Sunday, September 5, 2010

Kitchen Container Gardens

This year I nailed it in my opinion, on the kitchen landing container gardens.
Last year I was in the thresh of creating numerous gardens and creating the landing that they sit on now as well. I planted a palette of white, plums, purples and soft gay foliage. It was beautiful but there was something lacking; that punch it needed was absent.

This year I really sat down and contemplated what would work. The backdrop for the containers is our home, which (the wooden half) is painted a gray-green. I love how dark burgundies and purples contrast with the home so that's where I started.

I began with the typical but always perfectly performing sweet potato vine in three different varieties followed by black Alocasia and a Colocasia pictured above that I received from a vendor as a gift with no tag (winter research).

Then came more foliage from the colorful and always promising coleus. I planted several varieties including 'Royal Glissade', 'Mint Mocha', 'Dark Chocolate' and my new favorite 'Henna'

But the one plant that brought the whole composition together and made it all melt was the impatiens. Yes I love impatiens and I'm not afraid to admit it. These are not your typical grandma's impatiens though, they are the light yellow Fusion Glow series.

I planted one in each pot for continuity and keeping the color running through the view.

I planted one other variety and next year there will be many more. The Impatiens 'Jungle Gold' pictured below is a freak out. It's deep gold color and colored throat screams for attention and gaining a height of 18", and 18" wide it is a keeper for next year.

I love staring into the flowers gazing at their unique red markings inside.

Below you can see the black Colocasia and a good shot of Coleus 'Henna'.

I love how simple the colors of foliage can have such an affect together like Ipomea, Plectranthus, and Coleus. Who said you need blooms for a beautiful scene.

This little vignette above is something special. Rex begonia 'River Nile' with Coleus 'Dark Heart' and the peeking bloom of Hydrangea Paniculata 'Tardiva' makes the ultimate composition.

The little earthenware frog below completes the scene.

The "Killer Combination" below; a new little series I will debut soon is of Coleus 'Trailing Black Heart' and Pelargonium 'Vancouver".

Now come the Begonias, In which now I have quite a collection. I have become quite obsessed with them lately as there foliage and blooms are sublime. The added bonus is that they overwinter perfectly in our parlour where they shine away the winter blues.

The variety pictured below is Rex Begonia 'Dark Mambo'. It is the oldest begonia I own and lives outside my kitchen door for the summer.

Next is Begonia 'Bonita Shea', that I purchased from Loomis Creek Nursery. I loved this mound-curled begonia so much that I planted several different pots of it.

Next is another winter research plant from a vendor. A huge begonia with palm leaves that are speckled with white dots. It's gorgeous and adds a real presence to the container gardens.

Although not a begonia, Tradescantia 'Golden Oyster', is a stellar foliage plant and with so many off-sets I will be sure to propagate many of this terrific tropical. The window box below adds height and depth to the gardens.

I hope you enjoyed this close look at my container gardens and I hope the compositions inspire you to experiment and play with color and texture next season!

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