I’ve always tried to extend the beauty of my flower beds by including early, midseason, and late bloomers, but unfortunately the result is that while something is always blooming, something else is always fading. To my eye, the clumps of withered blossoms and dying foliage detract from the beauty of the plants in bloom, leaving me frustrated with the appearance of my flower beds.
My neighbor has a great way to keep flower beds looking fresh and colorful from spring to fall. In the spring, she plants only half of her flowers in beds; she puts the other half in pots of various shapes and sizes. Then, while I spend the summer fretting over the ragged remnants of spent blossoms, she sets her pots of annuals, perennials, and even small shrubs and houseplants here and there among her in-ground flowers, deftly rearranging the pots to suit the floral display of the moment. She places pots in full bloom in front of flowers on the decline, and pulls from view the pots of flowers that are past their prime. Every few weeks, she has a brand-new flower arrangement. While my beds seem always to be either coming or going, hers seem always to be looking their best.
I’m already saving up pots for next year.