Barbara Peake Wise is the author of Container Gardening for All Seasons (Quayside Publishing).

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A Bowl of Beauty
by Barbara Peake Wise    

Ah, the mixture of foliage and flora as a harbinger of spring. Bring color and textual contrast to a sunny spot with this combination of perennials and annuals. Save a little money with this combination by planting in early spring from 4-inch pots and allow them to fill in. Million bells (Calibrachoa) thrives in the moderate temperatures of March and April but can’t handle a freeze, so you will want to bring this planter indoors if the temperature is threatening to dip to 32 F or below.  

This recipe provides three seasons of interest, starting with the rich contrast of obsidian and chartreuse in the Heuchera leaves mixed with the Calibrachoa, whose colors echo the obsidian and chartreuse in its flower. As summer approaches, the Heuchera begins to send up its airy flower tendrils while the Agastache prepares to bloom. As summer deepens the Sedum begins its slow blossoming while the Calibrachoa and Agastache are rich with color.  

When planting in early spring, add a slow-release fertilizer and repeat in midsummer to keep them in strong bloom. This recipe prefers to be on the dry side, but use the Calibrachoa as your indicator plant. When it begins to slightly wilt, it’s time to water.  

A. Heuchera ‘Key Lime Pie’
B. Heuchera ‘Black Pearl’
C. Superbells Evening Star (Calibrachoa hybrid ‘USCAL42202’)
D. Sedum hybrid
E. Agastache ‘Arizona Sunset’ 



A version of this article appeared in a previous print edition of State-by-State Gardening.
Photo courtesy of Barbara Wise.


Posted: 03/15/19   RSS | Print


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