Planting a patio garden? Here are some things to consider
The second week of May and Mother’s Day means you now can safely hang those baskets of fuchsias, geraniums and mixed planters outdoors.
Mid-May is also the time to set out bedding plants such as petunias, marigolds and geraniums as well as try growing some bright new things.
In honor of branching out and trying something new and different, here are some exciting bloomers to look for at local nurseries and garden centers.
Eye Candy Color with the Superbells
Talk about easy color, the Superbells are rather like mini-petunias except they have self-cleaning flowers, so there is no need to dead head. They flower from spring until frost, and the cup-shaped blooms and bright colors are attractive to pollinators. The growth habit of these colorful bloomers make them perfect for container gardens and hanging baskets.
Superbells “Holy Smokes” are a very distinctive speckled purple and white flower with a star-shaped yellow center. With this exciting variety, you can add a punch of purple.
If you can’t find “Holy Smokes,” look for Superbells “Grape Punch” or Superbells “Double Orchid” calibrachoa to get the purple punch of color for your mixed planters. The color purple pairs well with “Rockin Fuchsia Salvia” or the upright verbena with purple blooms called verbena “Meteor Shower.”
For delicate-looking, rose-like blooms in small spaces or small containers plant the double Superbells such as the Calibrachoa “Doublette Love Swept.”
This calibrachoa Superbell has a cute picotee-edged flower petal in deep pink with white trim. Play up the white edging by pairing this bicolor bloomer with the pure white petals of Supertunia “White Dawn” or a pure white alyssum.
Annual of the Year: Lemon Coral Sedum
This low-growing sedum has a soft, yet rather spiky foliage that makes it the perfect companion for almost any blooming plant.
The lemon-lime color of the foliage will highlight any bright color or pastel bloom, so use this newcomer liberally around perennials, annuals or even with your vegetables. The dense growth habit will block weeds when used as an edging in the ground, and the compact shape means it plays well with others in a pot.
If you are a forgetful gardener and have struggled to grow plants in the past, give “Lemon Coral” sedum a try. It is very forgiving of a few days of dry soil, and if all the other plants in your pot die off by the end of summer, “Lemon Coral” sedum will continue to thrive and fill up the empty space.
The vibrant lime green color looks smashing with dark foliage plants, purple blooms or coleus that have lime green edging on their leaves. This drought resistant sedum even does well in partial shade.
Garden Gossip: Unlike the faster growing, perennial sedum, “Angelina,” this more refined succulent will not hop into other beds but also will not survive our wet winters. Enjoy it as an annual that needs to be replaced each spring.
The best begonia: Begonia boliviensis
A hardworking bloomer for sun or shade this begonia with pointed, angel wing foliage will be covered with small, drooping blooms that will feed hummingbirds all summer. Many varieties are now becoming available in shades of bright orange “Bonfire Begonia,” soft pink “Million Kisses,” bright yellow “Mistral Yellow” and bright pink “Mistral Pink.”
A single plant can fill a medium sized container with easy care color. Give this plant a try, and you’ll be using it every year as your go-to bloomer for window boxes, hanging baskets and patio pots.
“Creative Container Gardens,” Wednesday, May 15, noon, Windmill Gardens, www.windmillgarden.com or phone 253-863-5843 to register.