FOR SEASON-LONG COLOR in containers, true annuals (like marigolds or petunias or zinnias) aren’t the only answer. I always keep a few choice hostas ready to do duty as pot plants, carrying them over from year to year in the vegetable garden when it’s empty all winter, then lifting the big clumps out and popping them into pots for use in shady areas spring through fall.
It’s easy, showy, and the hostas don’t seem to mind being put on display. A favorite for this purpose: the classic vase-shaped blue hosta ‘Krossa Regal’. Variegated hostas are especially ornamental, too.
I like to plug in extra bits of golden moneywort, Lysimachia nummularia ‘Aurea,’ that have outgrown their place in the garden (shown in the pot up top), or snippets of the gold Sedum called ‘Angelina’ (detail, just above) to cascade over the rim. The salvaged snippets of Lysimachia don’t look like much now, but wait: Soon the top pot, about 30 inches wide, will be full…and I didn’t buy a thing. Recycling at its best.