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Playing with my container plantings this year.  My neighbor has a black walnut tree that hangs over into my yard so the root system also creeps over into my soil.  It carries with it a substance called Juglone that is toxic or growth-stunting.  This is intentional by the black walnut to keep other plants out of its territory.  Boo hoo! for a gardener – it works very well.  I have learned that if I want success in my back yard I must use pots. Here is what I came up with.

Clockwise from largest leaves

keeper of the gate

keeper of the gate

chinese lantern flowers

  • Colocasia esculenta
  • Glossy leaves and red flowers of the Dragon Wing Begonia
  • Vining Flowering Maple ‘Chinese Lantern’ Abutilon megapotamicum 
  • Cardinal Flower “Queen Victoria’ Lobelia x speciosa

Close-up of the flowering maple – easy to see why it’s common name is ‘Chinese Lantern’


Clockwise from evergreen

dwarf container

  • Jean’s Dilly Dwarf Alberta Spruce ‘Iseli Introduction’
  • Sedum spurtum ‘Elizabeth’
  • Hens & Chicks
  • Sedum pluricale ‘Ezawe’



Clockwise from large white leaves

caladium container

  • Caladium candium 
  • Verbena Tukana White
  • Licorice vine petiolare
  • Morning glory (tucked in back – heart shaped green leaves vining up the trellis) heavenly blue


caladium flower budCaladium flower bud snuggled under the shade of the leaves
caladium flowerI’m seldom fortunate enough ot have a caladium flower – nice!


DSCF3240_0452 (2)The experiment out front is with the window boxes.  I put the grass with its soon to be tall plumes waving in the center but put one type of  salvia, hummingbird, and white lobelia on the right and another type of salvia and superbells on the left.  I have decided that the yellow tint to the superbell leaves really detracts from the white of the flower and the very white of both the lobelia and hummingbird salvia already looks quite striking against the dark red grass and I can’t wait for that side to fill out through the summer.  There have been hummingbirds in the salvia too that I can see out the window every evening about 8pm!

Clockwise from dark leaves

dalia container

  • Dalia with nice dark leaves – will have a lavender flower
  • Licorice vine Helichrysum petiolare
  • Verbena with brilliant white flowers
  • Osteospermum lavender flowers
  • Euphorbia ‘Diamond Frost’



fuchsia do

  • Fuchsia for her stylish hairdo this year





begonia and creeping jenny2

  • Brilliant flowers of the white Begonia tuberhybrida
  • Creeping jenny for the cascade Lysimachia nummularia ‘Aurea’




green peppers container

  • Growin’ Green Peppers
  • Threw in an orange Gerbera daisy for a bit of fun




tomatoe container

  • Growin’ tomatoes – started ’em early – nearly ready!
  • Always add merigolds to help keep pests away




beans and superbells (calibroachoa)

  • Growin’ green beans
  • Threw in some red superbells for a bit of fun




beets, lettuce amoung the cukes

  • Growin’ beets and lettuce in the pot surrounded by cukecumbers

These are in the front yard so no black walnut toxins among the cukes




There are other baskets and pots about…nasturtium by the kitchen so I can pick the flowers for salads, strawberries for breakfast also out the kitchen door,and gerbera daisy (not in flower) & portulaca along the walk to the shed

along the walk



The lizard and the turtle hold their little pots of sedum on the shed.  I used pencil holders packed with sphagnum moss to hold the soil for a small hanging basket.

sedum 2


Past the shed, on the new benches along the fence, is where the colocasia etc., dwarf spruce etc., yellow oenothera with portulaca, and zinnias with portulaca sit.

keeper of the gate

keeper of the gate

right of the gate

right of the gate


It will be fun to see how the dwarf spruce grows.  I was told it should be 2-4″ taller each year until it reaches about 3′.  Perfect for my pot on this bench.






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