by Teresa Kluver
Have you started planning your summer flower displays? If not, let me remind you of the beautiful addition annual flowers can make to your deck, patio or landscape.
In Redmond we plant over 2500 square feet of summer annuals, mostly at park entrances and public buildings. In addition the street corners of downtown get adorned with over 325 pots planted and cared for from May through September. We receive many comments about the spectacle of these plantings. Here are a few suggestions to guarantee that your own annual flower creations receive the same rave reviews from your friends and neighbors.
There is nothing wrong with selecting tried and true performers when choosing your annual plants. Petunias, marigolds, impatiens and many other annual flowers will bloom all summer long with consistent fertilizer, water and minimal care.
Know the Location
Shade, sun or some of both. If you plant petunias in a shady spot, you are certain to be disappointed. However, be assured there are colorful annuals that will be successful in whatever sun exposure you may have.
Foliage vs. Flower
Sometimes we only think about the flower. We are drawn to the bright pinks, reds and yellows of summer color. But what about foliage? Coleus is available in a rainbow of colors. In addition variegated (two-toned) leaves or foliage that is large, finely cut or vertical in nature has the potential to add something special to your plantings.
Vines, perennials, ornamental grasses and small shrubs can all be added to container plantings to add texture, height and visual interest. Don’t forget all the great plants that also trail over the sides of your containers or spread great distances in the shrub beds. The vine of the sweet potato (Ipomoea) is one of our favorites that provide a great effect in our decorative pots.
Food and Water
We may all start using similar soil, plants and pots. However, it is the plants that receive consistent care – that means food and water – that really provide the greatest show all summer long. Never let your plantings dry out completely. And feed constantly. In addition to a long-lasting fertilizer mixed into your soil, for the lushest plantings, it is necessary to provide extra nutrition with a liquid feed throughout the growing season.
Summer color is only a few months away. Plan now for a season-long display that will be enjoyed by all.