Joy, Gladness, & Spendor

Our entire garden space is visible from our kitchen, office, and family room. It is a living, moving, breathing, singing addition to our daily lives. As such, we keep it groomed, fed, and full of color.

This planter has spent over a dozen years on our patio. It contains my favorite combination of flowers: geranium, pansy, sweet alyssum, and rain lily. The blooms are constant, fall through spring. In late May, I will remove the spent annuals and allow the geranium and rain lily to continue blooming until October, when I will refresh the soil and plants as needed.

If you would like to make one, you will need:

1  Planter, at least 12″ in diameter & at least 9″ deep
1  Geranium plant, small
3  Pansy plants
3  Sweet alyssum plants
Several rain lily bulbs
Potting mix

Center the geranium in your well-draining planter. Tuck rain lily bulbs throughout. Plant three pansies, alternating with three alyssum plants. Water thoroughly. Then sit with a cuppa and enjoy.

These flowers love full sun, fall through spring, with part shade and daily water in our hot Tucson summer. Remove spent pansy and geranium flowers regularly to keep them compact and blooming. Fertilize monthly for continuous bloom. Refresh soil and plants once per year. The rain lily will bloom in the summer through fall. Ours bloom white.

We’ve used red, white and yellow to coordinate with our patio colors.  But how about these combinations?

White geranium, blue pansy, lilac alyssum
Red geranium, blue pansy, white alyssum
Pink geranium, purple and white pansy, mixed alyssum
White geranium, white pansy, white alyssum

This planter, hanging from our new chicken pen/ pergola, is filled with the same combination, only I’ve used ivy geranium. It is also decorated with a chain of crystals leftover from an antique lamp; the prisms cast random rainbows throughout the day, creating surprise in a Pollyanna sort of way.

Hanging Planter with Crystals

There is a common recipe for exciting successful planters, called “Thrill, Fill, Spill.” It encourages a wonderful feature plant, filler and spiller flowers.  I think ours qualifies. My inner Pollyanna , however, renamed ours: Joy, Gladness, & Splendor.

We hope you’ve found inspiration to make your own version. Please return for another visit and Step into our garden again!

Hanging Planter with Chain of Crystals