Making the Best Out of Cascading Plants

Retaining walls, hard edges, containers or even slopes in a garden can sometimes give unpleasant, if not ugly views. As such, they may need to be covered or softened. You can decorate a planter, container, or wall with cascading plants and flowers that are grown in the soil above it. Selecting these pants may feel like an uphill battle, but it is nevertheless doable. In the end, you will be able to select flowering cascading pants that will add color to your home and camouflage with the thick foliage of the plant. More importantly, you will be able to overturn that boring retaining wall, planter, pot or hard landscaped slope into something of which you can be proud.

You may have to be patient with almost all cascading plants as they take time to achieve the desired effect. Cascading plants with horizontal trailing habits work well as groundcovers for rockeries and slopes. They also work well as companion plants to upright plants in hanging baskets, window boxes and containers because they spill over the edge, creating a scintillating waterfall effect.

There are cascading plant types that grow upright first and then gradually spread, with arching stems. They grow into full looking plants, perfect for filling a hanging basket or container on their own.  The best thing about these cascading pant types is that they require little maintenance. They can also be planted in the garden as mounted undercover plants that provide height at mid-calf level. If planted in the pockets of the soil within the concrete rings that make up the wall, they completely camouflage a retaining wall. The result is always a colorful, paradise-like, hanging garden.

Nearly all cascading pants tend to be quick, spreading and crawling growers. That is precisely why you should plant just a few of them in a container. Even in a garden, two or three of these plants often provide a carpet of flowers under trees, standards or shrubs. The varieties that work best are those that are heat and drought tolerant as they can effortlessly withstand the hot sun on pavements and slops or when a container is neglected for a day or two.

Portulaca, vincas and petunias are all stars of the water-wise garden. They include cascading or trailing varieties that look soft and aromatic.  But do not be fooled by their looks. They are actually no-nonsense performers that require minimum care. Remember to trim them only when you have to.  They may overgrow sometimes and look more colorful than you expected. While you might be tempted not to trim them, they may overgrow and look bushy. Some people love that effect as long as they remain colorful. It should however be noted that neat, trimmed and well maintained plants often give a backyard or garden the perfect look for executive and casual  outdoor meetings. Like anything else, it all boils down to personal preference and how one takes care of his or her cascading plants. Simply water the plants, trim them regularly and get rid of any weeds around the plant, and see how the garden unfolds day after day.

Give Your Garden the Sparkle it Deserves

If you love having guests over as most people do, then it’s a good chance that your garden will be the ultimate spot for one or many of your get-togethers. And as the host, you want the garden to look extra distinctive and have that undeniable comfortable, welcoming feel.

What not add some classical, lively flowers to your garden? Simply roll up your sleeves and plant a few in prominent spots. Before you know it, your garden will start teeming with life. Here are some of the best flowers you can use during any time of the year.

Poinsettia ( EuphobiaPulcherimma)

This one-of-a-kind Mexican beauty will most likely stand out more than all the other flowers. Its species name ‘pulcherimma’ comes from a Latin adjective ‘pulcher’ which means ‘handsome’ or ‘beautiful’. It is traditionally grown as a flower pot for home use during Christmas. However, it can also be used anytime of the year in the landscapes as an informal flowering hedge or an accent plant for its showy red bracts commonly referred to as the flower.

When planting Poinsettia, ensure that the soil is well moist, fertile and fast draining. Get a pot of about a foot deeper than the root ball or just dig a hole. Fill the pot or hole with enough compost and soil to allow the plant to sit on its root crown flush with the soil level. Water the plant thoroughly but gently. This will control weeds, get rid of air pockets and allow the soil to conserve moisture by mulching with organic materials.

Ivies

Yet another beauty queen, Ivies bring life to a garden with its unmistakable sparkle. Keep in mind that there are several kinds of ivies. The best one, as most landscape experts often state, is the English Ivy (Hedera helix). Trained to grow over pergolas and trellises, the English Ivy is one of the hardest ground covers or climbers.

Plant the ivy in a beautiful hanging basket for a charming and unique effect in the veranda, on the balcony, or inside the house. Be extra cautious about where you hang the flower as the English Ivy will climb any object around it. Keeping it neat and trimmed is a smart idea unless you want it to travel and cover every space it finds. (Some people prefer that effect). Add a sprinkle of lime to the base of the container or planting hole and be patient. English Ivies usually take time to start growing. However, once they start, you will be chasing to keep them in check.

Christmas rose

Like its name suggests, it is one of the best flowers you can have in your garden at Christmas time. It is an evergreen perennial that grows about a foot tall before blossoming with shinny, dark green, leathery leaves. As they age, they produce conspicuous white flowers that turn deep salmon or pink as they mature even further.

Despite the fact that Christmas roses are durable and easy to grow, take note of a few protective measures. Protect the flower from strong winds and ensure they grow in partial shade.  The soil on which you plant the flower must be deep, fertile, well moist and generously enriched with compost or peat moss.