BRIGHTEN BARE SPOTS IN LANDSCAPE

container gardeningby Larry Williams, UF/IFAS Extension Agent

There are areas in most landscapes where it just is not practical or possible to bring in the tiller and create a flowerbed. A little imagination, a decorative container and appropriate plants can turn a bare spot into a splash of color.

Consider using a container of annuals to add color to a backyard deck or a paved entrance way. Or what about that area under the tree where grass doesn’t want to grow and where it would be difficult to till without damaging the tree’s roots and the tiller? How about the dry spot where there is no irrigation but where it would be more practical to occasionally hand water a well-placed container of colorful caladiums?

A wide variety of flowering annuals work well in containers. But be sure to select plants based on the exposure. Some annuals will quickly bake in full sun exposure and others will become leggy and bloom poorly in a shady location.

Impatiens and begonias do well in shaded places and remain in flower almost continuously. Caladiums with their colorful leaves also do well in containers in shady areas. It’s more difficult to grow container plants in full sun but there are some annuals to consider for sunny spots. A few to consider include blanket flower (Gaillardia), portulaca and salvia. There are many other annuals that can be successfully grown in containers. There are even sun-tolerant begonia and sun coleus varieties for full-sun places.

Don’t be afraid to try something different. To learn more about this topic, consider attending the following seminar.

Inter-planting for Seasonal Color seminar: Take the guesswork out of providing seasonal color in your landscape and join Okaloosa County Master Gardener Marie Harrison as she presents this seminar on Inter-planting for Seasonal Color. Marie is a local author of a number of books including Gardening in the Coastal South, Southern Gardening, an Environmentally Sensitive Approach, Groundcovers for the South, and Flowering Shrubs and Small Trees for the South. She has much experience in growing flowering plants in our area and will share much of her successes and even some failures. Attendees will learn much about providing color in our North Florida landscapes by attending this seminar. This is the second of our monthly seminars scheduled for the 3rd Wednesday of each month now through October. This second seminar will be held Wednesday, April 15 from10 to 11 a.m. at the Okaloosa County Extension Office located at 3098 Airport Road in Crestview. For more information and to register, please call the Okaloosa County Extension Office at 850-689-5850. Space is limited.

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