Post Updated: November 8, 2016
The soil around my parents’ house is pretty much Mississippi clay. When it rains, it holds the water for a long time, but it dries out to a hard shell in the sun. This makes it difficult to grow eye-catching plants around the house. They don’t want to work too much with the soil because plants that are so close to the house can also trap moisture against the sides of the house and cause rotting problems.
This summer, while they were away for a few months, I decided to surprise them with a couple of container gardens with seasonal plants on the side of the house where the screen door is. This is a spot that they continuously pass as they leave the house and go to their cars. It could use a little color!
Now, it not being my house, I didn’t feel right moving a lot of plants or trimming them back, but I did the best I could. I would have liked to shape the azaleas some and move some of the irises, but I left it alone. Here are the before and after photos of what I did.
I found these great black planters on sale at Lowe’s this summer. I filled the bottom with plastic bottles (to reduce soil usage) and added good quality potting soil. The plants I chose were:
- Red salvia (annual)
- Purple trailing petunias (annual)
- Yellow hibiscus
- White vinca (annual)
My thinking is that my parents would be able to seasonally change out the plants to continue to keep color in this spot of their yard. I love the mixture of these bright, vivid colors of purple, red, yellow, and white.
I think if I had it to do over again, I would try to add a little more vertical height with a grass or a hibiscus tree. As it was at this time of the summer, there weren’t a lot of choices in plants in my local nurseries. Overall, I am pleased at how it turned out.
Fall Container Garden
These planters are meant to be changed out with the seasons, so this fall we took out the summer plants and tropicals (putting them elsewhere in the garden) and swapped them out with fall-blooming plants: mums, decorative cabbage, snapdragons, and pansies. I also added a trellis earlier this summer with a mandevilla vine to give it some height. The trellis has now been strung with fairy lights which will add a bit of holiday cheer.