As we approach October, it’s time to evaluate which planters held up well in this surprisingly wet year. Perhaps my favorite planter this year was an afterthought…what to do in a 36″ bowl that gets less and less sun each year. It was in an area that doesn’t get much attention to boot, but as you can see it didn’t suffer at all.
This combination of different Snakeplants (Sansevieria) and Black Mondo Grass (Ophiopogon nigrescens) with variegated ivy and Dichondra worked astonishingly well. Sophisticated in a way, but totally unfussy! Will have to consider a future repeat performance.
It’s been 20 years since we’ve grown Brugmansia (Angel’s Trumpet), but since we have had so many inquiries recently, we decided to give them another go. (I vaguely remember that they were a magnet for whiteflies, and banned them from the greenhouse.) In June I ordered 5 different varieties from Logee’s, (yes, a late start for a summer display, especially starting with 4″ pots), but with regular doses of the miraculous Neptune’s Harvest fish/seaweed fertilizer, they all took off. The mystery selection shown above differed from the name tag description, but it sure was quick to flower. In fact it is in its second flush right now.
This is what we learned: Brugmansia grow very fast in tropical weather conditions (we’ve certainly had heat, humidity and a fair amount of rain this season). We know that hybrids of the species versicolor have flowers that first appear yellow then age to shades of pink. Two of the 5 selections grew to large proportions but as of Sept 27 are only now forming flower buds. Two others provided flowers within 3 months time. Logee’s ‘Pink Champagne’ (pictured above) has a subtle coloring that is best enjoyed up close. The larger proportioned ‘Angel’s Lemon Zest’ (below) has also rewarded us with repeat flowerings.
I should say that this year we’ve enjoyed simply growing on specimen plants in individual containers, and either arranging little groups or featuring on pedestals of their own. The little Goldfish Plant, Nematanthus gregarius, is an easy “succulent” for shadier spots. Consider it an indoor/outdoor plant..most of us have a windowsill that will accommodate this little guy for the winter, and then next year it can renew itself outdoors again all summer.
And now for the before and after pics. All in all, plants held up well, although this was the year the Dichondra ‘Silver Falls’ really sulked. It didn’t die, but it didn’t luxuriate as in previous summers…too humid?A few succulents exceeded their bounds and needed a cut back.
Here the Dichondra was cut back in Sept. when it got dingy looking.You can never go wrong combining succulents with Phormium.Abutilon ‘Harvest Moon’ likes to be fed a lot, and it will reward you with blooms all summer. Begonias may have liked the humidity but not constant wetness. Begonia ‘Art Hodes’ above, one of the best, never complained. Begonia ‘Escargot’ , below, survived, but was more challenging to keep happy.
Please tell us…how did your containers fare this summer? Still looking good? Which plants impressed you the most?