You can add excitement to a patio, deck or balcony even if your home is so new the builder hasn’t laid down the sod. Enjoy colour and texture all season long — and for seasons to come with compact perennials that thrive in confined spaces, putting down their roots in transportable homes.
Those living in highrises will find using perennial charmers allow for greater plant selection on your balcony or patio. Imagine the advantages if your garden is in the shade, but the interlocking brick terrace or solid stonework porch area is in the sun.
Plant in containers to utilize that sunny or shady spot to display your favourite perennials. Using containers also allows you to determine the exact location you want to plant. Move it a dozen times until you find the ideal spot.
‘Frosty Curls’ (Sedge)
I’d like to introduce you to an unusual sedge, perfect for creating a foundation to a display and adding structural effect to a container. Although sedges appear similar to grasses, they are not. Ideal for groundcover and containers, sedges form low to medium-high tufts that trail beautifully.
Frosty Curls is effective in a container. The unusual olive-green foliage displays near white leaf tips that arch and swirl over the rim of its home. The texture is fine and silky, like hair. This plant loves a rich, moist soil and is ground hardy Zones 7-9.
‘Happy Returns’ (Daylily)
The seductive, fragrant, canary-yellow flowers of this daylily bloom from May until frost. This variety is an ideal candidate for planting in a container, preferably beside an open window to allow the fragrance to drift. Daylilies are long-lived and ground-hardy Zones 3-9.
Happy Returns is a tetraploid daylily. Don’t let this confuse you. Tetraploids have four sets of chromosomes and diploids have two, which means that it produces larger, more intense coloured flowers. The scapes (leafless stalks) are stronger and the flower and foliage substance heavier. Ground hardy Zones 3-9.
(Purple Leaf Bugbane)
I grew this in my own yard last year and fell in love with it. Cimicifuga ‘Atropurpurea’ displays an astilbe-like flower combined with exotic foliage.
Use a larger container, as it grows to about five feet, and place it where its eye-catching creamy-white flowers and contrasting dark purple, lacy leaves can be seen. It’s is a relatively late bloomer — late summer and fall — but the stunning leaf colour and texture provide full season attraction. ‘Atropurpurea’ enjoys morning sun in rich, moist soil. Ground hardy Zones 5-9.
(Wormwood Silver Sage)
Silver Brocade is a wonderful low-growing, silver-leaf plant capable of bringing together plant combinations of unusual contrasting colours. The attractive silvery-white, scalloped foliage, evergreen in milder regions, makes this an excellent choice for pots and hanging baskets. Enjoys a sunny location and is ground hardy Zones 3-9.
Heuchera ‘Amber Waves’ (Coral Bells)
Don’t miss Heuchera Amber Waves! Recent breeding carried out with Heuchera has produced outstanding foliage in unimaginable colours.
Amber Waves is incredibly beautiful with light rose coloured flowers and ruffled, amber-gold foliage. This plant works with any colour combination and is a magnet for hummingbirds and butterflies!
Enjoys a partial shade location and is hardy Zones 4-9.