As we are getting ever closer to the first frost here, when these containers will be done for the year, I guess I had better document what I did this time around!
First, I have to say, these wouldn't have happened at all without the help of my in-laws.
My mother-in-law, especially, knows how much I love flowers.
She set aside time for me to go shopping while we were visiting them back in June (when I was 8 1/2 months pregnant), then later came up and helped get everything planted. She's wonderful!
Overall, I have been pleased with them.
I did it very differently this year than in year's past.
This time around I decided to have foliage be the star of the show, rather than flowers.
Part of that decision is that my porch is shaded, so most of my usual choices wouldn't work.
The other part of it was the hope that they would stay alive longer with less coddling.
It has worked, for the most part!
They're all almost the same.
A big purple-leaved coleus as the centerpiece, with purple fountain grass on the side.
Some have the trailing vine shown above and below (the name escapes me at the moment); one pot has a sweet potato vine.
I filled in the gaps with purple petunias and lobelia, all of which have died by now.
I bought pansies last week to replace the dead flowers, but at this point, I think I will just plant the pansies in the flowerbed instead. Once a true frost hits, the coleus will be history, and I plan to replant the purple fountain grass in the flowerbeds anyway.
I'm going to remember this for next year, though.
I think I may be onto something with the focus on foliage.
Every year it seems the flowers either stop blooming very early on, or die off like these did, so I haven't been very happy with my containers.
These have managed to look good and provide color on my porch for 3 months now, with only intermittent watering.
Plus, the coleus have gotten huge! They make a dramatic statement they're so big.
Mark my words--next year may be a variation on this theme!
Note to my future self: the container on the end actually got quite a bit of sun, as it turned out.