Floral Containers

Q. Could you give some tips on making a mixed container of annuals? I love the effect they make.

A. Many gardeners are very successful with mixed containers, using several varieties of flowers and foliages in pleasing combinations of color and texture. Almost any type of plant can be combined with a few guidelines.

Design the container plantings for shade or for sun, combining only those flowers which do well together. Semperflorens bronze- leaved begonia or any of the green-leaved begonias, impatiens, and Pretty-In- Red salvia and coleus all work well in containers for shade. For a sunny location, the choice is almost unlimited.

Include plants for height (e.g. Shasta daisies or geraniums), plants for spread (e.g. petunias,) and plants to grow down over the edges of the containers. Trailing foliage plants are useful here as well as those that flower such as hanging fuchsias and verbena.

Plant too much rather than too little. Err on the side of extra plants for a lush, full effect. But to compensate for extra plants fertilize and water properly. Apply a slow release fertilizer for summer-long feeding. Water abundantly throughout the summer.

Here are a couple of ideas for container planting combinations that work well.

Pink and white full sun container: pink Begonia, white Nicotiana, rose-pink Geranium, white Petunias, white Snapdragon, pink Vinca.

Blue and pink shade container: pink Impatiens, pink Begonia, violet Impatiens, Dusty Miller, and Alyssum.



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