Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Tired of Mums? Spice up Your Planters with Something New!

Last year I was horribly disappointed when I planted a mum in a container and a week later, some of the blossoms were already turning brown! After talking to a local farmer who grows mums to sell, I learned that while the season for mums can extend over a period of a few months, a single plant actually only blooms for a week or so. Now, this isn't quite so bad if you are planting mums in your yard and they come back every year. But I wanted my potted plants to last longer than a week!*

So when I read an article in Better Homes and Gardens suggesting the use of edible plants and herbs, I was thrilled! The article suggested using leafy greens such as lettuce, kale, mustard greens, collards, turnip greens and herbs in fall planters. Supplementing the foliage with miniature pansies produced quite a striking result. I was able to go to Homestead Gardens and purchase plants to emulate the suggested technique. In addition, I found the coolest (or should I say hottest?) ornamental pepper plant to grace our front porch. Here are the pics to prove it!

ABOVE: Ornamental cabbage, purple pansies and tricolor sage fill this planter with color. Not only does the tri-color sage continue the color theme while adding height, it can also be harvested for cooking.

BOTTOM LEFT: Ornamental cabbage, yellow pansies, and a fragrant herb which I had never heard of and failed to write down the name of (sorry, guys!).

BOTTOM RIGHT: ornamental pepper plant spices up my porch. I'm not sure if you can tell from this picture, but some of the pepper are red while others are purple.

*If you do decide to plant mums in containers, buy a mum with the fewest number of open blossoms so extend its lifetime. It might be harder to tell what the blooms will look like, but you'll get your money's worth that way.

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