Back from our travels we found so many wonderful plants to share with you. Make sure you click on the pictures to really see the plants up close. These plants were all found at The Berkshire Botanical Garden in Stockbrigde, Massachusetts. This post will cover annuals you can use for a display garden. We will talk about perennials in the next post.
This display is extraordinary and really it is just two different plants. The yellow-brown foliage is Ipomoea, the sweet potato vine, yes, like the kind you eat. This variety is ‘Sweet Caroline Bronze’, offering that wonderful color. We often see the green ‘Marguerite’ and dark ‘Blackie’ varieties filling up pots and window boxes. Now you know another variety to add some new color. There are three purple plants in here too, all of which are Ageratum. By using three different varieties you get different heights and colors. For a tall blue plant you might choose the ‘Blue Horizon Tall’ variety. For the shorter blue try ‘Blue Hawaii’. For the rich violet purple color on the right try ‘Purple Fields’ or ‘Artist Purple’.
Falling out of this container with tons of bright pink flowers is Portulaca ‘Pazazz’. What a brilliant display of flowers for the summer. Put this in a pot on your steps or porch and enjoy the flowers every time you walking in and out your door.
This sweet little ground cover with its rich foliage and bright yellow flowers is Oxalis spiralis ‘Burgundy’. Again, adding interest and color to the garden with its colorful foliage. This one could be up in front at the edges of a garden bed to keep it visible.
For something really different and truly amazing you might consider the spiny tomato plant in these pictures. This is Solanum quitoense, aka ‘Bed of Nails’, and it is a defensive plant to say the least. All along the burgundy veins of the large green leaves you will find these sharp, pointy spikes. In my excitement and awe of this plant I learned quickly how sharp these spikes are! This would make a really interesting addition to a specimen garden. For those not familiar with the term “specimen” that means that you have a plant in a visible location specifically because it is great to look at, especially up close.
Plants can be ornamental and functional too. Take this Opal Basil plant…look at the color it will add to your herb garden or even to a pot, and it has a full and rich scent and flavor, much like the green variety.
So there you have some exciting annuals for bright summer display in beds and containers. Stay tuned for the next post on perennials that will offer enjoyment year after year. As usual, any comments or questions are encouraged!
btw – Thanks to my husband, Ed, for his excellent photos.