Rex begonias, dichondra and sedum

Rex Begonias paired with silvery Dichondra and Sedum light up a partly shaded garden.

Choosing plants and planning color combinations for my collection of garden pottery is a satisfying way to spend a snowy winter afternoon. Every spring, I fill these mini gardens with foliage and flowering annuals to decorate my deck, add fragrance to the sitting area in the perennial garden, and flank the path through the orchard.

Amalfi Planters

This year I’m considering a red-hot color scheme for the cobalt blue glazed pot on the sunny south porch. Scarlet-flowered Golden Delicious pineapple sage, deep gold Sunny Alex African daisy (osteospermum), and Tangerine Punch Superbells from Proven Winners will add punch to the front entrance. The cool, ethereal, silver-white flowers and foliage of Diamond Frost euphorbia will cool the mix and cascade over the sides. Tall stems of Spirit Frost cleome add height to the pot and echo the frothy white euphorbia.


Caladiums from Dutch Gardens

The pair of tall planters at the edge of the shade garden were spectacular last summer. Their silver, white, and green palette glowed in the evenings and will be repeated this year. Calla lilies from Dutch Gardens and White Christmas caladiums added height, bold green-and-white-splashed English ivy and frosty White Licorice helichrysum spilled over the edge. I used pale-pink, double-flowered Rockapulco™ Appleblossom Impatiens for the filler and tucked in a couple of Fire and Ice hostas for bold foliage contrast.

I plant the most fragrant annuals in pots by garden seats to entice visitors to linger and enjoy their perfume. Sweet alyssum and purple-blue Atlantis heliotrope combine the scents of honey and vanilla. Devon Cottage™ Rosie Cheeks pinks (dianthus) add a whiff of clove and dash of pink to the mix.

-Ann Whitman, Staff Horticulturist