My father is a serious gardener. All of his children have picked up a love of beautiful landscaping, and some of us like to get our hands dirty--one of my sisters has even picked up organic vegetable gardening. When I bought my first house I loved working in the beds and picking out shrubs, perrenials and roses. The houses that followed were also opportunities to create beautiful, if modest, outdoor spaces. But lately, and what I really mean is, since the birth of my oldest daughter I just haven't managed to get too much going outside.
However, each Spring my husband has encouraged the idea of planting patio pots. So great! So do-able! The idea of planting a whole bed is totally overwhelming when so much is going on inside the house (for instance three little dresses in the works), but, a few small pots--that I can do. And clustering them strategically where we can see them out the windows, or next to our outdoor table makes me feel like the whole yard has been re-landscaped. Hooray!
So I was ready to go this Spring, which turned out to be Summer, but nevertheless, here are some of the pots. I tried creating little vignettes with a narrow color palette and used this great chartreuse Coleus ("Wizard Sun Golden" Coleus to be exact) as a constant in all of them. The pot above has Nicotiana Alta and "Cabaret Mango Tango" Calibrachoa too. I think it looks pretty good already but I am excited to see it fill in. I tried to find the plants I remember really performing last year.
I seem to always gravitate towards shades of lavender, and gray-green foliage but lately I've been loving more citrusy greens and I fell in love with the coral and fleshy tones in "Gallery Leonardo" Dahlia, "Score Coral Reef" Geranium, and especially, Aztec Coral Verbena (no, I don't have all the names memorized--I kept the tags this year!). I had so much fun with the pots I was inspired to venture out into some of the beds (we mostly cleared them about three years ago, maybe more) and start working. It's so much fun! I love thinking about how I might organize the beds (it's almost like the composition of a painting, really) and squeezing in a few nursery visits.
The only problem is that, similar to shopping for fabric, it seems that I either get a vision in my head and then can't find the plants locally, or I stumble on something fantastic (like the Spurge above) in a nursery and don't quite know where to put it. It's difficult to make the plan and stitck to it.
These "Bombshell" Hydrangea were an unexpected find at Home Depot of all places. I have loved these cone shaped Hydrangea and was so thrilled to find them! I hope they'll be happy in my shady back yard.
I have always loved Sedum but had never seen this varieagated type--I love the yellows! I'm putting it with the Spurge and some Salvia and Russian Sage to create a lavender-silvery green and bright yellow little landscape. I can't wait to watch it fill in!
More things making me happy in the garden: the Iceberg Roses I received for my birthday last year seem to have pulled through a very tough Winter. I thought I lost them all--so much dead wood--but they are blooming!