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Post by acarol12 » Mon May 16, 2011 3:53 pm

Hi Mark,
I have two large planters bordering my indoor pool. I want to plant perennials this year in both planters. In the past I have planted annuals, and they look very pretty. However, this year I would like something different. I want the plants not more than 6'' to 10" in height and, if posssible, flowering during the summer.
I looked in a few garden centers and found a few perennials I liked.

Dianthus "Red Dwarf" Eastern Star
Dianthus Chinensis Baby Doll
Campanula carpatica Clips White

I know very little regarding these plants.
I would like to know what you thing would be best in these planters. I don't have to use any of the above. I just want the planters to look attractive. A combination of two plants may work, I just don't know! I hope you can help me out with a few suggestions.
The planters get afternoon full sun and late day shade. Would mulch help?
I live in Livingston, NJ (zone 5)

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Re: perennials

Post by lorijones » Fri Jun 03, 2011 5:13 pm

How large are your containers? Depending on the size of you containers, you should plant 3-5 or even more plants per container. Generally they don't need mulch if they are planted and fill in densely enough and you keep them well watered. There aren't really any perennials that bloom all summer like many annuals will. The Dianthus have their heaviest bloom in spring and early summer and sporadic bloom after that. 'Baby Doll' may not be hardy for your area. Campanula 'White Clips' might bloom most of the summer especially if it is dead-headed. If you use perennials, you should pick some that have beautiful, colorful foliage when they aren't in bloom. Heuchera 'Obsidian' a very deep purple leaved coral bells would be a nice addition. Some of the Sedum varieties will give nice color and texture from foliage and flowers - Sedum 'John Creech' is a nice variety to try. Scabiosa 'Butterfly Blue' and Scabiosa 'Pink Mist' are low-growing, long blooming perennials that will do well but may not be winter hardy in your area unless you provide winter protection for your containers. I just wrote a blog post about planting perennials in containers. Here is a link: ... %E2%80%A6/.

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