Cherry Ong is again taking us along to visit beautiful gardens, this time plantings in Niagara-on-the-Lake in Ontario.
One of the top reasons I love walking along Queen Street in Niagara-on-the-Lake is to experience the amazing summer annual display along the street and fronting the stores and hotels. I walked the street twice to study the garden and container-garden designs (patterns and colors and all) hoping to take inspiration home with me for planting my own summer garden.
This study in foliage color includes tall papyrus (Cyperus papyrus, Zones 9–11 or as an annual) at the top growing through lime-green coleus (Plectranthus scutellarioides hybrid, Zones 10–11 or as an annual), which contrasts with the coppery-colored sweet potato vine (Ipomoea batatas, Zones 10–11 or as an annual), and zebra plant (Tradescantia zebrina, Zones 10–11, or as an annual or houseplant). A few blooms of wishbone flower (Torenia hybrid, Zones 10–11 or as an annual) are scattered here and there but are totally upstaged by the great leaves around them.
Hostas (Hosta hybrid, Zones 4–9) and Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa macra, Zones 5–9) are always a good combination. Both thrive in the shade and have beautiful contrasting and complementing textures.
Mandevilla (Mandevilla hybrid, Zones 10–11 or as an annual) vines give a great vertical accent in this planting. Most mandevilla are twining tropical vines, but some of the newer varieties stay as shorter, bushy plants. Both are beautiful, but the vines are very useful for adding height to annual plantings.
Purple spider plant (Tradescantia pallida, Zones 7–10 or as an annual) makes a dark background for this fiery planting: New Guinea impatiens (Impatiens hawkeri, Zones 10–11 or as an annual), coleus, and yellow cannas (Canna hybrid, Zones 7–10 or as an annual).
A pink Rieger begonia (Begonia hybrid, Zones 10–11 or as an annual) takes center stage in this planting. These hybrid begonias are abundant bloomers and generally perform best in climates with cooler summers.
A final container is also elegant in its restraint: white variegated caladium (Caladium hybrid, Zones 9–11 or as a tender bulb) and spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum, Zones 8–10 or as an annual or houseplant), with the bright yellow foliage of creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia ‘Aurea’, Zones 3–9).
Have a garden you’d like to share?
Have photos to share? We’d love to see your garden, a particular collection of plants you love, or a wonderful garden you had the chance to visit!
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