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Category Archives: Graceful Containers

Summertime In My Garden…The Graceful Gardener’s Containers…2013

July 27, 2013

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Even though I’m quite late in posting this, I still wanted to share some of my containers with you this summer.  I took many of these photo’s around the 4th of July, but to my surprise, many of my containers are still looking lush and full due to the unusual abundance of rain and lower temps we’ve experienced this summer (usually temps are in the mid-90’s this time of year), and of course, with the faithful application of Annie Haven’s Manure Tea.

Having designed and planted all my own containers for years, it’s truly still one of my favorite ways to be creative in the garden. This year I played around with lots of different colors and I even dabbled a bit in miniature container gardening this year. 

Hope you enjoy the photo gallery of just a few of my containers…

 Romantic white…

Ingredients: Sun Parasol White Mandevilla, ‘Diamond Frost’ Euphorbia, Lobularia ‘Frosty Knight’, Scaevola ‘Bombay’, Supertunia white, White geranium, Dusty Miller ‘Silverdust’, trailing Mezoo, ‘Silver Falls’ Dichondra.


 Burst of Orange…

Ingredients: Canna ‘Australia’, Canna ‘Tropicanna Gold’, Infinity Orange New Guinea Impatiens, ‘Hot Shot’ Orange portulaca, Begonia boliviensis Bonfire, ‘Orange Marmalade’ Crossandra, Sweet Caroline Bronze sweet potato vine.


 Nearly Black…

Canna ‘Australia’, Cosmos ‘Choca Mocha’, Heuchera ‘Obsidian’, ‘Black Velvet’ petunia, Creeping Jenny ‘Midnight Sun’, Iris chrysographes ‘Night Ruler’ (bloomed in spring see below), Scaevola ‘Romeo’.


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Iris ‘Night Ruler’


 Succulent Fever…

I turned a non-functioning fountain into a succulent planter.


Ingredients: Variety of Succulents- Sedums, Echeverias, Trailing Mezoo and my favorite-Kalanchoe ‘Fantastic’. Dichondra ‘Silver Falls’ was also used in this planting.

 Cool Blues…

Blue and White Container Nook in my garden filled with: Plumbago, white scaveola, white petunias, Endless Summer hydrangea, lobelia, Angelonia and Lobularia ‘Frosty Knight’.

 Succulent Basket…

My favorite container in my garden- this huge cement basket- which I purchased over 15 years ago, is filled with an abundance of succulents. They thrive in this basket!
Ingredients: Assortment of succulents: Sedums, Echeveria, Sempervivums, Kalanchoe and my fav-‘Zwartkop’ aeonium.



 Purple Vibes…

Ingredients: Petchoa SuperCal ‘Poppin Blue’, Calibrachoa ‘Double Amethyst’, Petunia Glamouflage ‘Grape’, Scaevola ‘Romeo’, Dusty Miller, Dichondra ‘Silver Falls’, Bourbon rose ‘Mystic Beauty’.


Ingredients :Perilla Magilla, Persian Shield, ‘Divine Lavender’ New Guinea Inpatiens, Calibrachoa ‘Double Amethyst’, Vinca ‘Illumination’.


Graceful Grasses ‘Fiber Optic’ surrounded by blue scaevola, dusty miller,blue salvia, sedum and hosta.

 Peachy Planting…

Ingredients: Miniature Rose ‘Cupcake’, creeping jenny, trailing Mezoo,Calibrachoa ‘Double Amethyst’, ‘Blackie’ sweet potato vine.

 Moody Blues…

Ingredients: Torenia ‘Purple Moon’, ‘Silver Carpet’ Lambs Ear, Barbara Sanderson glass Icicle.

 Variegated Foliage…

Ingredients: Small variegated English Holly ‘Argenteo Marginata’, Lamium maculatum ‘Beacon Silver’, surrounded by Japanese Painted fern and Golden variegated Sweet Flag.



I gave miniature gardening a try this year and love it!  So fun …

I designed a ‘scaled down’ version of my own backyard when I planted this miniature garden container. Lots of stone, dwarf conifers and texture. What do you think?






Of course, I had to plant a Mini-Zen garden….


mini herb

Mini- Herb Garden with some cucumbers…


Probably my favorite of all- My Frog Prince Miniature Container.

 Purple Foliage…

A newly purchased container this year filled with ‘Black Magic’ Elephant Ear, Persian shield, Purple heart Wandering Jew and ‘Black Dragon’ coleus.

