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What's Blooming 5.23.2016

Roses are Showing Their Colors!


                          Bull's Eye                                                       Smoke Rings


                           Fired Up                                                           First Prize


                       Twilight Zone                                                  George Burns


                       Mardi Gras                                                        Take It Easy

Container Gardening with Perennials

Both small and large gardens have room for containers.

On patios or balconies, the containers may even hold all of the garden! 


Choose a container you love for its shape, color or size. Fill with a good potting soil and choose your plants. Don't restrict yourself to the bright blooming annuals available at this time of year. You can also use perennials, small shrubs and trees in your containers. One of your main deciding factors in plant choice is whether the container will be in sun or shade. Once those decisions are made, you can enjoy those same plants for many years.

Containers can be simple and classic by growing only one plant like a hardy gardenia. It will bloom year after year and perfume the air by your front door or by your outdoor seating area. Another single plant to try is one of the new Patio Peonies, bred to grow in containers.


You can use a collection of containers or just one container with a collection of plants which interact and showcase each other by having different heights, textures and colors. Choose perennials which give the flower shape and color you love- like a coreopsis- but also stay a size good for your container - the Elfin coreopsis. Look for other attributes like the 'Radio Red' Salvia that attracts hummingbirds. You can use small shrubs like an abelia which will stay evergreen, keeping your container colorful even during the winter months. 

Grasses always add great texture and movement while perennial groundcovers like ajuga or vinca can soften the edges of containers when spilling over. They also create a base to highlight your taller plants.                                                                             

All plants in containers need more water than those in the ground. The watering schedule depends on the size of the pot, the type of plants and the number of plants per pot. It can be daily during the hotter months. All this this washes out the nutrients so don't forget to fertilize monthly during the growing season. We recommend Dr Earth's All Purpose for most containers and Dr Earth's Bud and Bloom for those with heavy blooming perennials. You want to have healthy plants in these showcase containers you are creating.

Watch MJ on Garden Time showing some containers filled with perennials.

The japanese maple 'Mikawa yatsubusa' is perfect for planters because it is a dwarf tree. It grows slowly to a maximum of 6 feet tall and wide over 10 years. This allows the tree to remain in a large planter for a long time.

What makes this acer palmatum unique is the dense but compact leaves that grow on short, closely spaced petioles. The leaves overlap each other and seem to cling along the branches.  No need to be a bonsai expert or artful pruner. The branches naturally contort creating a spectacular shape.The tree looks like a dancing puppet when swaying in the wind.

Place 'Mikawa yatsubusa'  where you can see it from a window as it offers year round interest. The five-lobed leaves that are yellow in the spring change to a rich green in summer and back to a mixture of yellow/orange in the fall. The maple seeds or samaras/ whirlybirds are bright red. The bare trunk in the winter is light in color showing a darker texture where the closely spaced buds were. Again, you can really appreciate the tree's unique shape during the winter months.

Fall Color                         Variety of sizes                        Trunk      



           Full to part sun in well drained soil.

           Fertilize once a year in early spring with a slow release acidic blend.

           Consider wrapping the base of the planter if in an area with cold winds or exposed to extreme weather. Hardy to Zone 5

           Good choice to bonsai.



         Late spring color with seeds.

What's Blooming 5.16.2016

So much color at this time of year!

                Daylily 'Stella de Oro'                                Campanula 'Catharina'                

          Hydrangea 'Endless Summer'                            Double Knockout Rose

                Rose 'Julio Iglesias'                                        Coreopsis 'Jethro Tull'

                     Fringe Tree                                                  Black Lace Elderberry