July Containers In My New Cold Climate Garden: Garden Bloggers Bloom Day 2012

– Posted in: What's up/blooming

July has been hot and dry. I try not to complain, as I know in many areas it has been hotter and drier for longer. But the fact remains that the daylilies and roses would be putting on a better show if they had more consistent moisture.

plants in containers

They need to be watered every day.

When I moved late last fall, many plants came along in containers. Most of them are still in containers as I work to clear ground for them, either by weeding existing garden areas or creating new ones. And I gratefully received sample plants from several growers, and many of these also went into containers. So this has been the year of container growing for me, which means a lot of hand watering.

Good Looking Container Plantings

Below is my most successful container planting, which is a good thing, since there are two of these flanking the mailbox at the edge of the road.

proven winners Colorblaze Marooned coleus, Luscious Berry Blend lantana, Superbells Lemon Slice calibrachoa, and Supertunia Watermelon Charm petunia

Clockwise from top: Colorblaze Marooned coleus, Luscious Berry Blend lantana, Superbells Lemon Slice calibrachoa, and Supertunia Watermelon Charm petunia. ‘Mariposa Blue’ scabiosa barely visible in the center.

With the exception of the scabiosa, which is a trial plant from Skagit Gardens, all of the plants in this container are trial plants from Proven Winners, and will be available next year. Unlike my other containers, I am only watering these once a week (temps have been in the high 80s) and they are doing fabulously. I had originally wanted to plant a variegated canna where the coleus is, but, alas, the canna didn’t winter over.
Renegade cordyline and  Blushing Princess alyssum

I really like the extreme contrast in texture between the ‘Renegade’ cordyline and the Blushing Princess alyssum.

I won the cordyline at the Asheville Fling. It is a new plant from the Southern Living Collection. I wouldn’t have bothered taking it home because it is only hardy to Zone 8, but Barbara Wise, author of Container Gardening for All Seasons assured me that it would work for me as a houseplant. I haven’t decided yet if I will winter it over in the house. It depends on how big it gets. I paired it with two trial plants of Proven Winners’ Blushing Princess alyssum. This is a sister to Snow Princess alyssum which I trialed a couple of years ago and really liked. Blushing Princess has a hint of lavender that complements the deep maroon of the cordyline.
Red Dragonwing begonia

This red Dragonwing begonia is spending its second summer outdoors.

I did winter over this Dragonwing begonia. It was in a smaller pot last year when in the house. I think I will have to root cuttings mid-August and pot them up to winter over. This is too big to bring in.

Growing In The Slope Garden

I am just going to list the plants growing in the Slope Garden the previous owner planted. I don’t know any of the variety names and probably never will. But if anyone can tell me what ornamental grass this is, I’d be much obliged.

unidentified ornamental grass

I don’t know what grass this is. If you know will you please tell me?

  • red bee balm
  • pink yarrow (Cerise Queen?)
  • sundrops
  • a reddish-orange daylily of simple form
  • butterfly weed

Inspired by the words of Elizabeth Lawrence, “We can have flowers nearly every month of the year,” Carol of May Dreams Gardens started Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. On the 15th of every month, garden bloggers from all over the world publish what is currently blooming in their gardens, and leave a link in Mr. Linky and the comments of May Dreams Gardens.

About the Author

Kathy Purdy is a colchicum evangelist, converting unsuspecting gardeners into colchicophiles. She would be delighted to speak to your group about colchicums or other gardening topics. Kathy’s been writing since 4th grade, gardening since high school, and blogging since 2002.

In the end, this may be the most important thing about frost: Frost slows us down. In spring, it tempers our eagerness. In fall, it brings closure and rest. In our gotta-go world–where every nanosecond seems to count–slowness can be a great gift. So rather than see Jack Frost as an adversary, you could choose to greet him as a friend.

~Philip Harnden in A Gardener’s Guide to Frost: Outwit the Weather and Extend the Spring and Fall Seasons

Comments on this entry are closed.

