Fall is here and some of the summer annuals are still looking SO good, I don’t want to pull them out yet. The foliage isn’t tattered or tired and with the cooler weather I think they look even perkier than when it was warmer. In these photos, the selected plants never require deadheading, thrive in a shady area with consistent water all summer and everybody had room to grow without crowding their neighbors. Life couldn’t be easier for them.
Browallia is the blue flower in the upper bed of the pond area. It is such an easy annual to grow. It is 10-15” high and loves the light dappled shade here. There is a sprinkler system in this bed so the plants receive a drink three times a week. Browallia doesn’t flop in the shade and never needs deadheading, giving it a tidy appearance.
The companions on the lower bed are Polkadot plant, white vinca and begonia. Polkadot plant (Hypoestes phyllostachya) is a popular annual that stays small (6-8”) and really likes the shade. It’s all about the foliage with this guy. It also comes in a pink and green variety but for this garden, I wanted to keep the color palette green and white.
Beside it is vinca (also known as periwinkle) in white. It, too, is a small annual, growing only 4-6” tall and maybe 2-4” wide. Vinca loves the sun, but can also tolerate this light dappled shade. It doesn’t need deadheading and the flower has a nice clear white color that shines in the shade.
The begonia, another summer annual, is grown for its leaf color and shape. It provides a contrast to the smaller vinca and polkadot plant. Again, there was no deadheading of flowers on this plant because there was no flower! This begonia loves the shade and the cool weather and some may be dug up before frost and repotted to come live inside for the winter.
What a pleasing garden this was for its low maintenance, constant color and leaf contrast and shade tolerance. It is a combination I will keep in my bag of tricks to use again. It all worked!