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Looking for Wheelbarrow Planter Ideas

I have an old wheelbarrow that I am going to use as a planter and I am wondering if anyone has any ideas on which plants to put in it? I want some flowers that say "WOW". I live in NW Indiana and I want to place the wheelbarrow in a shady area. I love blue, purple or red flowers. I am thinking of trailing petunias. Anyone have a better suggestion? I think something that someone trails over the top of the wheelbarrow may be good, but want noticeable flowers. oh, one last thing - I would like to start the flowers indoors from seeds since it will probably take many plants for this to take off nicely. As always, your help is most appreciated.

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Greener Thumb
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I love this idea :)

I saw some very large wheelbarrows planted around Vail, Colorado last Summer that were stunning. They had draceana spike plants for some height, pansies and daisies, and trailing petunias... there was more in there but I can't quite remember.

How much shade are we talking about?

A coleus might be nice for some height. Last Summer I had million bells (calibrachoa) that bloomed profusely until October and the hummingbirds loved the salvia I had in my planter boxes. I'm not sure where you're located but pansies would be nice for Spring and maybe some snap dragons. Diascia is very pretty and can tolerate some shade. It should bloom in the Spring and then again in the Fall if you cut it back during the heat of Summer. Sweet alyssum is also a great cascading annual.

Just some brainstorming!

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Super Green Thumb
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Classic shade annual is impatiens, which I start from seed every year. Comes in a huge rainbow of brilliant colors. Browallia is nice for blues and lavenders, and lobelia is a really nice true blue, which is hard to find in flowers. If you don't mind putting a perennial in there, I think bleeding heart is a lovely shade perennial. It mostly only comes in pink or white though.

Green Thumb
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In addition to the great suggestions above... which I must say again, Coleus!

Veronica, Lamium, Commelina, Gibasis geniculata (Tahitian bridal veil)...

In the shade, flowers that aren't really light-colored, preferably white, can be disappointingly invisible if you'll be viewing them from a sunny spot. If you're in the shade too, then you'll be pleased with what you see, at least that's what happens to me.

Petunias probably need more sun than what you described.

Wax Begonias will bloom constantly but don't have a blue variety. Most Begonias would be happy in your 'barrow, the cane ones can get tall, and in that genus are an amazing selection of incredibly beautiful leaves, in addition to the wide range of flower shapes (no blue to be found, but plenty of white.)

There are so many beautiful leaves for shade out there, that's how I decorate the shade every year. If you'd like to see pics and more of the plants, that's the web address at the bottom of my entry. My blog isn't one of those that gets added-to, at least not yet. Just an article about beautiful leaves.

About Impatiens, one of the saddest gardening things ever has happened to them, the champ of flowers in the shade. A disease called downy mildew (not the same thing as powdery mildew) is killing them globally. It's spread when the wind blows, and AFAIK, there is no cure once infected.

If you want to go wild and jungly, an elephant ear would love to be the star of the show, especially if the 'barrow doesn't have any holes or cracks for drainage. EE will gladly drink it dry probably daily once it gets going and the heat is on. The have them in bins at BBS's this time of year, look like weird potatoes. The bigger the spud, the bigger the leaves you'll get - generally.

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I love blue flowers!

I would add some trailing variegated vines. Syngonium or pothos or ivy. I do like columbines, torenia fournieri (blue wings), blue daze, forget me nots, pansies and violas.

Heuchera would also be a good plant although it might take up a large space, it has beautiful leaves as well. They would need to be grown from plants as they do not propagate by seed.

White and yellow compliments blue flowers.

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After I started this thread, I realized that the petunias would not work in the shade very well. But, some of the ideas everyone gave were excellent. My problem is, once I find something like my abandoned wheelbarrow, I can think of a million things to do with it and have trouble focusing on just one thing. I love the trailing petunias, but would have to move the barrow into the sun which would place it in my back yard, yet, I also I love the idea of seeing it in the front yard when I pull up in the many choices...

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Super Green Thumb
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I give my vote to impatiens as well. Last year we opted for white impatiens in our very shady container garden. The photo below shows the impatiens in early summer. With no dead heading needed, by mid summer these plants cascaded all the way to the ground and fill in from pot to pot in most places. I've never gotten so much bloom from so little care.


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