Magazine article Sunset

Big Pots as Quick and Colorful Summer Showoffs

Magazine article Sunset

Big Pots as Quick and Colorful Summer Showoffs

Article excerpt

Big pots as quick and colorful summer showoffs When in drought, do as gardeners in Mediterranean climates have always done--let the edges go a bit, and focus your effort and water on a few big show plants in pots. It's a good idea even when water is plentiful. The culture that gave us the word patio intended it as a place for easy living. Shown are five choice candidates--long-blooming and long-lived flowering shrubs. In pots, all benefit from ample water; oleander can get by with less. For less than $20, you can buy a sizable blooming shrub. For about $5, you can buy one in a gallon can; feed and water it regularly, and its size will surprise you by fall. With good care and frost protection, plants like these should last many years. Check the Sunset Western Garden Book for the choices best suited to your climate. Brufelsia grows best in coastal climates; the others bloom even more heavily inland than you see here. In mild areas, most of these may bloom into November. But once weather gets cold, their appearance ranges from plain to awful. Put them in a frost-sheltered pocket that is out of sight. Remember to keep soil damp. For dense foliage and bloom, prune angel's trumpet, bush bougainvillea, and brufelsia hard just before new growth resumes in spring. For plants uncommon outside urban areas, mail-order angel's trumpet (Brugmansia, also sold as Datura) from Logee's Greenhouses, 55 North St., Danielson, Conn. 06239 (catalog $3). Order brunfelsia (B. pauciflora `Macrantha') from Weidner's Begonia Gardens, 695 Normandy Rd. …

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