Even though it was colder than a witch's you know what here this weekend, I did manage to get one of my summer planter containers planted.
I normally have a set plan on what I want in my containers, but this year it's all about flying by the seat of my yoga pants.
This combination actually came to me while at the garden center.
There I was surrounded by a zillion and one brightly colored annuals. All just beckoning me with their bright cheerful colors.
Pick me, Pam!
Look over here, I'm all pink and girly looking!
Aren't I pretty enough for you?
But I was determined to not make any impulse plant purchases this year (IPPs for short), so I hunted and pecked my way through the garden center. Picking things up and putting them in my cart only to remove them later.
Now, I did have thoughts of just grabbing two hanging baskets that were on sale and plopping them down in the planter and calling it a day though.
You do know you can do that right?
Why, yes you can!
A trick to fill up your summer planter quickly and easily and cheaply is to buy a hanging basket this time of year (they're ALWAYS on sale around Memorial Day around her for well under $10) and plant them in your planters. Done.
But I really do enjoy making my own creations, so slow and steady and thoughtful was the plan.
Then I practically tripped over the Canna (tropical rose variety).
I have never in the world ever planted one before, but I wanted something tall in the middle of the planter, so it fit the bill. And according to the tag it will have very pretty pink tropical looking flowers. So I decided to give it a try and that was my starting point.
Next, I decided to add a Coral Bells (Harvest Burgundy) at each end. I liked their foliage and thought it would look good with the Canna's future pink flowers.
And I picked two Supertunias (Pretty Much Picasso) to accompany them in the middle. The chartreuse and lavender color is a fun, non-traditional look.
They are a trailing annual and should grow fairly quickly to fill the bottom of the container with color.
Not as quick, as easy or as cheap as the hanging basket route, but I think it gives a richer, more interesting look to the planter.
Plants for a sun loving container
Canna Lily - Tropical Rose - full sun - grows to be 18-30" tall
Normally bought as a summer bulb (you can purchase them in those bags at the big box stores), I bought mine potted up and already emerged for the summer. The bulbs are winter hardy in zones 7-10 only otherwise you will need to lift the bulbs out of the ground (or out of the outside pots in my case) and store them prior to the first frost of the fall. You can then plant them in the ground again in the late spring about the same time you'd be planting your tomatoes.
You can deadhead the spent flowers to promote more blooms.
Supertunia - Pretty Much Picasso - full sun - trailing habit and 8-12" tall
The joy of supertunias is they do not have to be deadheaded. No need to pop off the dead blooms to promote new growth, these truly are a low-maintenance petunia!!! These plants need 6 hours or more of sun a day to be at their best. And you can give them a little haircut mid-summer if they are getting too leggy to promote more blooms on top.
Coral Bells - Harvest Burgundy (Heuchera) - part sun (4-6 hrs per day) - 12" tall
The best part of coral bells is their foliage. This variety has silver tinged foliage with dark green veining and a burgundy underside. The plants do have delicate looking flowers that grow on tall stalks, but they really can't be seen from far away. The foliage is the star of the show here.
An added benefit of using the coral bells is they are perennials and I can plant them in the ground in the fall if I want so they can come back up next year!
Now, I know someone is going to say, "But Pam, you have two sun lovers in with the Coral Bells which is only part-sun. Are you nuts?"
To which I reply. Yes, I probably am.
But in regards to the Coral Bells, as long as you don't have the planter in full hot sun all the time you should be fine.
UPDATE: Wow, this summer planter turned out to be a stunner if I may say so myself 🙂 Come check it out ONE MONTH LATER.