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                  Idyllwild Garden Club
Discovering the Joy of Mountain Gardening

                    Partially Supported Through the Generosity of the              
            Idyllwild Community Fund and the Pine Cove Water District

HomeCommunity Barrels
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Hello Everyone,
This is for all who have ever cared for a town barrel, plan to continue to do so, or may want to try one for the first time this coming season !
Awhile ago (during my deep winter doldrums!) I assembled a set of twelve (12) planting plans for the "beautification" barrels we have distributed around town.   I thought it would be helpful to try and develop plans that would (1) incorporate some appropriate "container friendly" native perennial plants, (2) include companion xeric perennial plants, and (3) make it easy for many of us and/or our business owners to do less watering of the container, and (4) perhaps do less replanting during and in each successive year (more repeat blooming perennials in the plans). 
If you read further on, you'll find the plans with color photo.  Some are a little easier than others, but none are difficult.
Once you have selected a plan, We will give you guidance (if you wish) on where to get those plants that may not be at the "big box garden center store".  Some of us will be going to native plant specialty nurseries in the area to get plants for other club sales events this spring and can get you your supply if you request.  So look them over, hopefully select one you would like to try and register you interest at our April 6th meeting. (Yes, even if you cannot "adopt" a town beautification barrel this year, you still can make one of these for your own patio or deck!).
Hope you will consider a barrel planter "adoption" this year and sign-up at the meeting when the clipboard comes your way! 

Here is the info you need:

Another project to beautify the Idyllwild/Pine Cove community is the placement and and maintenance of decorative barrel planters at different street and business locations.  These barrels are "adopted", then planted and maintained by club members in cooperation with local business owners.  In most cases, the ongoing watering of barrels is performed by the adjacent business owner.  Over time, the barrels require plant material replacement , deadheading or "sprucing up" of contents and/or seasonal renovation by the IGC member.  The club has taken care to utilize a harmonious mixture of native and drought-tolerant companion perennials and bulbs that reflect conscientious and environmentally sound gardening practices.  Funds raised from annual club plant and craft sales, visitor paid tours and events and club donations help to financially support this ongoing project.
    Below are the various designs and planting plans incorporated into various barrels and plant photos.  Many members and visitors have used these plans as a guide in planting a personal container or barrel in or around their own home garden.

Many of the schemes that follow  incorporate native or low water use perennials for repeat

performance in  subsequent years and lower maintenance. Add some annual bedding plants

 for a little early instant color while waiting for perennials to bloom.  These schemes are ideal

 for the club beautification program where containers such as barrels are used.


1.       Pink Ever bloomer for Sun/Partial Shade:


a          Laurentia axillaris ‘Starshine’(Blue Stars, Blue Star Creeper) ) 12”h x 18”w (edging plant in barrel)


b.         Agastache x Acapulco Salmon and Pink (multi-colored Hummingbird Mint) 24-30”h x 15”w,



c.         Salvia coahuilensis (soft blue-flowered sage, Coahuila Sage) 24”h x 24”w, violet/purple flower (center)

d.         Diascia integerrima‘Coral Canyon’ (salmon colored Twinspur) 15”h x18”w, compact/perennial(alternate     
with   Blue Stars)



                                                a                                                                                              b



                                                c                                                                                              d



2.         Shades of Blue & Pink for Sun/Partial Shade:


a          Pennisetum setacum rubrum, ‘Red Riding Hood’ (Dwarf Purple Fountain Grass) 18-30”h (center in barrel)


b.         Oreganum x ‘Rotkugel’ (Ornamental Oregano), 15”h x 18”w, large loose flower heads bicolor deep pink/purple


c.         Monarda didyma ‘Pink Lace’ (Pink Lace Bee Balm), 16-18”h x 12-15”w, compact, light pink/purple center


d.         Salvia coahuilensis (soft blue sage, Coahuila Sage) 24-30”h x 24”w, violet/purple flower; to drape over sides

                                                a                                                                  b


      c                                                                               d


3.         Azure Spires for Sun/Partial Shade


a.         Penstemon azureus (Azure Penstemon)18”x 20”w hardy native or P. strictus,(Rocky Mountain Penstemon)

