In the Northeast they say annuals shouldn’t be planted until after Mother’s Day because of the chance of frost. It has been a rainy spring thus far, but good news is everything is nice, green and warming up nicely. Now that Mother’s Day is behind us, it’s time to plant!!!
I have a large wrought iron urn out back that my husband gave me years ago for our anniversary. I LOVE it. It will be one of those things that I take with me wherever I go. We got it in Pennsylvania but the irony is it came from North Carolina! So one day it will return to its roots, like us. Because it is so big, it takes quite a bit to fill it up. The old adage, thriller, filler, spiller comes in handy when planting this baby. This is how the urn looked last year after a few weeks. (and the pool was open)
Over the years I’ve tried different thrillers (the tall statement piece in the middle). I try to pick something that will last most of the season. Mandevillas seem to fit the bill. They are tall and stately and bloom most of the season. (Until frost) I like the white ones but the pink ones are beautiful too. This year I found a nice size white one at the grocery store for $19. At the nursery they are twice as much. Here are the flowers I used this year.
I was lucky last year some volunteer petunias came up. This year I wasn’t so fortunate. I had to start from scratch. I love to mix dark pink, light pink and white petunias for the filler. Sometimes I use some million bells, lobelia and verbena, too. This year I used bacopa, and petunias. Thank goodness for SUV’s!
For the spiller I like vinca vine, sweet potato vine and/or ivy. Sometimes the sweet potato vine gets a little too aggressive and I have to trim it back but I love the light green contrast of its leaves against the darker green of the other flowers. That is a go-to every year.
I love the high quality of nursery plants, but if you hit the home improvement stores early on, they have a great selection and the prices are much more reasonable. I like to buy the bigger pots and pack them in. Instant gratification! This is how the urn looks today. (below) In a few weeks, with a little TLC and Miracle Grow, the urn will be a show stopper!
Last year I kept the mandevilla until the frost. I added some pumpkins, decorative kale and mums. The ivy was left over from the summer. It was a nice refresher for the urn and lasted until Thanksgiving. Sometimes I use an annual purple ornamental grass for the thriller. It looks nice too. Happy Planting!