By Marianne Binetti
I’ve been inspired by two cool new plants I found at my local Lowe’s. Fortunately I can “contain my enthusiasm” by growing them in pots!
The first is a spiky cordyline named ‘Sundance’ -- and the supple, grasslike foliage seems to dance in the sun. The warm orange color tones drew me to this new annual, making it the inspiration for a tall urn, surrounded by other flowers with sunset color tones.
I planted an orange-and-rust petunia and two bright salmon daisies around the focal point cordyline and added a glass ball just for fun. Other companion suggestions are bright-orange geraniums, salmon begonias, or anything that blooms yellow. This cordyline also does well in partial shade, so adding colorful coleus around the spiky ‘Sundance’ cordyline is another design idea for a shaded spot.
A bright-yellow-and-white calibrachoa called Superbells Lemon Slice is the other new plant I found at Lowe’s. This compact charmer is perfect for smaller pots or tabletop containers. The pinwheel design on the petals adds to the cheerful feel of this petite relative of the petunia. And it’s a sun lover that does well in terra-cotta containers -- even in hot weather.
I used a golden sedum ‘Angelina’, also found at Lowe’s, to separate two Superbells Lemon Slice calibrachoas in this simple design. I like to put solid-color foliage plants next to plants with bicolor blooms for maximum impact. In a larger container you might try adding the sweet potato vine or some trailing white lobelia to showcase this colorful calibrachoa.
I was delighted to find that this new calibrachoa was offered in the larger 4-inch pots for a quicker splash. You can substitute any other Proven Winners calibrachoa you find in the bedding plant section at Lowe’s. I noticed some dark-purple, red, and pink bicolor calibrachoas, or Million Bells, that I’m also going to try.
Notice I also added glass art to this container garden, but the orange orb you see in this container is a vase with the narrow neck pointed down into the soil. I am adding anything orange as accents to my patio this year. Experimenting with new plants and colors is what puts the zip and vigor into the garden -- and the gardener.