24”h x 30”w to anchor center of barrel


                b.         Eragrostis spectabilis (Purple Love Grass), 10”h(24” with plumes) (use 2-3)
c.         Lantana camara ‘Landmark’“Rose Glow”, 15”hx24”w, annual/not winter hardy (use 3/ form skirt around edges)



                                   a (azureus)                                                      a (strictus)



                                                      b                                                                  c




4.       Black Scallops for Sun/Partial Shade:  
a.         Calamagrostis “Overdam” (Variegated Feather Reed Grass), 36-40”hx15”w , creamy white vertical    stripes on green leaf blades, ivory colored flower spikes mid-summer (1 plant in center of barrel)


                b.         Agastache x Acapulco Salmon and Pink (multi-colored Hummingbird Mint) 24-30”h x 15”w, perennial


                c.         Ajuga reptans ‘Black Scallops’ (Carpet Bugle), 6”h x 12”w, blue flower spikes in spring (trails over side)  
d.         Oreganum x ‘Rotkugel’ (Ornamental Oregano), 15”h x 18”w, large loose flower heads bicolor deep pink/purple



                                         a                                                                                  b                                             



                                         c                                                                                      d



5.       Orange and Purple Symphony for Sun/Partial Shade:


a.         Echinachea  x  Big Sky “Sunset” or ‘Orange Meadowbrite’(Coneflower), 30”h x 16-20”w, orange with     brownish cone


b.         Thunbergia battiscombei “Blue Glory”, 24-30”h x trailing up & around stems of coneflower; bushy green heart shaped leaves, blue-purple trumpet shaped flower; hardy to 20 F.


c.         Tradescantia pallida (Purple Heart) 12-15”h, narrow, pointed purple foliage; small pink flower (spills over edges)




                                                a                                                                                  b








6.         The Burgundy and Blue Gem for Sun/Partial Shade


a.         Panicum virgatum “Shenandoah” (Burgundy Leaf Switch Grass), use 1 central plant


b.         Felicia amelloides (Blue Marguerite Daisy) ,12-18”h, treat as annual; use 2 plants


c.         Ipomea batatas“Blackie” (Trailing Sweet Potato Vine), 6-12”hx72”l, annual, dark purple/black cascading                         over edge.                   




                                                a                                                                      b





7.                 Diamond and Indigo Splash in Sun/Partial Shade
a.         Ceanothus ‘Diamond Heights’(Variegated Carmel Creeper) 12”h x spreading to 40”(less in container),
                         yellow/lime green foliage with splashes of dark green (use 1 plant)


             b.          Salvia nemorosa ‘Caradonna’(Sage), 24”hx18”w, deep indigo purple spikes/rebloomer/deadhead


             c.         Achillea taygetya (Greek Yarrow), 18-24”h, pale yellow flowerheads, reblooms with deadhead

             d.         Coreopsis x‘Crème Brulee’, 18-21”h x 18”w, long period of bloom, rebloom by
                        deadhead  or  Hymenoxys   caulis(Sundancer daisy), 15”x15”, xeric, ever-blooming(late spring-fall)
                         yellow daisy-like wildflower (intermingle either one with yarrow)


                            a                                                                                                           b
                                c                                                                                                                                d




8.                 All California Native,  for Sun/Partial Shade:


a.         Zauschineria californica ‘Everett’s Choice’ (California Fuchsia) 8”h x 24”w, scarlet orange tubular flowers

(plant around edges) CA native


b.         ), 18”h x 24”w mounder with yellow, large umbels;

evergreen foliage turns burgundy in winter. CA. native


c.         Penstemon heterophylla ‘Margarita BOP’ (Blue Bedder), 22”hx30”w, blue to purplish-pink blooms spring to fall; CA native


d.         Echinacea x Big Sky ‘Sundown’ (Coneflower), 32”h, huge fragrant reddish-orange blooms/brown cone; hybrid cross between E. purpurea & E. paradoxa  & native to the plains states; use 1 or 2 as accents if desired

                                    a                                        b

                                          c                                                        d

9.       “Blaze, Salvia & Lanterns” Combination for Sun/Partial Shade:


a.            Schizachyrium scoparium ‘Blaze’ (Blaze Little Bluestem Grass), 2-3’h x 15”w, place at center to add  verticality, texture and color.


