This is what my wall pocket looks like right now, decked out for the holidays with two wintergreen plants, (Gaultheria procumbens) and a lemon cypress cupressus macrocarpa ‘Goldcrest Wilma’. I have had this pot for many years and am fond of it, but finding just the right plants has always been a challenge. It is attached to the wall next to our front door. The roof of the deck is plexiglass beyond a two-foot overhang, so it gets indirect sunlight. Early on, I was very pleased with a planting of Streptocarpella, which had deeply grooved, velvety leaves with pale blue blossoms on wiry stems that danced with the slightest breeze. Sadly, I have not seen this plant for sale anywhere in years.
A couple of years ago I hit upon this combination: a pale blue lobelia flanked by two sweet potato vines named ‘Marguerite’.
The lobelia did not fare well, but Marguerite flourished.
By season’s end, she was trailing flirtily down the wall.
With the idea of building on the previous year’s success, I repeated the Ipomoea, this time ‘Lime’, but I really did want to punch it up with a bit of contrast. Aha! A coleus with sunset tones and just a smidge of lime at the edges would be perfect.
What went wrong? I examined what was left of the plants for predators: nope. The plants had come from the nearby one-stop. While they were not primo, they gave no clues that they would end up like this. I had to believe I was the culprit. I dumped out plants and soil, then soaked the pot in a bleach solution overnight.
The replacement plants (from a real nursery, just to be on the safe side) were a less satisfying color combination, but they did thrive. My wish for you in the new year is that you will thrive, as will all that you touch…in the garden and elsewhere. I am looking forward to sharing 2012 with you.