Overplanting Eucomis

Leo A. Martin leo@possi.org
Sun, 28 Oct 2012 11:16:23 PDT
Hi Dee in Newport Beach,

I grew up in Mission Viejo, just a few miles from you. You have a very
special coastal growing climate and you have a lot of choices. Almost all
the plants I mention below are perennial in your climate though usually
grown as annuals elsewhere.

Excellent flowering bedding plants for you include hybrid Impatiens
walleriana and New Guinea Impatiens hybrids. The wallerianas have green
foliage and profuse blooms in shades from white through magenta. Well-kept
they form mounds studded with hundreds of flowers. The New Guinea hybrids
have brighter flowers, often colored foliage, and grow a little taller.
They also take more sun but in your marine climate you can plant almost
anything in full sun.

Lobelia maritima provides low mounds of brilliant blue, white, pink or
purple. It tends to bloom year-round in Newport Beach.

You can grow an immense range of sages. Salvia elegans (pineapple sage)
has light green foliage that really smells like that. In fall it shoots
spikes of brilliant scarlet tubular flowers. Salvia patens has blue
flowers and is tuberous.

Coleus (now perhaps called Solenostemon?) also come in various sizes. With
pinching and fertilizer they form large, beautiful mounds.

You can't go wrong with Cosmos hybrids, either white/pink/purple or
yellow/orange/red. These are strict annuals and are very easy from seed.
If you let a few go to seed you won't have to replant them.

There are Dahlia hybrids of many heights; they tend to bloom around now.
They do well in NB. Plus they are tuberous.

And many different pelargoniums (sold as "geraniums") have either flowers
or brightly colored foliage in the fall.

Finally, consider some of the more beautiful vegetables, like the dark
purple, almost black-leaved Black Knight pepper, perennial in your
climate, or Bright Lights Swiss chard, with stalks white, yellow, orange,
pink and red. Chard is a biennial, and the bloom stalk the second year is
as delicious as the leaves.

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