 Colossal Orange…

Ingredients: Banana Musa ‘Zebrina RoJo’, Begonia boliviensis ‘Bonfire’, Infinity Orange-New Guinea Impatiens, Dragon wing begonia,Coleus ‘Black Dragon’.


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 Do you enjoy planting your own container gardens?

Check out my post from last year here...

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Captivating Clematis…. in my Garden

June 9, 2013

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Oh, the lovely captivating simplicity of a clematis bloom. How can anyone resist this elegant yet tough vine growing up a trellis, embracing a climbing rose, or meandering through small trees, shrubs or perennials in your garden. This versatile vine can even be grown in containers, given routine care and choosing the right variety.  And to top things off, if you cut their flowers for indoor arrangements they will last for days. Of course, with so many beautiful clematis to choose from, I’m sure any gardener would likely be able to find the right one(s) to grow in their garden.

Well, I certainly couldn’t resist this ‘Queen’ of vines. Hence, I have once again embarked on another plant obsession, adding already to my rose, conifer and Japanese Maple one. These last couple of years I’ve planted more than 50 clematis (the majority I got from Dan Long, at Brushwood Nursery) and somethings tells me I’ll  be adding more of these beautiful charming vines to my garden in the future.


Naturally, since I already have several vertical elements in my garden, clematis seemed an obvious plant choice for me to explore—here’s a peak of a few of them….


Kordes climbing rose 'Laguna' and  Clematis "Gipsy Queen'

Kordes climbing rose ‘Laguna’ and Clematis “Gipsy Queen’



One of the most stunning and largest of the viticellas is Clematis viticella ‘Venosa Violacea‘.  Very dramatic in my garden with its contrasting purple-violet and white flowers. Lovely!

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Clematis viticella ‘Venosa Violacea’



Clematis 'Niobe'

Clematis ‘Niobe’


Clematis 'Niobe'

Clematis ‘Niobe’


 Clematis integrifolia ‘Rooguchi‘ has captured my heart…. lovely ink blue flowers shaped like a hanging bell.

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Clematis integrifolia ‘Rooguchi’


Clematis 'Nelly Moser'

Clematis ‘Nelly Moser’


Large flowering clematis "Crystal Fountain'

Large flowering clematis “Crystal Fountain’

 Wow!  Clematis ‘Crystal Fountain‘ is blooming beautifully in my garden right now.

The flowers are spectacular- 4 to 5 inches wide with a frilly center (resembling a fountain-like spray) against its rich lavender blue star shaped flowers.

Blooms May-September in my Zone 7b garden.

'Crystal Fountain'

‘Crystal Fountain’


Clematis 'Ruutel'

Clematis ‘Ruutel’

Large flowered Clematis ‘Ruutel’ has simply shaped red flowers that blend well with my autumn ferns.

C. 'Ruutel'

C. ‘Ruutel’


Clematis texensis 'Princess Diana'

Clematis texensis ‘Princess Diana’

Clematis texensis ‘Princess Diana‘ has stunning deep redish pink flowers.

The exquisite tulip-shaped flowers are a fine tribute to the late princess.

C.texensis "Princess Diana'

C.texensis “Princess Diana’



C. 'Victoria' and C. viticella 'Etoile Violette'

C. ‘Victoria’ and C. viticella ‘Etoile Violette’

 The striking combination of Clematis ‘Victoria’ and C. vitcella ‘Etoile Violette‘ climbing up one of my many large pine trees…makes for a nice camouflage don’t you think?

C. 'Victoria' and 'Etoile Violette'

C. ‘Victoria’ and ‘Etoile Violette’


Clematis 'Rouge Cardinal'

Clematis ‘Rouge Cardinal’


Clematis x 'Starry Nights'

Clematis x ‘Starry Nights’

Beautiful massive 8 inch bicolor blooms on a relatively new variety-Vancouver Starry Nights Clematis.  I have Starry Nights growing in a large container that’s placed next to a trellis.

C. viticella 'Etoile Violette' and 'Grande Dame rose

C. viticella ‘Etoile Violette’ and ‘Grande Dame rose

Growing up my stone arbor is C. viticella ‘Etoile Violette’ elegantly accompanied by the nodding blooms of Hybrid Tea rose ‘Grande Dame’.

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In all honesty, I’ve just begun my journey with growing clematis so I will confess that I’m no expert. I just plant them in good amended soil, give them reasonable moisture, a good organic fertilizer and shade their roots and they are pretty happy. At least that’s what works for me in my Zone 7b garden.


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For more information on selecting and growing clematis check out these links: