July 10, 2020

On the Bright Side: Pots of Plenty


Several personal and professional activities have kept me away from gardening and blogging lately, and the garden and my lack of blogging activity show it.

Fortunately, the potted plants are doing pretty well with heat, sunshine, and plenty of watering. The old standbys—potted English Ivy (Hedera helix), Purple Shamrocks (Oxalis triangularis), and 'Red Threads' Alternanthera (A. ficoidea)—are happy to be outside after overwintering in the sunroom.


They're part of a grouping around the fish pond on the patio that creates a happy little outdoor "room" during the growing season.


It's always pleasant when the groupings work better than expected—this one includes New Guinea Impatiens (I. hawkeri) 'Magnum Magenta,' a pot of 'Supercal Premium Bordeaux' Petunias (Petchoa cross), and 'Splish Splash' Coleus (C. scutellarioides). Surrounding foliage of Gerbera jamesonii, Chasmanthium latifoliumLamium maculatum, and ferns frame the flowers. (Also, blooming Spigelia marilandica in the background—although it clashes a bit).

The big pot also includes Marigolds (Tagetes spp.) and scallions (I need to trim them back!) around the edges to discourage squirrels and chipmunks.


For some reason, I had trouble getting Coleus going this spring/summer, which has never happened to me before. I'm not sure why, but this pot worked out, with a variety of Coleus and some bright pink Impatiens (I. walleriana). 'Splish Splash' Coleus, by far, has performed the best for me this year, and I'm adding cuttings of it to other locations.


Not the best stage for the 'Super Cascade Pink' Petunias, but there will be more in this pot as they bloom until the first frost. I like them surrounded by the Impatiens, which also have many months of flowers and foliage to share. Calla Lily (Zantedeschia aethiopica) foliage in the background.


This pot is mostly Coleus, including 'Vino,' which struggled at first but came back, and more 'Splish Splash.'


This is probably my favorite pot, although rain damage has it looking a little ragged. I like the idea of combining native plants and annuals in planters. In this case, I added a native sedge (I think it's Calex lurida) that I found in the yard and a tiny sprig of Whorled Milkweed (Asclepias verticillata) that I found in the sunny garden. This pot gets dappled sunlight all day, since it faces south and has the benefit of bright sun for a portion of the day. Hopefully, the milkweed will survive the winter in the pot and expand next year. Again, more 'Splish Splash' and Impatiens.


Next to the sunny garden, I have a pot that's hard to photograph as it's surrounded by fencing and the air conditioning unit. But it certainly brightens its spot, filled with Marigolds, 'Bandana Rose' Lantanas (L. camara), and 'Angelface Blue' Angelonia hybrid.


I couldn't capture it in the above photo, but a volunteer of Borage (Borago officinalis), from last year, seeded itself in the pot. I'll cut it back after it's finished blooming, but I like it here. That blue!

I hope you're all doing well in spite of the strange times. Gardens are always good therapy—even when we wish we had more time (or more quality time) to spend in them.


  1. It's all looking good despite your busy schedule, Beth. For some reason, I've no coleus growing anywhere in my garden this season, which is highly unusual. I'm going to have to remedy that omission ;)

    1. Thank you, Kris. Yes, I've come to feel that Coleus, of many varieties, are a staple--particularly in the shade. I almost gave up on them this year, but I'm glad I didn't. :)

  2. Your pots are looking quite good Beth. I like those wild color combos. Sometimes they are better than the matchy matchy combos. It is good that you are busy.

    1. Thanks, Lisa. So much of my shady garden is seemingly one shade of green, so I need little pops of color wherever I can get them. ;-)

  3. You have a lot of beautiful color. I like the combinations and especially the variegated foliage. I like coleus, but would require more water than I'm willing to douse. So, I'll enjoy yours.

    1. Thanks, Tina. Thankfully, we've had plenty of rain this year--but not too much. We've needed it because we had two weeks of high 80s and 90s, with no relief. Now we're having a very pleasant stretch of weather. All the plants and people are happy. :)

  4. Yes indeed, gardens are good therapy.
    (For me anyway!)
    Wandering through, tweaking, removing something, adding something
    All part of my “daily trails.”

    I always enjoy a visit to “sister” gardens .. . . like yours.
    Liked hearing about the milk weed in one of your pots.
    Gardens can be a lovely mix of diversity.
    How wonderful if we could think of our wold in similar terms.

    1. I love your description of gardening, Lynne. So true! Thank you for the kind words. And your wisdom!

  5. Beautiful pots. You can't beat English Ivy and Shamrocks.

    1. I really enjoy both so much, particularly because they like the dappled shade. They are so happy near the pond, too. :)

  6. Beautiful! You reminding me in to my coleus collection.

  7. Hi Beth,
    I enjoyed seeing your pots. They are lovely.
    And I am so thankful to be a gardener. :-) We are eating fresh peas and beans. Our first tomatoes of the season will be ready by weekend.
    Take Care,

  8. Your containers are looking great! I like all the Angelonia.

  9. That outdoor room by the fishpond is lovely, Beth. All your pots look amazing. I like that you have a variety in each -- some great combinations. I tend to stick with just one type of plant in each container -- this year I did mainly pots of zinnias and pots of marigolds. P. x

  10. Your pots are just lovely! No annuals in pots for me this year - other than a couple of coleus that I overwintered. By the time I got around to looking for annuals, there was nothing to be had. Oh well, there's always next year :) P.S. The Splish Splash coleus is amazing!


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