I made up the flower boxes on the porch railings and table's hypertufa container yesterday, taking advantage of many of the Fort Wayne plant sales.
I limit plant selections. Because the porch is on the north side of the house but gets some sun, plants that like only full sun are out. I'm looking for low maintenance and things that will bloom until frost.
I also want at least one kind of plant that will satisfy the hummingbirds that buzz through on their way to someplace else. They never stay, but my house is on some kind of hummer highway, and they often check out the blossoms and look for teensy spiders on the ivy that grows up Dirt Cottage.
When making up a pot or flower boxes, it is good to have three kinds of plants:
- Vertical accent: I used Spike Dracaena, an upright grassy annual with just a hint of bronze. If you want to check it out, spike is available at most garden centers.
- Trailers: Pots always look good with something spilling over the side. My absolute favorite for this is called bacopa or Sutera cordata, Snowstorm Giants Snowflake. Despite the "giant" part of its name, this actually has dainty leaves and flowers. If the flowers were snowflakes, however, they would be huge snowflakes. As long as you remember to water this baby deeply once a week, it will be dripping with flowers all summer long.
- Filler: I'm trying something new (for me) this years, a fuschia hybrid called Shadow Dancer Betty. Its bold red, pink and white blooms don't clash with the red front door of Dirt Cottage, and I think the hummers and butterflies might actually become pests with this heavy bloomer.