The key to Jo's beautiful flower garden is the more than 50 containers, windowboxes, and hanging baskets that decorate her house and yard. Each year she plants more than 400 annual flowers. No matter where you look, you see pots filled with geraniums, vinca, impatiens, New Guinea impatiens, begonias, petunias, and marigolds. "I grow mostly annuals because I like to change the design every year," she says. But when it comes to the front yard, Jo mixes her annual extravaganza with hardy perennials, such as daylilies. These gardens are designed for passers-by to admire. She also has a memorial garden for her late husband featuring a plaque at the base of a hornbeam tree in a garden planted with impatiens and hostas.
Around the back of the house, near her music studio, is where container gardening really takes over. A few years ago Jo discovered self-watering containers. "I love the Terrazza trough-style containers and the Self-Watering Trough Planters," she says. "I only have to fill them with water once a week, and they are big enough to let me create an interesting design using various plants," says Jo.
To make sure her flowers look their best, Jo replaces all the soil in every container each spring. "I wash and clean out the old containers in spring and use fresh potting soil that has time-release plant food in it," says Jo. "I give all the old soil to a neighbor who uses it for fill in his yard." Jo is also a dedicated pincher and dead-header. A little attention every day keeps her plants bushy and covered in blooms.
Jo's favorite color combination is red and white, but she isn't afraid to mix in pinks and fuchsias for an eye-catching effect. Though her gardens are the envy of the neighborhood, she has little competition. "My neighbor Jimmy has a home office and he says why he should bother planting gardens when he can just look out his window at mine," she smiles.
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