By Jodi Torpey
It’s time to ditch your regular annual container display and embolden your Mountain garden with more adventurous plantings. Instead of ordinary containers, make them extraordinary by filling them with bold fragrances, flavors, flowers, and foliage.
Start by selecting a surprising container. Big is better when the container is tightly packed with an assortment of annuals that stretch the imagination. Don’t be afraid to combine tall perennial grasses with annuals such as sweet potato vines and cherry tomatoes.
Another bold approach is to plant a fragrant container you love but mosquitoes hate. Fill a large terra-cotta pot with a citronella-scented geranium. This water-wise plant’s lemony scent drives mosquitoes away. Add other mosquito-repelling plants, such as African marigolds and lemon balm, for an especially aromatic patio container.
Like bold flavors? Go all in by planting a habanero plant in a fiery-red container. Habanero peppers ripen to a beautiful tropical orange, and their intense heat and citrusy flavor add a kick to summer salsas.
To help fan the flames, mix the hot pepper plant with African marigolds that match the container’s colors. Besides adding color while you wait for the peppers to grow, the flowers act as a living mulch to keep soil moist and weed-free.
Of course summer containers are all about the flowers. Some plucky gardeners start with their favorite color palette and then defy convention. A brilliant-blue container looks lovely planted with dainty sweet alyssum, pink Supertunias, and pastel geraniums. Then stir things up with a few shocking orange and red gazanias that light up whenever the sun shines brightly.
Another bold but simple approach for colorful containers is brilliant foliage plants. Choose three complementary coleus colors, and plant each in its own large pot. Closely grouping the containers brings a dazzling light display to partly shady spots.
These are just a few savory ideas to liven up your Mountain landscape. Which bold ideas do you have for containers?