b.            Salvia juriscicii ‘Blue’(European Cutleaf Sage) 12”h x 12-15”w, plume-like late spring blue flower spikes(use 2) and Salvia officinalis ‘Minima’, ( Little Leaf Culinary Sage) 15”h x 18”w, dense mound of finely textured leaves with showy deep lavender-blue tubular flowers(use 2) Combined around the Blue stem Grass above.


c.            (Cascading Ornamental Oregano) 18” x 18”, wiry stems hold hundreds of pendulous paper lantern-like bracts, each with small rose-pink flowers by mid-summer. (plant around edges & it will hang down)

                        a                                                                        b


10.     May Nights & Sundancer Days Combo for Sun/Partial Shade:


a.            Agastache x ‘Black Adder’, (Black Adder Hyssop),  21/2-3’ x 15”w, smoky violet-blue flowers with dark purple bud on long spikes.(place at back or center of barrel)


                b.            Echinacea purpurea ‘Magnus’(Purple Coneflower), 30-36”h x 24”w, (place near the center)


c.            Salvia nemorosa ‘May Night’, ( May Night Meadow Sage), 18”x 18”, compact with deep purple flower spikes beginning late spring & vigorous rebloom;  Combine with Diascia  integerrina ‘Coral Canyon’(Twinspur), 15”h x 18”w, pink flowers all summer  (use 2 of each in ring around the coneflower & hyssop)


d.            Artemesia versicolor ‘Seafoam (Curlicue Sage), 8”h x 24”w, frothy curled silver foliage and Hymenoxys acaulis ‘Sundancer Daisy’, 15”h x 15”w, a xeric ever-blooming western wildflower with thread leaf foliage & large, bright yellow long stemmed daisies, late spring through fall.  (alternate several of each around edge)

                    a                                                                                b

                       c                                                                  d

11.     More CA & North American Natives for Sun/Partial Shade:


            a.            Heuchera hirsutissima (Idyllwild Rock Flower, Shaggy Haired Alumroot), 6”hx10”w clump with 8-10”h

                        flower spike, pink bud/white flower/late spring. Native to San Jacinto Mountains. (plant around edges)


            b.            Schizachryrium scoparium ‘The Blues’ (Blue Little Bluestem Grass), 24-36’h x 15”w; foliage is intense blue until fall when it turns shades of purple.  Place at center to add verticality, texture & color. North American native.


       c.            Achillea millefolium rosea (‘Island Pink’Yarrow), native from Channel Islands off coast from Ventura, 18-24”h x 24”w; 3-4” sized flower clusters range from white to pink to red; June/July (use 2 at sides of Bluestem Grass)


            d.            Salvia nemorosa  ‘May Night’(May Night Meadow Sage), 18”x18”, compact with deep purple flower spikes beginning late spring & vigorous rebloom with deadhead. (use 2 & alternate with yarrow)         


            e.            Tradescantia pallida (Purple Heart/Wandering Jew)), 12-15”h x 12”w, narrow, purple pointed foliage, small pink flower; spills over edge(alternate with heuchera above). OK, it’s native to northeast Mexico, but fairly xeric.

                            a                                b                                       c         

                            d                                    e

12.            Strike Up Bold Color in the Sun:


a.       Centranthus ruber ‘Coccineus’, (Jupiter’s Beard), 24-30”h x 24”w, showy rose-red flower heads from late      spring through summer (longer if deadheaded); very xeric/not fussy! (1 or 2, planted in center in barrel)


b.         Linum  perenne  ‘Appar’, ( Appar Blue Flax), 18” x 18”, a xeric Western wildflower with true blue flowers; a vigorous, long bloomer. (use 2 & alternate with coreopsis around the center plant)


                        c.          Coreopsis grandiflora ‘Sunray’ ( Sunray Tickseed), 24”h x 18”w, large golden-                        yellow double flowers, continuously all summer;xeric, not picky; keep deadheaded 
                        for more blooms.(use 2, alternate with Linum)


                                a                                                    b                                            c