Archive for Handy Boat Marina

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  Click here to get to the home page of our website for catalogues and information about our nursery and to subscribe to our blog.


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.


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.


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.


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.



Enjoy, Carolyn


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 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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