Containers-Part Two

Continuing on with the containers theme for March chosen by Nan at

Gardening Gone Wild , we present part two.


The blue strawberry jar planted with violas in the cups and carex ‘Ice Dancer’ in the top is a striking color against the backdrop of the stone at the front of the house. It has been a struggle to find perennials that will survive there. The carex would be so much happier in the ground, it will soon be relieved of pot duty when the annuals become available at the nurseries. The violas are wonderful during the fall, winter and spring but melt away into nothingness during the heat of summer. The last two years coleus went in the top of this pot. Thymes and lavenders have both been tried in the cups, not good. Sedums have been used before, but since this pot is at the front of the house, I like to try color there. Maybe this will be the year for it to look the way we want it to. Or not.

This is one of the pots that has been allowed to have bulbs live there permanently. These are daffodil ‘Fidelity’, pale yellow outer petals with a pink trumpet. These are fancy ones and sort of expensive so it seemed a good idea to place them in this container for better appreciation of their unique qualities. Annual dianthus that has weathered two of our winters rim the edge, they will sport white with dark pink blooms soon. Angelina sedum is in there also, but kind of gets lost in all the foliage, it may have to be replaced.

Another blue pot, there are three altogether, planted with more violas and an ornamental cabbage last fall. The stakes were holding bird netting that has since been removed. It had to be done to keep those rotten squirrels from digging everything up and out while they try to bury the walnuts so abundant here. Some other annuals will go in here in June, that is the time the violas give up the ghost.

Ahhh. The rosemary topiary. Safely behind the old glass shower door, this square shaped pot holds the forest of rosemary. It is one of the container plantings that gives great delight in the pinching and pruning of the aromatic tips. Planted at the base is the scotch moss, the theme color is all green all the time.

A view of several of the glazed pots with the green one in the fore. Planted last fall with daffodil ‘Gentle Shepherd’, an orange trumpet ivory petaled beauty, according to the picture on the package anyway. These will be allowed to bloom then will be moved into the garden in a needy area. This pot is too small to hold a lot of plants, especially perennials, so it gets new bulbs each fall and new annuals each spring. But it has not caused any delight, yet, maybe this year? Or maybe not this year.

A beautiful pot with some sad violas. Stocks and snapdragons were planted in the fall, along with the violas, but failed to make it through the winter. More stakes used as squirrel nutkin prevention. This needs a whole new redo. Why didn’t we put any bulbs in here? Oh I remember, it had these beautiful flowers in it, but they did not stay beautiful, did they?

The height of this pot gives the plants more of a chance to survive the heat and drought of summer. These daffodil ‘Sinopel’ were just stuck in recently. These have a small cup of green with light colored outer petals and they are very fragrant, it is easy to bend over to sniff them in this tall pot. Last year angelonia, osteospurmum and salvia farinacea did well with no supplemental water in this pot.

Uh oh, a crack is spied in this gold colored pot. It has been sitting here in the gravel since 2003, when an attempt was made to move it, it held fast to the gravel covered earth. It seems the lavender, which has performed with flying waves of purple, has grown through the bottom of the pot into the willing gravel medium underneath. There are some evening primrose of some kind that came with the lavender in an herb assortment planted in a plastic pot along with a purple sage and some pansies, both long since deceased. The root ball of the lavender has pushed against the side of this pot until one of them had to give in, the pot was the first to blink apparently. It has been decided to let the pot break away and see how long the lavender will survive without a pot, why not? We like to experiment around here and that seems like a good one.

A wire basket that was forgotten about and should have been included with the metal segment of Containers-Part One , planted with purple kale and the lone surviving Tuscan Black kale. The seed was purchased because it was thought to be black, but it is green. There is a little cilantro seedling growing at the edge from left over seed from last year’s crop, which was a failure. Isn’t that the way of it, the things that are carefully sown and pampered fail while the accidents thrive. Often we step back from the garden care to just let things make the necessary adjustments for their own survival, what comes from that are the strongest and hardiest, plants that need little in the way of human intervention. Sure, we dote over the dahlias and fret over the frittilarias, but there are a lot of things planted here and it is just me taking care of it all so the less that has to be done, the better.

The only plastic pot, one of those fake stone urn looking things bought on sale for reasons unknown. It is large, lightweight, and perfect for bulbs, however. We like to use it to test new to us bulbs before they are planted in the ground. The bulbs get planted in the fall and when they come up and bloom, we can see the color, timing and form and then decide where that color, etc. can be put to the best use out in the garden. These are gladiolus byzantinus, a hardy glad that grows to twenty-four inches tall. With their purple red flowers and sword like foliage, they would make a good accent somewhere out there. Note the little spinach seedlings at the end. They will go into the veggie patch soon. Sometimes seeds are thrown in when the bulbs get planted in the fall, just to see what will grow, always a surprise.

This stump has some sedum and dianthus ‘Tiny Rubies’ planted with our little clay bird friend. Someday it will rot down to become part of the garden mulch, but for now, the nooks and crannies of the bark add enchantment to our little piece of paradise. The containers themselves are the ornament here, if there is a particularly fine planting on occasion, that is an accidental bonus. We will scour the other bloggers’ posts for ideas about how to improve in that department. The comment section at Gardening Gone Wild had some suggestions of bloggers to visit whose container gardens are legendary. We need to study those for ideas that can be used in our containers, all ideas are needed and welcome.

This entry was posted in Musings. Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to Containers-Part Two

  1. GardenJoy4Me says:

    I’m really enjoying these posts on containers ! .. planting in an old log .. I have had beautiful lobelia flowing down one .. I have built structures from tomato cages for thunbergia to climb .. I love pots and what they can do for the garden .. it wouldn’t matter how big a garden I ever had .. pots would still be important to me.
    Great posts !

