Sometimes an eyeball-searing circus of a container planting, including super bright flowers that appear to be swinging through the air on upside down trapezes, is exactly what’s needed. Maybe you just want to give your front walkway a jolt of vibrant colour. Or maybe you’re not getting the whole chic-one-colour-planting trend (like the purple container recipe I just posted last week). Either way, here’s a recipe that ticks all the right boxes: fun, low maintenance, wildly clashing colours.
The thriller (if you had to call only one of these vibrant beauties a thriller) is a Gaura lindheimeri. Gaura, or what I refer to as Butterflies On A Stick, is one of my favourite flowering perennials so I try to work it into the garden wherever I can. This includes container plantings. Although it can grow up to a metre/yard high, like Gaura lindheimeri ‘Whirling Butterflies’, the smaller variety I used here, Gaura Belleza™ Compact Light Pink (seen up close in the photo at left) tops out at only 30-40 cm (12″ – 16″)–perfect for the centrepiece of what will become a pretty raucous planter recipe.
A: Pelargonium zonale ‘Vancouver Centennial’
B: Gaura Belleza™ Compact Light Pink
C: Calibrachoa hybrid Superbells® Saffron
D: Calibrachoa hybrid Superbells® Dreamsicle
E: Lysimachia nummularia (Creeping Jenny)
G: Lantana Lucky™ Sunrise Rose
Then there’s the amazingly coloured ‘Vancouver Centennial’, a zonal geranium with vivid variegated leaves of burgundy and lime green and deep coral red flowers held aloft like a cluster of whirligigs. To be honest, it’s a thriller too, despite the fact that its flowers don’t reach up as high as the Gaura and its fabulous leaves serve to fill the arrangement like no other plant could.
At this point, you’re forgiven if you think this is quite the hot mess happening. Particularly when the Lantana gets added to the mix with its clustered blooms in throbbing shades of tangerine and fuchsia. But the stems of the Gaura are almost an exact match to the geranium’s leaves. And the Lantana pulls together all of the colours within its kaleidoscopic blooms.
Some things to keep in mind with this plant combo:
- The Creeping Jenny isn’t going to creep; it’s going to run. It’ll run straight down the sides of the container and, if it’s allowed to, directly into your nearest flower bed to take that over, too. If there’s one thing I had to keep an eye on in this container, it was keeping this trailer trimmed to stop it from choking the plants within the container and to keep it from reaching the ground.
- These plants don’t mind heat. Interspecific hybrid geraniums (Vancouver Centennial being one), Lantanas, Gaura lindheimeri, and Calibrachoa are all heat tolerant plants so this particular combo is great for a patio or a front walkway where you want unflagging colour.