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Easy and Long-Lived

Easy and Long-Lived

By Pamela Crawford, Author, Easy Container Gardens
Photographs courtesy of Pamela Crawford

I was amazed at the performance of these plants in a long, hot summer. They bloomed continuously through seven months of record-breaking temperatures, including a ten-day run of temperatures over 100 degrees! I did nothing to any of them other than water for their entire, seven-month life!

The centerpiece (Salvia farinacea ‘Mystic Spires’) is the best salvia I have ever tried in containers. It lasted a full seven months without growing so large that it might fall over or take over the arrangement.

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The Plants

Salvia farinacea ‘Mystic Spires’: 3 plants from 4” pots.

Creeping Jenny: 18 plants from 4” pots.

Scaevola ‘New Blue Wonder’: 17 plants from 4” pots.

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Light: Medium shade to full sun.

Season: Plant when the temperatures range from 45 degrees to the low 100’s. This arrangement tolerates both extremes well.

Lifespan: About seven months in this large container.

Care: Fertilize on planting day with a slow-release mix. Repeat if the leaves look yellowish or washed out. If you have time, remove the dead flowers from the salvia.

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Water: Water thoroughly when plants show signs of wilt, or the soil feels dry when you push your fingertip into the potting mix. Expect to water every day in summer. This container is a great candidate for an automatic drip irrigation system. If attached to a timer, you never have to spend time watering.

Troubleshooting: No problems.

Planting Plan: Alternate creeping Jenny and scaevola around the sides. Plant the salvia in the center. Alternate the creeping Jenny and scaevola again around the edge.

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Container: Kinsman’s #ZGB20 double basket (20”W x 11”D). Available from I made a YouTube video to show planting one of these baskets. It's called “How to Plant a Spectacular Basket.”

Installing the Column: The 42” column is sold in a kit that installs easily and fits this basket well. The product number is ZGBC42. Available from

This is an excerpt from Pamela Crawford’s book, Easy 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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