Showy perennials in Colorado

vancojoJune 10, 2011

My sister in Colorado (near Boulder) is convinced that she can not grow perennials in her patio pots--but she is tired of redoing annuals every year. I am tryng to convince her that perennials will truly light up her life, but since I live in the Pacific Northwest, the examples from my yard aren't necessarily travelling well.

Any suggestions? I think she would accept herbs and ornamentals, but not vegetables. Orientation is sun to part sun and I realize that wind and dry are features of this area. She is accustomed to having some hanging containers and others on the patio.

Describe your most glorious containers, and I will take from there.

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I live in an urban area and have a concrete backyard. Years ago I switched to perennials in containers because of the variety and the expense of buying annuals ever year.

The key is to use larger containers. I have a five-year-old climbing rose easily 15 feet tall with a Henryi clematis entwined throughout. I love my lace cap hydrangea. I have two other roses, one a floribunda and the other a Kordes. I have a running bamboo in a large container my husband made. I'm not as pleased with my honeysuckle because it's prone to mildew, but it is covering the top of my fence for six feet both ways.

Echinacea does extraordinarily well. My butterfly bush is new this year but only because a heavy snow snapped my old one. I have a Japanese forest grass that is thriving.

I also have a small water garden with the smallest available water lily (Helvola) along with several other plants. I have two other water plants in galvanized pails.

I have two plants I overwinter inside (papyrus and a taro) and I dig up my cannas. Otherwise, everything remains outside, though I group the pots that move in a protected corner against the house. I water if we have an extended dry period in the winter, and I shovel snow atop them when we get a storm.

In the summer, I need to water most plants every day. I fertilize every two weeks.

I've lost very few plants in the seven years that I've been doing this.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2011 at 10:49AM
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