"Grow your own way!" I said as I finished my talk at the Springbreak Garden Centre in Hillcrest Mines Alberta. I wanted to empower gardeners, not lecture to them, as I spoke to an enthusiastic crowd in a region low on frost free days (zero per year on average according to one enthusiastic gardener.)
It is easy after thirty plus years of working and reading and studying gardening to simplify everything down to five easy points or ten things to remember but I would rather guide than give clear answers. And that is why my patio pots look nothing like the ones I will write about in my Calgary Herald column next week. If you have been following my columns they are crazy fun with full-on cartoons. If you like them send a note to the Herald- they need positive feedback for new ventures such as this. Spoiler Alert: I liken dracaena to old school Elvis sideburns.
In the past I have used dramatic golden bamboo, tall dinner plate dahlias and exotic evergreens in my patio pots. This year I have put together a new palette because my backdrop is all green - as in a beautiful park. In the picture shown I have included Wine & Roses Weigelia in the back as the tall thriller plant because it its dark coloured leaves and golden veins; Golden delicious pineapple sage repeats the yellow veined thriller plant while tequila sunrise and ruby double superbells add blooms to the middle filler section. Wojo variegated vinca and Caliente Orange ivy geraniums finish off the pot as the spillers. The pot is just planted so it will get bigger and better over the season because for the first time ever I added a slow release fertilizer in the pot and my husband built me a great little portable irrigation system (details to follow.) I am built and ready to go. But first I am off to Fort St. John in northern British Columbia where I will be speaking to the local horticultural club and visiting the reportedly amazing Dunvegan Gardens greenhouse. "It is the heart of gardening in this area" said the program organizer Lynette. I can hardly wait. There is a good chance I will be rebuilding or adding to my pots when I get back. Watch for it!
It is early days for the newly planted pot above - I will add updated photos as it grows.