Sunday, June 27, 2010

Bud to Bloom

This is "Pee Wee" Oakleaf Hydrangea in March of this year. It's pee wee because it doesn't grow nearly as large as traditional oakleaf hydrangeas but it gets plenty big to make a statement in a container. My container is pretty large--maybe 24 inches in diameter. The information on the plant tag said this shrub (hardy to zone 5) will grow to about 3 feet by 3 feet. Mine might be a little larger than that. It likes morning sun and will bloom through July. In the fall, the enormous leaves will turn a burgundy color so at least it will still look sort of interesting after all of the blooms are gone. I have it planted with a perennial geranium (see the last picture) which winds its way up through the gaps of the hydrangea in a most appealing way. Scroll for more pictures.

Bookshelf: Container Gardening Books

Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Perfect Fit

This is Canna "Tropical Salmon" and it's ideally suited for containers. Here's why: it's only 24 inches high. So you can easily use it as the "thriller" in your arrangement, and have plenty of room for fillers and spillers without throwing off the proportions of your entire combination. I've planted cannas in the past and, while they are certainly beautiful, I always had a difficult time coming up with ideas of what to plant with them because they are usually between 4 and 6 feet high.

Canna is a tropical plant, so if you want one every year, you're probably going to have to buy one every year. Unless of course you already live in the tropics or you want to dig up the bulb (technically, a rhizome) and store it indoors over the winter. I typically opt for the former.

Need a refresher on the thriller, filler, spiller technique of planting containers? Visit my "Tickled Pink" post from two years ago.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Third Year's the Charm

This is the Cumberland Black Raspberry plant. It's the third year I've had it and this is the first time I've seen any evidence of fruit. I usually don't have that much patience with plants because the real estate on my deck is valuable and I don't want to fool around with anything that doesn't fulfill its promise. However, this plant has looked healthy every season so I decided to give it one more year. The fruit is supposed to ripen in July and August. I'll report back to let you know if it was worth waiting for.

For those who have more patience than I do, here's some additional information: this plant is hardy to zone 5 and likes full sun. I've kept it elevated, of course, for good drainage and I've done nothing to it in the way of maintenance. Also, I have not used any special fertilizer, just a small handful of the time-release fertilizer every year.