Barbara August 15, 2012, 4:24 pm

Lovely! Thanks for sharing.

Ibukun August 14, 2012, 5:24 am

Thanks for a lovely blog posts. I like the pictures it shows that you are really taking care of your garden. The flowers will survive.. they are getting all the tender loving care they need from all your hard work. Keep the great posts coming..

Everyday-Vegetables August 12, 2012, 12:48 am

I think it has been hot through out the whole country. We have broken records set back in the dust bowl period. I am so glad I mulched my garden this year. It was an experiment but it saved my garden. I am expanding it this fall for next season.

Todd@BigBlogOfGardening August 6, 2012, 5:34 pm

Oh, to have had some rain in July here in Pennsylvania. My garden hose got quite a workout. Now that August has arrived, erratic thunderstorms with high winds have blown through four times in 5 days. Can’t win.

commonweeder July 31, 2012, 12:11 pm

Your containers are beautiful. I love all calibrochas. Lots of handwatering everywhere this year.

Jeff Lowenfels July 29, 2012, 3:34 am

Ah HA! Hot and dry and we are having the coldest July on record here? I guess we know who really gardens in the North!

Love you blog!

Teaming With Microbes,


Dee Nash (@reddirtramblin) July 24, 2012, 10:18 am

Kathy, I can really tell your garden is taking shape. I dearly love that Lemon Slice calibrochoa. What an excellent plant. I’ll use tons of it next year in my pots. Happy Late Bloom Day.~~Dee

Scott Weber July 19, 2012, 7:48 pm

Your containers look wonderful! I agree with the above commenters…that grass definitely looks like Pennisetum ‘Karley Rose’

Anna July 19, 2012, 2:11 pm

That’s one happy begonia! Overwintering is how I kill most of my plants, but I’m getting better.

Laynee July 19, 2012, 9:22 am

Containers are quite satisfying if a bit of a maintenance challenge. Yours look divine.

Diane July 16, 2012, 2:45 pm

I believe that grass is Pennisetum ‘Karley Rose’. Also, love the cordyline – allysum container, lovely.

Kathy Purdy July 16, 2012, 3:49 pm

Thank you, Diane. Frances also thought it was ‘Karley Rose’. I guess I will tentatively give it that name.

Mary Schier July 16, 2012, 2:11 pm

Your containers look great. I really love that maroon coleus. I have it in a semi-shady area and it’s doing very well. We were drowning early this year, but now, like you, are dry, dry, dry and hot, hot, hot!

Patsy Bell Hobson July 16, 2012, 1:35 pm

I like your colorful mixed flower container. It is always fun to see gardens in different regions.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter July 16, 2012, 12:49 pm

Your Callibrachoa look a lot better than mine. I suppose I must be doing something wrong. I also love the cordyline/sweet alyssum combo. I’m a big fan of trying to overwinter tender perennials in the house. If I can do it, you can do it.

Kimberley July 16, 2012, 12:23 pm

I particularly like that first container pictured, the one by your mailbox. I love the lantana, especially–it’s something I use every year. My container gardens are much nicer right now than anything I have in the ground!

Gail July 15, 2012, 9:33 pm

I am finding containers are the answer to several problems in my garden Kathy. Storage until I can get them in the ground, placing them in the sunniest spots and drainage. Yours are lovely ~I especially like the alyssum with the cordyline. gail

Carol July 15, 2012, 6:48 pm

I like your containers. I received the same plants to trial from PW and they have done very well, even as hot and dry as it has been. Thanks for sharing them for bloom day.

Leslie July 15, 2012, 4:20 pm

You have quite a lot of gardening to do but it looks like you are going about it in a good way. Your containers are lovely!

Frances July 15, 2012, 3:31 pm

Your containers look great, Kathy! I love that alyssum and cordyline combo the best, very elegant. The grass looks to me like Pennisetum ‘Karley Rose’. Good luck with your new garden!

Kathy Purdy July 15, 2012, 5:27 pm

Just to know it is a pennisetum is more than I knew, thank you for your i.d.