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Writing Down Ideas Already For Spring :)

Posted by moonwolf Z6 Central PA (My Page) on
Sun, Nov 21, 10 at 1:30

Hi everyone,

I've been jotting down plants to place outside my hobby room window, which faces south and gets hot and dry (as the rain hardly reaches it). Most of them, if successful, will come from winter sown seeds. So far, I have down the following plants:

Balloon Flower
Butterfly Weed
False Indigo
Some kind of annual vine (I have morning glories, moonflowers, nasturtiums and cypress vine so far)

There will be two simple metal trellises on each side of my window where the vines will grow. I was thinking of putting either the datura or false indigo and then two outer arcs of the butterfly weed and balloon flowers. What do you think? I also have a potted lavender that would work where the datura or false indigo would be. Oh what this does to the creative side of me! I have a little space to work with but not much (most plants will be in pots).

Brad AKA Moonwolf

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Writing Down Ideas Already For Spring :)

Hot and dry is a tough situation, but annuals may be a very good solution to it. Succulents also work well, maybe better as they have a nice structural and foliage interest. I also love Eryngiums - it's years since I grew any but I seem to recall they were bee magnets, and watching bees is one of the best things for me about sun gardens.

My problem with a lot of flowering plants, especially perennial, is that while the flowers are attractive, the plants may not be. For me, balloon flower falls firmly into this category. But it depends to some extent from how far away you will be viewing the plants. Up close, and the enjoyment of the flowers will prevail.

Vines growing up trellises is another potential pitfall because vines don't always grow up quite the way you expect. If you can't get to the area every couple of days to tuck and guide the vines, at least early in the season, they are prone to just forming a tangled lump at the bottom of the trellis - or going somewhere else altogether, following the light. I've never grown annual vines, but know this from various other vines.

Speaking of light, a lot of flowering plants will flower facing the light. Thus, be aware that they may flower toward the sun, not toward your window! That's another reason I enjoy plants with interesting foliage, almost more than flowers.

I do think the fact that you are growing in pots can be a huge aesthetic benefit to your design, as any plant can look good in a nice pot. Personally, I'd put some resources into acquiring pots that are beautiful (try craigslist or various thrift stores if budget is an issue) because the other problem with flowering plants is that they only look good for a while - the pot looks good all the time.


RE: Writing Down Ideas Already For Spring :)

Hi KarinL,

Mostly it's for aesthetic beauty for others than for myself. I will look around for those flowerpots you mentioned. I have lots of plastic pots (mostly from dollar stores)

Mom likes the idea of the balloon flowers with blue morning glories, white moonflowers and the false indigo (our mobile home is light blue with white skirting) and I think it'll look pretty. All of those will be in the ground.

Brad AKA Moonwolf

RE: Writing Down Ideas Already For Spring :)

With your blue background of the house and the blues and other colours of plants, you may want to try including marigolds - orange. It's a punch colour to your plantings. If you have a charity shop you can keep an eye out for interesting items that can be used as a planter as well.

Butterfly weed from seed will be small the first year with or without blooms. The following summer the plants will be larger. I found this link about growing butterfly weed from plants.

I hope this helps. I'm planning new gardens for next spring around our new home build. Lots of challenges in the country - aside from what plants I have to consider the rabbits, deer and other animals...

I hope you post pictures next summer.


Here is a link that might be useful: growing butterfly weed from seed

RE: Writing Down Ideas Already For Spring :)

Hi Peggy,

Thanks for the tip and the link! I'll be winter sowing the butterfly weed too and I hope it'll come up. We have a Goodwill and another thrift store downtown and of course there's always the flea market and yard sales too so I can look for neat ideas for pots.

Brad AKA Moonwolf

RE: Writing Down Ideas Already For Spring :)

I have narrowed it down to the false indigo with the blue morning glories and the moonflowers. I can't wait until next spring!

Brad AKA Moonwolf

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