Stephanie Hudak has a business, Creative Gardens, specializing in custom designed containers. She is a freelance writer and frequent speaker at garden clubs and events.

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Lenten Rose Container
by Stephanie Hudak       #Containers

This easy care container plant will provide year-round excitement to a shady corner of your yard. The star of the show will certainly be any one of the plants in the Helleborus Gold Collection, but this container features Cinnamon Snow, with its pink and burgundy tints. Should you want to continue with a flowering plant through the summer, you can gently remove the hellebore and place it in another container or in the ground; then add a pink, purple or white Torenia that will bloom continuously until a hard frost, when you can return your Lenten rose to the container for a seamless year-round event.

With its bright, electric green leaves, the ‘Florida Sunshine’ Illicium, is the plant that draws your eye to the container. Letting your eye drift downward, you can linger on the big, bold flowers of Cinnamon Snow. Next to it sits ‘Rosi Klose’ Bergenia with its shiny deep burgundy leaves (followed in spring with hyacinth-like pink blooms). From clockwise are Redstone Falls Heucherella, which will trail over the edge of the container as the season goes on and Blue Ridge Heucherella with gray green and burgundy veined leaves that echo its sister’s colors. Nearly stealing center stage is ‘Golden Ripple’ Hedera — its color is there to echo that of the Illicium, and its long, trailing stems soften the hardness of the glazed container. For height and texture, an autumn Fern (Dryopteris erythrosora) is placed in the back along with nearly bare willow tree branches. Tucked in along the edge in front is ‘Kewensis’ Euonymus, and in the back ‘Evergold’ Carex adds more texture and color.

This container will provide a bright spot in your garden and require minimal care. At the time of planting, add 1/2 cup of Osmocote or other slow-release fertilizer; mulch with moss or small pine bark to retain moisture and to give a finished appearance; water in well. During the growing season, just ensure that the container gets adequate moisture but is not overwatered, and you will get several years of enjoyment before you might want to rearrange the plants or replace some. “Easy care” does not have to mean “less beauty” — enjoy your creation!


 

Posted: 03/19/12   RSS | Print

 

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