Friday, February 7, 2020

Empty pots no more

I recently emptied two large pots sitting in our front entry area and relocated their contents.  Those pots stood empty for more than three weeks, which surprises even me.  While I think an empty pot can add mystery or perhaps an artistic touch in a well-placed spot in a garden, I'm not capable of leaving mine unplanted for long.  It's arguable that the front entry isn't the right place for empty pots anyway.

This week, on a trip to the local garden center to pick up compost and planting mix (my usual excuse for such trips), I discovered several plants that I thought would do to fill those empty pots.  My choices are a little iffy as one of my key plants has shown itself to be short-lived and I've killed another at least twice but I plunged ahead anyway.  Those empty pots were starting to bug me.

The empty pots in question, photographed in January


The plants I chose to fill the two blue pots were these:

This is Prostanthera ovalifolia 'Variegata' (aka mint bush).  It produces lovely purple blooms but the scented foliage alone is worth its inclusion in the garden.  They never survive more than a couple of years in my garden yet I still love them.

This is Boronia crenulata 'Shark Bay', the plant I've killed twice

I filled in with Nemesia '7th Heaven Mix', white Violas, and Lobularia maritima (sweet alyssum)


The effect is muted but pleasing.  Both the Prostanthera and the Boronia are Australian natives that can get by with partial shade.  I expect the mint bush could grow to 4x3 feet and the Boronia to roughly half that size in their pots.  It's an experiment - and I've been known to swap out potted plants seasonally in any case.

One of 2 identical pots


But I didn't leave things there.  You see, there was this Pericallis hybrid I'd been eyeing for some time and the garden center finally got a supply of smaller plants in stock.  I couldn't pass it up.  One came home with me and I popped it into an empty pot I had stored behind the garage.

This is Pericallis 'Senetti Magic Salmon'.  Isn't that flower color fabulous?


I couldn't get a great after shot of the front door area as it's still shady.

My conclusion is that I could use a few more pots here.  I'll get to that at some point.


Today and tomorrow are supposed to be warmer, with a chance of rain late Sunday and Monday.  Perfect for planting.  Luckily, reinforcements arrived right on time.

I used the gift card a friend gave me for Christmas

My haul includes (clockwise from the upper left): Lobelia fistulosa, Echium wildpretii, Lupinus propinquus, Erysimum x allionii (2), and Clarkia unguiculata (3)


I hope you enjoy the weekend, whatever your weather.


All material © 2012-2020 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

16 comments:

  1. I love Annies Annuals! I do think they have the best packaging in the industry: everything arrives just perfect, and always right on time. I just cannot wait until "the season" starts here...any day now!

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    1. Annie's is wonderful on all counts, Libby - especially when you have a gift card! ;)

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  2. New plants! You will have fun planting this weekend, and a chance of a little rain to water them in.

    Your potted arrangements look very elegant.

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    1. Thanks HB! Fingers crossed for both of us that we get a little rain.

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  3. Looks great, Kris. They look established already. :)

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    1. I hope they bulk up some, Eliza - and that the Boronia doesn't just up and die on me again. If it does, that'll be the last time I plant it.

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  4. Your front entrance looks very inviting. How about adding some hanging pots with something like rhipsalis or rat-tail cactus? I think it would look great off of your pergola.

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    1. I used to hang baskets there, Elaine, but the birds continuously tore them apart for nesting materials! I've used moss, coconut fiber and coconut fiber covered in landscape fabric. The last worked the best but it wasn't the most attractive option. Maybe if I wait until nesting season is over or resort to plastic pots...

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  5. Your pots are very attractive. It is nice having all that fragrance at the front door. People will want to linger on those benches.

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    1. Thanks Lisa. More lingering may happen once the temperatures warm a bit more. We're wimps here and consider anything below 60F too cold to sit outside!

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  6. Very nice! You always find the most interesting plants. I hope your new plants do well and that they are soon joined by more pots. Maybe with some small Agaves in them?

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  7. That Pericallis 'Senetti Magic Salmon is simply stunning! :)

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    1. The Pericallis transformed its color since I put in in that shaded spot by the door, a response to increased shade or perhaps a drop in the temperature. Now I have a better understanding of why it was called 'Magic Salmon', which really hadn't made sense to me before.

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  8. I'm sure it's fun to be planting and have new flowers in your pots at the entrance to your home. I think potted plants at an entrance always add so much and say "welcome to our home".
    I am anxious to get to that point, but it's still 6 - 8 weeks away for us. I guess I'll have to be content to watch you putter around in the dirt for awhile, but I sure am extra antsy this year to get going. I think it's the result of having weather since Christmas that feels more like March than winter.

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    1. We've had a bit of weather whiplash here, Cindy, with warm days followed by cold ones (or what we consider cold anyway). However, if the colder temperatures bring rain with them, they're welcome as we're running well behind in that area this season.

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