Here are some of the plants I used in containers for my shady front porch. There are lots of bright, colourful flowers to liven up the area. Much of my garden has subtle colours and leaf combinations, but the porch is separated from the rest of the garden, so I went for a vivid look with these shade planters, including lots of petals.
Above are some of the new plants, still in their pots on a tray. These all make great container plants with their long blooming time. They are annuals, or treated as annuals in a cold climate. It’s possible that the begonia and fuchsia are wondering what they’re even doing in zone 3, and why they didn’t make it onto the shipment to Florida. Most of these flowers will fold at the first sign of frost.
You would think there would be a finite number of ways to arrange them, but I tried lots of combinations.
The Lobelia and double flowering Impatiens are two annuals that I often plant into my shady perennial beds. They blend nicely in a mixed bed, as well as working well in a container with their long blooming time. They will flower right up until Fall. The Impatiens will collapse at the first frost, but the Lobelia is more tolerant of a little cold at the end of the season. The photo above is a double flowering pink Lobelia ‘Balfieplos’ (Apple Blossom). I love the soft pink colour and beautifully folded petals.
The tuberous begonias can handle a lot of shade, and get covered in these large flowers all summer. This beauty is a Begonia Non-stop Pink, with lots of crinkly petals. The shadings from light to medium pink are very attractive. It looks great in the blue ceramic planter.
The large white double begonia on the tray above is picked from Memory Mix. It has lots of bright petals that stand out against the dark green leaves. This one is very noticeable in the darker shade on the recessed front porch.
The deep pink, almost red Begonia is supposed to be Picotee Lace, but I don’t see a white edge on it. It looked pink when I picked it out, but in this light it is looking more red, poinsettia red.
I used to grow mixed Schizanthus in the beds of my last garden. Now some are available as separate colours, and growers like to trademark them. This one is a rose bicolor. They should work well in the planters, since they have masses of flashy blooms. The Schizanthus worked better in part shade than full shade. You can see more tender plants in planters in this followup article.
This is Fuchsia ‘Dollar Princess’. Those plump red buds are very attractive, and soon they will be dripping with intricate fuchsia blooms. I like how they look against the cobalt blue pot. They’re a classic shade plant, and will cascade nicely over the sides of the planter.
This is a view from above of one of the flower containers, as I walk down the steps. The planter is full of pink red tuberous Begonia and blue Lobelia. Do you think I could have stuffed any more blooms in there?
I had a lot of fun designing these containers this year. The picture above shows them while I was still arranging them in their packs. They are all grouped on my front porch, so it is easy to keep them watered. One advantage of pots in the shade, is that you don’t have to water them as often. Did you make up any flower planters this year? What are your favourite combinations?