Start with Perennials
A few daffs are blooming, I started feeding sugar syrup to the bees, and it is mud season here in Maryland, but I am already getting the itch which I can only satisfy by making up some early containers. Most people just plant their containers in mid-May, and try to make them last all summer into Fall. But I am more successful if I start with a base of perennials and then add the seasonal plants when it warms up. There are very few plants that will look good all year-long or even for 6 months. I do rely on a few that have staying power and use them as a base to build on with other more seasonal plants. One of them is ‘Evergold’ Carex. This shade loving evergreen grass looks good 365 days of the year so I really like using this in containers for shade. This plant has been in my containers for 4 years and is thriving. For an alternative, the Hakenochloas or Japanese Forest Grass is another one that would work.
Three more plants that look good planted in a container all year-long is Heuchera, Lamium, and Bergenia. Heuchera or Coral Bells can look a little bedraggled but as soon as it warms up, it is stellar. I had both of these containers outside my bedroom all winter long and could enjoy them without doing a thing.
If the plants get too large, I can always chop out some pieces and replant in the garden. Also, in the fall, I do cut them back a little to get new growth. Now I just have to get some pansies to add to these for a pop of color and I am done until mid- May when I rip out the pansies and put a summer bloomer in its place.
Other perennials that you can use are ferns, large grasses, evergreen sedums, hellebores, conifers, and ivies.
I know everyone is beginning to think about planting containers and here is a great link to get you started.
Happy Planting! I would love to see some pictures of containers that you have planted that you think stand out from the crowd.
- Best Blogs for Novice Container Gardeners (House Sitting Jobs) (containergardening.wordpress.com)
- Growing Edibles in Containers (blogs.mcall.com)
- Plant Container Growing: Techniques (abodetoday.com)