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By Pamela Crawford, author, Instant Container Gardens
Photographs by Pamela Crawford

I planted this basket to take advantage of some gorgeous delphiniums I found at a garden center. I knew they wouldn’t bloom for the five months that I aim for, but I just couldn’t resist them. The snapdragons planted on either side don’t bloom continually, like the delphinium. By planting the two together, at least one of them bloomed the entire time this basket lived.

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The Plants

Delphinium: One plant from a one-gallon pot.

Pink wax begonia: Six plants from 4.5” pots.

White wax begonia: Ten plants from 4.5” pots.

Plectranthus variegata (variegated mint): Six plants from 4.5” pots.

Snapdragons: Six plants from 4.5” pots.

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Light: Light shade to full sun is ideal.

Season: Varies, based on where you live. Plant this mix when your temperatures range from 33 degrees to about 80 degrees F.

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Lifespan:Four to five months in this container, but only if you replace the delphinium after about two months.

Care: Fertilize on planting day with a slow-release mix. Repeat if the leaves look yellowish or washed-out. Pinch the mint as needed to keep it even and full. It will trail if you leave it alone, and you may prefer it that way.

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Water: Water when the plants show signs of wilt or the soil feels dry when you push your fingertip up to your second knuckle into the potting mix. I watered this one every three days (after it was about a month old).

Troubleshooting: No problems. This was a wonderful, trouble-free basket.

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Planting Plan: A bit complicated. Alternate the two colors of begonias and the variegated mint around the two side layers. Plant the delphinium in the middle. Plant three snapdragons on one side of the delphinium and three on the other. Fill in with white begonias.

This is an excerpt from Pamela Crawford’s book, Instant Container Gardens, available through Amazon and other online booksellers.

Pamela Crawford, author of 12 gardening books, is considered one of the most accomplished container gardening experts in the country. In addition to designing gardens for over 1500 residences, her work has been featured on the cover of Better Homes and Gardens publications as well as in Southern Living, HGTV Magazine, Fine Gardening, Country Gardens, and in over 300 newspapers. As an expert in her field, she has appeared on the Fine Living Network, GardenSMART, and numerous local tv shows.

All articles are copyrighted and remain the property of the author.

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