Category Archives: Gomphrena



You may recall that earlier this spring I made another attempt at figuring out my patio pots.

Years of so so results had left me not at all excited about container gardening.

I’m pleased to report I think I’ve figured it out.

My theory was all wrong.

For years I have planted lots

And I mean lots of small bedding plants.

Petunias, marigolds, petunias…

I always picked a variety in case it was a bad year for a particular plant.

It had worked lots of places that I had lived and gardened.

But for some reason the theory was all wrong here.

I think it’s because the pots are so big

And I couldn’t put anything tall  like a topiary basket

in the middle since it would block the view from the breakfast room.

So this year I went for fewer bigger plants.

I mean bigger in every sense of the word.

The plants were bigger when I started

and their grown habit is bigger in the end.

The center is deep red Dipladenia.

Though the one that’s in the sun all day fades a bit.

Both pots had Nierembergia that wintered over.

Mostly purple.

To that I added golden Lantana

and blue Plumbago

Those are the “big” plants.

I did fill in with Gomphrena

Impatients on the shady side

and even a few Petunias.

Initially I left last winter’s lettuce.

Bit by bit it was pulled up and the new plants allowed to fill in.

It was a very good idea. 

I never had huge holes

Which made for a smooth transition.

Now chances are that because I have so many plants

that at maturity are big enough to fill the pots on their own.

That they will get way to big in the next month or so.

I’ve come up with what is, for me, a novel solution.


You may realize by now that I have a hard time reigning things in.

Myself included.

So as the Lantana heads across the steps to join hands with its sister in the pot on the other side.

I’m thinking it’s ok to whiddle on it a bit.

We’ll see.

Enjoy the week.



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Filed under container gardening, Dipladenia, Gardening, Gomphrena, Impatiens, Lantana, Nierembergia, Plumbago, Uncategorized


A few years ago we re-did the back patio.

Lifting all the worn out brick,

Expanding it a bit and

Replacing it with new brick.

At the same time we bought GIANT new pots

Traditional Rolled Rim Italian clay were our choice

Rolled Rim Italian Clay

Rolled Rim Italian Clay

I think we were on the garden tour that first year.

So I invested in fantastic pink tropical Hibiscus.

Glorious in the green house

Not a bloom on them the weekend of the garden tour!

Thus began my years of problem pots.

I won’t bore you with  year by year disaster stories.

Suffice it to say that I’ve had trouble finding the right mix.

Last fall I murdered the mile high purple fountain grass.

Last Year's Attempt

Last Year’s Attempt

It was great till it grew so tall I couldn’t see my garden from the breakfast room

And…the wind blew it over onto the flowers.

So out it went.

For lack of a better idea I just planted them to lettuce.

Peg Checking on the Lettuce

Peg Checking on the Lettuce

Made sense to me.

The pots are close to the kitchen

For easy cutting.

And with the mild winter I had terrific lettuce for months on end.

Now that it’s late spring it’s starting to bolt

And taste a little bitter.

Besides I’m having  a luncheon in my garden next week

So I had to do something.

The answer came at my friend Susan’s front door.

Dipladenia Deep Red !

Dipladenia Deep Red

Dipladenia Deep Red

I found it at my favorite local nursery in hanging baskets.

Brought them home and was ready to pull up all the lettuce.

When I stopped.

Let’s try just pulling up only the lettuce I need to make room for the new plants.

Leave the rest for filler.

Great idea.

Along with the Lettuce, Nierembergia survived the winter

And is blooming wildly…more filler.

Winter Survivors: Nierembergia & Lettuce

Winter Survivors: Nierembergia & Lettuce


Next I added True Yellow Lantana, plumbago, Gomphrena, and Purple and White Petunias.

White Cascade Petunia  "Short-Term Annual"

White Cascade Petunia “Short-Term Annual”


I know, I swore off petunias last year.

But they sucked me in so

I did a paradigm shift.

I don’t expect them to survive the whole summer. 

I now consider them “short-term annuals”!

Don’t buy very many and tuck them close to something that will live.

And again, I only removed the lettuce that was necessary.

The end result is well, great in my book.

Full & Finished !

Full & Finished !

The pots look full.

Much fuller than normal for this time of year.

As the plants grow, the lettuce will die.

Nature will take its course.

Love when that happens.

Enjoy the week.


Saturday Morning Visitor

Saturday Morning Visitor

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Filed under container gardening, Dipladenia, Gardening, Gomphrena, Impatiens, Lantana, Lettuce, Nierembergia, Petunia, Uncategorized