-58-01 PMThe flagstone terrace interplanted with six varieties of thyme features a riot of salvias purchased at the herb society’s annual sale.

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Kring Garden fall 2014 10-5-2014 3-57-24 PMThe color combination in the salvia border is stunning.

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Charles Cresson’s garden is a joy to visit at any time of year, but I was especially impressed with his flower garden this fall.  While other gardens are fading, Charles has created an area that reaches perfection in September and October.  Although I visited towards the beginning of September, Charles assures me that the garden looked glorious this week when a garden tour from England visited, led by the British garden designer, lecturer, and author Noel Kingsbury.  They were impressed, and I am sure you will be too.

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Cresson flower garden 8-24-14This photo shows the full length of the Cresson flower garden from above on August 24 (photo provided by Charles Cresson).

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Cresson flower garden10-2-14Here you see the same view on October 2.  Although some of the featured plants have gone by, others have taken center stage to keep the display fresh and beautiful (photo provided by Charles Cresson).

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Cresson Garden Fall 2014 9-6-2014 4-18-50 PMThe fall flower garden forms a semicircle backed by a white picket fence.  The bed is eight feet deep, and the part I am showing, which is to the left of the green ceramic urn in the panoramic shots, is forty feet long.

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Cresson Garden Fall 2014 9-6-2014 4-23-16 PMPlants are carefully chosen not only for the color and bloom time of their flowers but also for their height, leaf color, texture, and habit—nothing is left to chance.  This garden is a lot of work, but Charles says it is worth it for the fresh look at a time when gardens are going by for the year.

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Cresson Garden Fall 2014 9-6-2014 4-22-05 PMAlthough cannas, dahlias, and tender salvias are very important to the design, perennials like phlox, rudbeckia, and helenium (sneezeweed) play a prominent role.

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Cresson Garden Fall 2014 9-6-2014 4-22-13 PMThe lespedeza on the back right is actually in a garden behind the fence and looks gorgeous there too.

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Cresson Garden Fall 2014 9-6-2014 4-32-25 PMorange salvia, dahlias, cannas, and helenium

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Cresson Garden Fall 2014 9-6-2014 4-32-35 PMrudbeckia, phlox, and salvia

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It was fun to visit these two well-designed gardens and realize that the gardening season is not over after all.

Carolyn

 

Nursery Happenings:   You can sign up to receive notifications of sales and events at the nursery by sending your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net.

Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a local retail nursery in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, U.S., zone 7a. The only plants that we mail order are snowdrops and miniature hostas and only within the US.

If you are within visiting distance and would like to receive catalogues and information about customer events, please send your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net. Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.

Facebook: Carolyn’s Shade Gardens has a Facebook Page where I post single photos, garden tips, and other information that doesn’t fit into a blog post. You can look at my Facebook page here or click the Like button on my right sidebar here.

Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information. If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc.) or to subscribe to my blog, just click here.

More Annuals for 2014

Posted in annuals, annuals, container gardening, container gardening, containers for shade, How to, landscape design, shade annuals with tags , , , , , , , , on July 14, 2014 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

Nursery News:  Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, PA, specializing in showy, colorful, and unusual plants for shade.  The only plants that we ship are snowdrops and miniature hostas.  For catalogues and announcements of events, please send your full name, location, and phone number (for back up use only) to carolyn@carolynsshadegardens.com.  Click here to get to the home page of our website for catalogues and information about our nursery and to subscribe to our blog.

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Since I revisited the boat planting last post (click here to see those photos), I thought I would also pay a repeat visit to the window boxes I raved about last year.  To read my 2013 window box post, click here.  They are located at a little market on Main Street in Yarmouth, Maine.  I am happy to say that they did not disappoint, but you can judge for yourself:

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Although the plant material and the color combinations are not as wonderfully creative as 2013, I would still be happy to have these window boxes at my house.  I hope they have given you some good ideas for your containers. 

Carolyn

Nursery Happenings: Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is closed for the summer and will reopen in early September.  You can sign up to receive notification emails by sending your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net.

Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a local retail nursery in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, U.S., zone 7a. The only plants that we mail order are snowdrops and miniature hostas and only within the US.

If you are within visiting distance and would like to receive catalogues and information about customer events, please send your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net. Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.

Facebook: Carolyn’s Shade Gardens has a Facebook Page where I post single photos, garden tips, and other information that doesn’t fit into a blog post. You can look at my Facebook page here or click the Like button on my right sidebar here.

Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information. If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc.) or to subscribe to my blog, just click here.

Row Your Way To Color Revisited Again

Posted in annuals, annuals, container gardening, container gardening, containers for shade, How to, landscape design, organic gardening, product review, shade annuals, sustainable living with tags , , , , , , , on July 9, 2014 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

Nursery News:  Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, PA, specializing in showy, colorful, and unusual plants for shade.  The only plants that we ship are snowdrops and miniature hostas.  For catalogues and announcements of events, please send your full name, location, and phone number (for back up use only) to carolyn@carolynsshadegardens.com.  Click here to get to the home page of our website for catalogues and information about our nursery and to subscribe to our blog.

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DSCN4634The dinghy planting this year is a disappointment.

Those of you who follow my blog may remember the posts that I wrote in 2013 and 2012 on the creative use of annuals in a dinghy (small rowboat) at a Maine marina.  You can find those posts here and here.  I used the dinghy planting as an example of how the imaginative and thoughtful use of annuals can produce an elegant and striking result.  Unfortunately, the planting this year is not up to the former standards.  Normally I wouldn’t feature it, but I thought it might be illuminating to think about what went wrong.

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Handy Boat dinghyThe dinghy planting in 2012 was gorgeous.

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Handy Boat dinghy 32013 was not quite as sophisticated but made up for this with its exuberance.

When comparing the three plantings the first thing you notice is that the colors for 2014 are too subtle.  I love chartreuse and purple, but in a container planting you need some plants that cause passers by to stop and look.  But the bigger problem is that there are not enough plants.  As I pointed out before, containers generally last for one season only and need to be filled to bursting from the beginning.  There is no time to let them fill in as you would with perennial plantings in the ground.

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Handy Boat dinghy 22013 packed with plants

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Handy Boat Dinghy 12012

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DSCN4630This year’s planting shows a lot of bare soil.  The photos for all three years were taken in early July.

Another mistake the designer made was to ignore the classic filler-spiller-thriller formula of planting containers.  The heucherella flowers in the back just don’t provide the necessary height that you need, especially in a container this big, and will be done flowering shortly.  The sedum, coleus, and plectranthus (I think that what it is) will not fill in the middle, and the fibre optic grass and the two sweet potato vines are not spilling over the side enough.

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DSCN4633 A close up of 2014.

Despite my negative comments, as you can see from the photo above, the habit and colors of the plants go well together.  They would look great crammed into a smaller container situated for close up viewing.  I also always encourage the use of perennials in containers, like the sedum and heucherella here.  In late fall, you can transfer them into the ground and enjoy them in your perennial garden for years to come. 

Looking closely at this dinghy planting in good years and bad has given me a lot of ideas about my own containers.  In fact, I had never seen fibre optic grass and purchased some for my window boxes.  I hope you too will find inspiration for your own containers.

Carolyn

Nursery Happenings: Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is closed for the summer and will reopen in early September.  You can sign up to receive notification emails by sending your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net.

Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a local retail nursery in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, U.S., zone 7a. The only plants that we mail order are snowdrops and miniature hostas and only within the US.

If you are within visiting distance and would like to receive catalogues and information about customer events, please send your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net. Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.

Facebook: Carolyn’s Shade Gardens has a Facebook Page where I post single photos, garden tips, and other information that doesn’t fit into a blog post. You can look at my Facebook page here or click the Like button on my right sidebar here.

Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information. If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc.) or to subscribe to my blog, just click here.

More Annuals for 2013

Posted in annuals, annuals, container gardening, container gardening, containers for shade, shade annuals with tags , , , , , , on July 16, 2013 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, PA, specializing in showy, colorful, and unusual plants for shade.  The only plants that we ship are snowdrops and miniature hostas.  For catalogues and announcements of events, please send your full name, location, and phone number (for back up use only) to carolyn@carolynsshadegardens.com.  Click here to get to the home page of our website for catalogues and information about our nursery and to subscribe to our blog.

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Although we are out on a beautiful island, my husband Michael and I do like to explore the mainland when we are in Maine. Not surprisingly we visit a lot of nurseries and gardens. On a recent excursion to Yarmouth, Maine, we discovered the Rosemont Market and Bakery on Main Street. This market sells all kinds of wonderful fresh and local foods, including meat and fish, delicious bread, fruits and vegetables, deli and gourmet items, sandwiches and soup, and beer and wine. They even deliver weekdays to the Casco Bay islands and have additional locations in Portland.

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It was a cold day (that seems unbelievable now with the heat wave we are having) so we decided to have hot soup, which was delicious. We ate at the tables outside so that I could admire and photograph the spectacular window boxes. They were planted using the techniques I described in my last post (to read it click here, if you read this post when it had small, fuzzy photos, you might want to look again because I fixed them). The boxes are crammed with plants chosen to spill out the front, fill the middle, and provide some height in the back but not too much due to the windows.

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But what I really love about these containers is the creative use of colors and plant material. Nontraditional color combinations like pink and orange abound, but they work. The plants are chosen not just for the color but also for their habit and texture. The designer clearly did not feel limited by the traditional group of annuals but cast a wide net for plants that would combine to create a striking whole. I hope you will incorporate some of these ideas into your own containers—I know I will. If you have already planted them stuff some more plants in.

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Carolyn

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Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, U.S., zone 6b. The only plants that we mail order are snowdrops and miniature hostas and only within the US.

If you are within visiting distance and would like to receive catalogues and information about customer events, please send your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net. Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.

Nursery Happenings: The nursery is closed and will reopen in the fall around September 15. Have a great summer.

Facebook: Carolyn’s Shade Gardens has a Facebook Page where I post single photos, garden tips, and other information that doesn’t fit into a blog post. You can look at my Facebook page here or click the Like button on my right sidebar here.

Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information. If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc.) or to subscribe to my blog, just click here.

Row Your Way to Color with Annuals Revisited

Posted in annuals, annuals, container gardening, container gardening, landscape design with tags , , , , , on July 10, 2013 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, PA, specializing in showy, colorful, and unusual plants for shade.  The only plants that we ship are snowdrops and miniature hostas.  For catalogues and announcements of events, please send your full name, location, and phone number (for back up use only) to carolyn@carolynsshadegardens.com.  Click here to get to the home page of our website for catalogues and information about our nursery and to subscribe to our blog.

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Last July I featured a very creative use of annuals by Handy Boat Marina in Falmouth Foreside, Maine. They used a dinghy as a container and filled it to the brim, accenting the whole arrangement with a cleverly placed pair of oars. To read my previous post and see last year’s planting, click Row Your Way to Color with Annuals. When I arrived this year, I was happy to see that the dinghy was once again planted but with totally different plants.

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What I like so much about this design is the creative use of the boat as a container. If you read my miniature hosta posts, you know that I am always advocating thinking outside the box when it comes to receptacles for plants. As Handy Boat demonstrates, there is no need to buy expensive pots when an old dinghy is available. And containers that fit the surrounding area, like a boat at a marina, always contribute to the sophistication of the design.

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Another container design principle that this planting illustrates is the importance of stuffing your pots full of plants. Annuals are, well, annual. You have a short season to enjoy them so you don’t want to wait for them to fill out like you would a perennial. If you are on a budget, grow the plants from seed or do less pots but don’t skimp on the plants.

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Finally, as I pointed out last year, the designer has used the spiller-filler-thriller method of choosing plants, and the color combination is gorgeous. Spilling out the front (or about to spill when they get bigger) are white lobelia and purple-leafed sweet potato vine. Filling the middle of the boat are red geraniums, purple petunias, and red compact New Guinea impatiens. Providing the thrill (otherwise known as the height) are purple angelonia, white cleome, and purple fountain grass. Here are some close up photos.
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Enjoy, Carolyn

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Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, U.S., zone 6b. The only plants that we mail order are snowdrops and miniature hostas and only within the US.

If you are within visiting distance and would like to receive catalogues and information about customer events, please send your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net. Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.

Nursery Happenings: The nursery is closed and will reopen in the fall around September 15. Have a great summer.

Facebook: Carolyn’s Shade Gardens has a Facebook Page where I post single photos, garden tips, and other information that doesn’t fit into a blog post. You can look at my Facebook page here or click the Like button on my right sidebar here.

Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information. If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc.) or to subscribe to my blog, just click here.

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