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out with the old: goodbye pansies, hello…?

goodbye-pansiesT HE BIG BOWL OF PANSIES by Jack the Demon Cat’s cabin was nice while it lasted, but enough’s enough: Bring on the summer replacements; bring on a whole mix of goodies that looked interesting at the garden center to make some pots full of promise for the hot months ahead. (Waste not, want not, though: The pansies had their last hurrah on the windowsill this week, to help me celebrate my birthday. Now they’re doing their thing in the compost.) See a slideshow of what I’ve got assembled for my summer pots.

It’s just a start; some things aren’t even planted yet, and nothing has grown in, of course. But I wanted you to see what I’m trying (and tell me what caught your fancy for containers this year). Click on the first thumbnail to start the slideshow, then toggle from slide to slide using the arrows beside each caption. Enjoy.



Other Timely Mid-June Topics

  • Pots don’t need to contain soil; they can be mini water gardens. Here’s how.


  1. Paige Orloff says:

    That Anagallis is beautiful–where’d you find it? And thanks for id-ing the Callibrachoas for me–we have some, and I could not for the life of me figure out what they were. This is what happens when you send the H to the nursery. Unknown things come home.

  2. Eric says:

    May I ask the colors of your house, body and trim? What brand of paint do you use? Planning on repainting and want something new. I don’t mean to be a copy-cat but
    your choices are just SO cool (or is that hot?)!

  3. Vicki Buffalo says:

    I love your combinations. A great partial shade combination for me has been hypoestes, crassula lycopodioides (I love the lime green and the tall, linear lines), lime green laminum, and callibrachoas in the same color range as the hypoestes. Being in coastal zone 10 the whole pot overwinters and comes back in spring. The hypoestes go to seed and the foliage dies back to the soil line, then shoots back up in the spring. As a bonus the seedlings sprout all over the garden!

    1. Margaret says:

      Welcome, Vicki. You had to say the part about “the whole pot overwinters,” didn’t you? :) It sounds great, and I love using “houseplants” like Hypoestes and such. Glad to “meet” you here and hope to see you soon again.

  4. I am always sad to replace the sweet pansies in June. This year the pansies were exceptionally lovely–I couldn’t stop taking photos of their antique shades of pink, ivory, rose, soft yellow—yes, I was smitten with them this year.

    Lovely new plantings you have made in the pots. Can’t wait to see them overflowing.

  5. Kathy says:

    What can I add, I love everything! I bought the Fusion Gold impatiens for the last few years and prided myself on pulling of a coup when no one else around me had them. Can’t find them anywhere this year. Never thought about what a good combination Caramel and Bonfire would make. Bonfire being my coup this year.

  6. Very delicous colours and texures. And, as it happens, everything would work perfectly in my garden. Feel free to bring the pots on over once you figure out that customs glitch with transporting the rest of your garden next door to me. Cheers, Margaret, and have a lovely weekend.

  7. Tammy says:

    It is so interesting to me the different climates. Our pansies have been gone some time now.

    Still loving the hakonechloa “all gold” and my caramel heuchera. Two new plants catching my eye are the Acalypha Haleakala (Margaret, why must all your plants be so difficult to pronounce/spell?) and the Anagalis “Wildcat Mandarin” which I recall from the virtual tour. Love, love the orange flowers. :)

  8. Margaret says:

    I just upended some more violas, in another area, and am having a very hard time deciding what will replace them. I might just have to go shopping, poor me. More than anything I think I need to vary the height of the pots in this particular area, and hmmm….what staging material will I use? Another post in the making, I think. Pondering. Any tricks, anybody?

    @Tammy: The reason all my plant names are so hard to pronounce is because *I make them up.* I have a vivid imagination, and just type whatever comes to mind. (Kidding, but it does sound like it, doesn’t it?)

  9. Mischelle says:

    Love your choices! I especially like the way you use – and reuse – perennials in pots. Every year I choose a couple of fabulous perennials to pot up and then incorporate into the garden in the fall. Heuchera ‘Miracle’ is this years’ choice, ‘Caramel’ was added last year. My yard is smallish and I’m running out of room for new plants, so overwintering them in the veg garden (where I do plant tulips for cutting) to reuse is a great idea.

    And a belated Happy Birthday!

  10. Laura T. says:

    Hi Margaret,
    I’ve been waiting for my purple Frizzle Sizzle pansies to droop and wither away, but with our cool and wet spring we’ve been having in Chicago, they’ve been hanging on! They still look good, but I know they won’t last the whole summer. Your post has spurred me on! I’ll make those pretty arrangements for my windowsill, too and put the replacements in!

  11. ann says:

    These pots of yours are breath taking even now. Hope you let us see them when they have been in awhile. Is that wagon wheel vase from a pottery company in OK?
    I am off to the rodeo! !

    1. Margaret says:

      @Ann: Yes, I have for 20 years or so collected vintage Frankoma Pottery from Norman, Oklahoma (among many other oddball things). I have hundreds of pieces, specifically in the older green glazes, most of them obtained eons ago for $3 or $5. You have a good eye. Nothing precious, but I love green ceramics.

  12. Ailsa says:

    I love it when you talk about ‘staging’ your pots by varying the heights, etc. That’s one of the things I love about your displays; the colour of the pots, the plants in them, and even the colour of your buildings — all so complementary. My trick for gaining height is by upending pots of different sizes and using them as stands for the ones that I plant. I always try to create vignettes with no less than three pots. This year I’ve found the most incredible shell-pink standard fuschia and even though I was going with a yellow scheme, included it in the mix by pairing it with burgundies and differing shades of yellow. Yikes! :c)

  13. chigal says:

    My psychedelic blue butterflies are just blooming, so I hope they last the month. I grow mostly herbs and vegetables, and I tuck in tiny cascading flowers like lobelia or climbers like morning glory. Trying tricytris, hakonechloa, sweet woodruff (smells great by the door) and maidenhair fern in the shade. Everybody looks happy, so far, except the cat.

    He kept gulping down whole hakonechloa leaves and then depositing them on the rug. Hope Jack has a little more restraint. I moved the grass out of reach, but he still tries to give us a scare now and then. He’s snubbing catnip, apparently holding out for hakonechloa. Cat umami?

  14. Catherine says:

    Hi Margaret,
    How do you keep your pea gravel looking so pristine? I have a large yard filled with pea gravel behind my brownstone in Brooklyn Heights and it is covered in all the delightful detritus that falls off of the large oak trees overhead. Raking doesn’t seem to work. Any tips?
    Thanks!

    1. Margaret says:

      Welcome, Catherine. There are no overhanging trees in the area where I have the most gravel. I do use a flexible rake in spots where it is a problem, but better yet, a portable small leaf blower (but I resort to that maybe twice yearly as I hate the thing). In areas where there is a lot of fallen debris, topping up the pea stone a bit with new after we leaf-blow/rake is an annual ritual here.

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