Surprisingly a few of the containers I planted this spring with Viola didn't burn out until late July. The Viola (both 'Citrus' mix and 'White Jump Up') stayed lush and full of flowers well into July, much longer than I've ever grown Viola in past summers.
But their time had come to be ripped out, so I made a trip to one of our local garden centers today to get some annuals to fill the empty pots. Although the discounts on annuals weren't as deep as I expected this time of year, the garden center had also done a decent job at keeping their plants well maintained so the quality was good.
I ended up coming home with three Proven Winners® selections (Solenostemon Colorblaze® 'Alligator Tears', Calibrachoa Superbells® 'Coralberry Punch', and Calibrachoa Superbells® 'Dreamsicle') and four plants marketed by Norwood under the Garden Accents™ and Gardener's Choice™ lines (Isolepis cernus, Carex 'Red Rooster', Pennisetum setaceum 'Fireworks', and Cyperus papyrus 'Isocladus'). I've been wanting to grow the two Calibrachoa varieties and the dwarf papyrus, and the 'Alligator Tears' coleus is a nice departure from the other dark-colored coleus I have in the garden.
All told, it took me about an hour and several laps around the garden center to get the right mix of plants, but only 15-20 minutes to pot them up and give them a thorough soaking. I'm hoping this midsummer makeover of a few of our containers will give the front porch a fresh look as we head through August and into autumn.