Rockers, Spikes and Record Growth
As a refresher, last year our front porch looked like this. This year, the major addition was the conversation-inducing black rockers, but I also wanted to add more plants and a simplified color scheme. I am sticking to butter (yellow) and lime (foliage) with accents of plum, purple and apricot for new flowering plants. Here are a few favorites that fit the color scheme:
‘ANGYO STAR’ FATSHEDERA - Southern Living Collection
Candyland Tomato - Pan American Seed -- This plant is hands down the most surprising plant of the bunch. I simply potted it up in a good potting mix and this puppy TOOK OFF. Literally growing inches a day, I have to pinch branches almost daily to keep up with it. There are masses of flowers and soon to be masses of tomatoes (Note: I took this picture and 4 days later there ARE INDEED loads of baby tomatoes now!)
|Note the pretty yellow hue towards the center of each leaf!|
Wave Petunias - Ball Seed These upgraded classics are fantastic and spread like crazy for one season, then they bow out here in my zone 6 garden. While I enjoy the pinks and purples and silvers and whites, the YELLOWS are my favorite. They are a beautiful butter yellow and look good with just about everything. These pretty girls are coming indoors with me this winter and I hope to keep them alive for next year!
Sunpatians - Sakata Seed -- These impatian hybrids are a new development that allows impatians to be grown IN the sun. I like having them in pots because I can move the pots in OR out of the sun when I have a bare spot on the porch and they fill in nicely. The foliage is a deep deep green with purple undertones, fitting my color scheme on the porch. Once they bloom out, the lightest pinks pass for white, so they can stay, but the electric orange and magenta go elsewhere to brighten up dark spots. I paired the sunpatiens with an astilbe in each pot for some height and a little wispiness to contrast their solid shape/form.
Begonia - 'Magawatt Pink Bronze Leaf' -- Pan American Seed Again, the foliage is the star here, adding a bit of deep bronze purple. The blooms are a pretty pink and they are abundant!
Alternanthera 'Purple Prince' - This is one of my very favorite plants on the porch right now. It exploded in growth just a few days after being planted.
|Note the way the underside of each leaf has a more magenta hue that shines through when hit by sunlight!|
You can see the young Alternanthera there in the back, but they have filled out even more since I took the photo above. I finished the rest of the planter with clearance daisies and zinnias for more "butter" yellow. This particular planter will transition well into fall with the dark purples and yellows to contrast burnt orange mums and flaming maples.
|Anybody know the name of this pretty Floribunda??|
Spikes are simple enough for even the smallest helpers to push into pots and they are far less messy than sprinkling blood meal or fish meal. I do not use any type of food for plants in the actual beds/ground aside from compost and organic matter (mostly leaves) that settles over the beds in the fall. The pots, however, DO need help to keep producing all summer long and organic spikes are the food of choice for mine.
|Note the gardening while in princess dress!|
Here is the opposite side of the porch, slightly longer so the rockers stretch out in a row instead of conversational seating. I love the Angyo Star on this side and again just want MORE LIME! I plan to keep propagating sweet potato vine and perhaps purchase a few 'string of pearls' succulents on end-of-season clearances. Maybe more ferns? We shall see! For now, I am a happy bird rocking away each morning and afternoon on our front porch.