  2. Frances, says:

    Joy…Thanks. I love thunbergia but have never had good luck with it. Maybe it will get another try with tomato cages this year. Logs are lots of fun to plant, knowing they won’t last, and the degrading wood makes such a good home for lots of plants. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Gail says:


    The strawberry pot is my favorite, no the tall blue pot, no the stump….lots of favorites.

    I don’t have many container plants, primarily because I purchase plants and keep them all summer long to plant in the fall…so they become my container garden. Not very pretty in their black plastic pots. Maybe I should get containers and plunk them in for a more attractive look.

    Frances, we are having big rain storms with a forecast of snow, are you going to get this cold wet weather?


  4. Frances, says:

    Gail…Thanks. Hey, do whatever works for you! We are getting the big rain right now, thanksfully, and the cold front is coming next. Never a dull moment, huh!

  5. Robin's Nesting Place says:

    I’ve enjoyed part two of your container posts. You have some very nice containers, I especially love the blue ones. I think the rosemary is my favorite though, it’s picture perfect!

  6. Nicole says:

    I love cobalt blue containers, and I have carex ‘Ice Dancer’, a passalong plant from my husband’s uncle, who is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, so thanks for the ID. I also like the rosemary topiary-I love rosemary and I also love topiaries!

  7. Dave says:

    I think I like the stump the best but they all look good! It’s just the natural idea of the stump that attracts me to it. The rosemary topiary is good too. I like the mossy touch!

  8. Frances, says:

    Robin’s nesting place…Thanks. The rosemary has received the most pampering by far of the container plantings.

    Nicole…I am so sorry for your family illness. A passalong from a loved one is always treasured. Glad it helped you identify it.

    Dave…Thanks. The stump almost didn’t make the cut, like the tool box from part one. Watch it turn out to be the favorite!

  9. Marie says:

    Interesting post and beautiful photos!

  10. Dee/reddirtramblings says:


    There’s nothing like glazed pots, is there? I really like your rosemary topiary. What do you mean protected by the old shower door? Do you have the door on the north side of it?~~Dee

  11. Frances, says:

    Marie…Thanks for visiting.

    Dee…Thanks. The back of the house faces south and it has been discovered that the potted rosemary will do best when under the overhang there. The house is on the north side of the plants and an old glass shower door offers protection from cold winds. It works on the rosemary, but didn’t save the agave.

  12. Mr. McGregor's Daughter says:

    Love the blue pots & that fantastic stump! Have you considered Sedums with colored foliage for that strawberry jar? (Tri-colored or chartreuse?)

  13. lintys says:

    Frances, Love the strawberry jar, the rosemary, and the stump, and love your container posts!

  14. brokenbeat says:

    i printed up your recipe for planters and plan to get the concrete ball rolling. gravy.

  15. Nan Ondra says:

    Oooh, goodness, both the glazed pots and the stump have their charms! You know, one bit of container success I’ve had is with bulbs, but I plant the bulbs in nursery pots so they can overwinter in my cold frame. Come spring, I can slip them into a more decorative pot for bloom, then easily lift the potted bulbs out again and move them elsewhere to make room for the summer plants.

    Your comment about the “black” kale made me chuckle, because that tricked me too. The leaves are definitely blue, at least at first. The oldest ones eventually lose their powder-blue look, but then they are dark green, not black (grrr)!

  16. Frances, says:

    MMD…That is a good suggestion about the sedums, tricolor sedum is a pretty one. Thanks.


    Brokenbeat…Thanks. Have fun but remember to be patient, don’t unmold too fast.

    Nan Ondra…Thanks. That is good with the bulbs in plastic, pots, easier to lift out without accidently cutting one, as has been done more than once here. That kale is listed in lots of articles, and is nice, although the worms ate it up all season until winter, I won’t plant it again.

  17. Melanie says:

    Frances, all your containers are so lovely, I think that cobalt blue is my favorite.

    When my girls were little I used to tell them stories about the “knot fairies” that dance in their hair. That’s why it has knots in it when you wake up in the morning 🙂

  18. Frances, says:

    Melanie…Thanks, that is a great tale of the knot fairies. There is something about the blue containers that grabs you, isn’t there?

  19. Kerri says:

    I see you enjoy gardening in containers as much as I do. You have some fun pots. The more I see the blues, the more I want some. I did a couple of container posts earlier in the year.
    Thanks for sharing yours. Great idea for the bulbs.

  20. Annie in Austin says:

    The containers are lovely, Frances – the green one is my favorite – hope Gentle Shepherd is pretty in it… but there’s something pathetic about having to jab sticks in the pots to keep out squirrels ;-]

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  21. Frances, says:

    Kerri, thanks. I will check out your posts on containers soon. They are really good for the bulbs.

    Annie, Thanks. I am excited to see Gentle Shepherd also. We get a few new fancy daffs each years, there is always room in the garden for more daffs, especially around the base of the hostas, a good spot for them. And to call having to use sticks, chickenwire, netting, etc. to keep the squirrels out, pathetic is too polite a word.

  22. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Your pots are an inspiration Frances. You have such varied plants in yours. I will have to get busy and get some spring bulbs planted this fall. I could use many more and they give such interest and color in early spring.

  23. Frances, says:

    Lisa, Thanks. Planting bulbs in those pots in the fall is about the easiest gardening task there is. No trying to remember where the bulbs are already planted, easy to dig, all good.

  24. Jennifer says:

    These are so fun! You should join the “Pot Shots” group on Flickr.

  25. Pingback: Planting a Winter Container « Fairegarden

Comments are closed.