Hide those feet! (more new plants)

Grasses are one of my favorite plants to grow, and one of my favorites of the last few years has been "Vertigo" fountain grass (Pennisetum purpureum 'Tift 8'). I have it in several places in the ground, and in a pot where the walkway meets the street. Although the pot gives it some extra height and makes it that much more impressive, now that the grass has reached its full height it's starting to look a little ragged around its feet.

It probably doesn't help that it got overly dry a few weeks ago when I was gone for the weekend, but the lower part of this plant is not too attractive: you see lots of stem and brown leaves. 


This grass looks especially good where you can't see the lower parts of it though:

Since this potted Vertigo is literally the first plant you encounter when using the walkway from the street, I decided to do something about this and make it more attractive. 

Step one was to remove the dead leaves:

That helped but only a little bit -- it still looks too corn-like for my tastes, and that's not the most attractive pot I own. The answer? More plants!

I took a quick ride over to Greenscape Gardens (it's the closest nursery to my garden) and perused the annuals and tropicals. I was looking for something that would not only hide the stalks of the grass but also some of the pot, so I chose two trailing plants and one that was upright.

Here's the result:

What plants did I choose? First the upright one:

This is Pseuderanthemum reticulata. Yellow foliage (at least on the new growth) with "pronounced green veins" -- the veins look yellow to me! Hardy only to z10 but this works so well with the dark purple foliage of the grass, it's just lovely!

The more visible trailing plant is Centradenia x inaequilateralis 'Blushing Cascade' -- or at least that's how I interpret the tag:

I guess this will bloom, but I love the foliage:

The hints of red complement the purple grass really well too. I wasn't thinking about colors, but I ended up making good choices.

The third plant is Clerodendrum thomsoniae, "Bleeding Heart Vine":

No blooms right now, just bold foliage -- exactly what I want. Some of the other plants had blooms on them though, and I have to say that I'm looking forward to seeing a few of them! (This plant actually trails down to the ground, although it's difficult to see in the photos).

And then on the other side of the pot I just put one of my hanging spider plant baskets:

The end result from this side:

I may cover the white pot with something darker so it doesn't stick out so much, but I'm surprised how well this plant works here!

How about some side-by-side before and after shots for comparison?

Pot and feet hidden! Makes me feel so much better!

Thats three new plants... one more to go...

Just before I left Greenscape I thought I'd walk outdoors to see the larger tropicals that were still discounted 50%. I found this beauty:

Only $10, and a plant that is not easy to find via a Google search. If the tag is to be trusted...

...it's Aerva sanguinolenta. Google image search "Aerva sanguinolenta" though and the plants you see will vary quite a lot, with only a few of them looking like this one. Anybody know if it's the correct ID?

I just put the pot next to my Persicaria 'Painters Palette' on the south side of the walkway:

It echos the rest of the purples in the walkway beds so nicely:

Baby deer (not so little any more) took a few bites yesterday morning (we saw him do it):

So I sprayed it with the Liquid Fence Deer and Rabbit repellant just in case he liked the taste.

I love this plant! Why can't it be a perennial shrub instead of a tropical? I'll take cuttings and see if I can overwinter it in the garage.

I don't know that I've ever bought four non-hardy plants that were so exciting before! I'm going to have to pay more attention to the tropicals next year... so many unique plants!


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chavliness  – (August 25, 2015 at 10:48 AM)  

Any excuse to run to the closest nursery! It sound so familiar. It's been ages since I owned a spider plant. I think you just provided me with the reason for my next nursery visit :-)

Gerhard Bock (Succulents and More)  – (August 25, 2015 at 12:00 PM)  

I love that 'Vertigo'. I wish I could grow it here but our summers are just too dry.

You dressed it up very nicely. However, as you said, I'l pick a darker pot for the spider plant. The white does stick out.

I've never heard of Aerva sanguinolenta but I would have gravitated towards it as well.

Mark and Gaz  – (August 25, 2015 at 12:15 PM)  

Nice rearranging, and nothing like plant shopping to rev up the interest in gardening :)

Hoover Boo  – (August 25, 2015 at 2:51 PM)  

Looks better without the bare feet. You did good. The Aerva is quite beautiful--hopefully you can overwinter it.

danger garden  – (August 26, 2015 at 12:36 AM)  

And thus a tropical addiction is born...

Alan  – (August 26, 2015 at 7:33 AM)  

chavliness: I use spider plants as fillers in the garden, then overwinter how ever many I want to keep in the basement or garage.

Gerhard: the Aerva is difficult to find info on. So pretty though!

Mark/Gaz: Some would say that container shopping has the same effect... :)

Hoover: Thanks! I've been paying more attention to details this year. I hope I can overwinter the Aerva too!

Loree: The first step is admitting that you have a problem, right? I have a problem... don't think I want to recover though. :)

outlawgardener  – (August 26, 2015 at 9:23 AM)  

More plants is always the answer. Your choices were great and do a wonderful job of hiding the feet of your fountain grass. Hi, my name is Alan and I'm a plantaholic. Ain't it grand?

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