A Container Full of Hope

“The natural flights of the human mind are not from pleasure to pleasure, but from hope to hope.” ~Samuel Johnson

So this foray into mostly container gardening is like beginning again. And so I am back to the beginner’s mindset. Learning, failing with some successes. But as my other learning experiences with gardening have taught me (veg gardening, native plant gardening etc), take it slow, assess, teach yourself, learn and try again. All without judging yourself.

And so here we are. Container failures around 70%. Only 30% of the plants in the containers came back after this harsh winter. And so I have replaced many plants.

Like this hydrangea…

and rose. Both more adaptable for harsher climates. Fingers crossed. I added a ground cover with tiny blue flowers, Laurentia fluviatilis or Isotoma fluviatilis. Also called Blue Star Creeper, part of the Campanula family. Hoping it spreads adding a layer of warmth for the shrubs.

And a new clematis that likes to grow later in the season. I just ordered one and it will be here by the end of May. I planted sweet peas here until I get the new plant.

The round container with bulbs yielded no bulbs. So I am planting my beloved low growing forsythia here in the fall. I have grown it in containers before and it seemed to thrive. But will it flower? We shall see. I had a couple of small pieces left after I dug it up and gave it away last fall. I planted them in the front container and they came back.

I am planting many favorite annuals from seed in some containers, and they are growing beautifully so far….cosmos, nasturtiums, sweet peas and sunflowers.

The two small pots on the north side of the house have all the miniature hostas coming back. So I am allowing them to take the whole pot.

The heucheras and Siberian iris that were also in the small pots were a 50/50 split…half growing and half dying. So I am moving the survivors to a bigger pot in hopes they will rebound and spread.

Herbs will be grown in containers like annuals. Many perennial herbs, like sage, did not come back. I am resigned to the herbs being annuals. So I will replace them each year.

All in all the plants that were left in the ground have grown and flourished so far. Like Korean lilac, ‘Miss Kim’ which was a stick last year. I thought for sure it would not grow, but I was surprised. Now to get this container gardening initiative to thrive. I have to be realistic and take my time. And add some mulch (something I have never done with containers) so they retain moisture and warmth.

I have many flower buds waiting to burst so this week while, I am waiting, I am floating some of my many pansies and violas that I am repotting and moving. I love the look. With our heat they will be fading soon enough.

With this simple sort of vase, in an old flowery cereal bowl, I am linking in to the wonderful meme, In A Vase On Monday, at Rambling in the Garden.

All the pictures shared in this post were taken with my Nikon Coolpix or iPhone camera, and manipulated on my iPhone using the apps, Pixlr and Prisma. You can follow my progress with #the100dayproject in my Instagram and Facebook feed.

All original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Gardens Eye View, 2010-2022.  Any reprints or use of content or photos is by permission only.

14 Replies to “A Container Full of Hope”

  1. Hope you’ll enjoy exploring container garden. It is quite different I find. I have much better luck in ground, but recently had a few successes. The pansies look beautiful and right at home floating in the dish.

    1. Thanks dear Susie. I have so much better luck in ground too because of our harsh winter. That will be the trial again.

  2. Ouch, only 30% of plants survive in containers? As you say, we often explore a learning curve in our gardening as we explore location/techniques/varieties etc – I do hope your new choices are more successful and that you have a rewarding season in your new garden. In the meantime, your floating pansies are so sweet

  3. I’m sure the extreme weather flip-flops gardeners across the country seem to be experiencing this year haven’t helped, Donna. However, even when we moved just 15 miles away from our former home, I found I also had to learn what grew here. I started off with many of the plants that were mainstays of my former garden only to find that this garden wanted a completely different collection of plants. I’ve no doubt you’ll find plants that work in your current location – and in containers.

  4. You have some lovely ideas for containers and I hope they fair better next winter. I find it tricky too, but have found that Sempervivums of all shapes and sizes survive practically everything except being too wet! Same with bulbs. Love the idea of ground cover in containers too.

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