An ongoing series of container recipes
Story and Photos by Barbara Wise
Sometimes the colors we use when planting container gardens just make us smile. This simple grouping of white, pale yellow, dark yellow, and green in a dark blue pot provides a cheerful spot of color.
In the foreground is Goldilocks Rocks bidens (B. ferulifolia ‘BID 719’). Other names for this plant include Apache beggarticks and burr marigold because the seeds have tiny barbs that hook into clothing.
Goldilocks Rocks blooms continuously and is supposed to be self-cleaning. I’ve found that snipping off dying or dead flower heads helps this plant thicken up and create new blooms. You can expect it to grow up to 14 inches wide. Its great trailing habit and lacey foliage fill this pot nicely, producing a fernlike background for the additional flowering plants.
Two different Petunia varieties join the bidens. The larger white flowers belong to a grandiflora petunia. These produce fewer, but larger, flowers. Pinching stems causes them to double up creating a mound of color, and they can be cut back harder if they become too leggy. This older variety benefits with prompt deadheading to encourage more flowers.
The other pale yellow petunia is Yellow Easy Wave (‘PAS1003473’). Like its companion, it might stop blooming during the hottest months of summer, but cutting it back will encourage more growth and flowers. Like other Wave series petunias, this one can spread up to 3 feet, which makes it a good container candidate. It is considered a multiflora since it produces more, albeit smaller, flowers.
To prove that containers do not have to be crammed with specimens to be interesting, this particular container only has the three plants. They were all cut back slightly when planted and fed a good fertilizer to encourage bushy growth.