Landscape Logic column: Mid-season fix-ups for flowers on the fritz
Around the Fourth of July, it’s common to have patio pots that are a mix of thriving flowers, and foliage and some stragglers that are less than lush.
Maybe you were on a trip that resulted in neglect or you have been too busy to water, mix the fertilizer and dead-head the blooms regularly. It happens.
Fortunately, there are quick fixes that can get containers looking nice for the rest of the barbecue and patio season. Here are things you can do to restore your container ambiance:
• If most of the plants are dead or droopy, then pitch them and pick up a ready-to-go planter filled with annuals from the local garden center. Your total time for this task is just your drive time.
• If only a few plants are scruffy, then remove them and drop in a fresh plant in each place where one has been removed. Before you get a replacement, see if you can diagnose what went wrong. Was the waning plant a shade plant that was in too much sun? Did you plant a lower-water plant next to a thirsty one? Plants with mismatched water needs can cause one of them to fail. Once you have selected good replacements, it will probably not take more than 5 minutes per container to replant.
• If you have a container that needs all new plants, then a fast fix is a color bowl or hanging basket from the garden center. Again, your DIY time will be drive time plus how long it takes to remove the old plants and some soil from the container, and put the fresh plants in it. The makeover will be instant!
Fixing Bare Spots
What about bare spots?
If plants got unevenly spaced at planting, or just one plant needs to be removed, then there are some quick fixes that may not require more plants. Here are a few ideas:
• A bare spot in the center of a container is a great place for a large candle — and even a glass hurricane around it if there’s room. Once the hurricane is in place, but before setting the candle in it, fill the inside with a layer with enough clean white sand to cover the soil.
• Use obelisks to add height and form in containers. Dried branches with unique shapes can do the same.
• Other objects such as glass orbs, little sculptures, small animals or figurines made for gardens — or any artistic element that matches your style and décor — can quickly fill a bare spot. Even a little truck or tractor from the kids’ toy box can be a fun addition.
With minimal time and effort, your containers will once again be dressed up for the party.
Becky Garber is a member of the Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado of which Neils Lunceford, a landscaping company, is a member. You may contact them at 970-468-0340.