Provence - a warm and cozy style of interior or landscape design. It envelops with unique domestic warmth and creates an atmosphere of quiet family happiness. The popularity of this trend in design is very high, and the abundance of accessories on store shelves allows you to successfully reproduce the likeness of the French province in a house or garden. In this article, I would like to share the experience of creating the Provence style on the terrace of our cottage. I used a composition of annual flowers, garden furniture and the corresponding color solutions.Compositions for containers and hanging baskets: "Country Provence".
Our country terrace - before and after
At the time of purchase, our cottage was not in the best shape. The wooden garden house needed repair, and the style and color scheme in which the decoration was done diverged from my idea of the beautiful.
The main advantage of this building was a small terrace, with the improvement of which we began the process of reconstruction of the house. The first thing that needed to be done was to remove elements that could not be repaired and did not fit into the chosen style. These turned out to be rickety shutters and rude wooden hearts near the window.
The next step was to create a new suitable background. To do this, I cleaned the walls of the house from old paint and covered them with textured paint of a very nice peach color. This coating is applied with a spatula, the process is not moving fast, however, the result was worth the effort - we got a very effective and seemingly plastered wall.
Facades for self-assembly of furniture, which are not difficult to find in hardware stores, were ideally suited for the role of shutters. After installing the shutters and the door, we painted a purple color, classic for Provence, reminiscent of lavender.
Soon, just in time, we saw the sale of inexpensive forged furniture, but the chairs and table were from a different collection. To combine the lilac table with snow-white chairs, soft lavender-colored biscuits were placed on the seats. Thus, the base was ready and lacked only floral decorations, which for me, as a florist, are of no small importance.Our country terrace - before and after.
Selection of plants for the composition "Country Provence"
As a rule, flowers for terraces are selected taking into account the color of the walls and interior items. They should either repeat the basic colors, or be well combined with them. In our case, I created a container composition from flyers of blue-violet tones with a romantic accent of bright pink. The name of this floral arrangement was "Country Provence". I will tell you more about the plants that are included in its composition.
Petunia "Tambelina Priscilla"
Petunia "Tambelina Priscilla" (Tumbelina priscilla) - an amazing gentle hybrid of terry petunia, which resembles lace Provence napkins and tablecloths. This is a very soft and feminine plant. The breeder who created this hybrid named him after his beloved wife.
The petunia Tambelina Priscilla has double flowers, similar to frills and ruffles of light lilac color, decorated with dark purple venation. The flowers are not too large in size (on average 3-4 centimeters), but the flowering of the hybrid is so plentiful that often leaves can not be seen from under the flowers.
The leaves of the hybrid are not large, the branches are thin and can easily droop and picturesquely go down, although this petunia is not classified as ampelous by classification, but is cascading. Blooming flowers do not suffer from rain, but in rainy weather the buds can rot. Therefore, it is ideal to keep plants under a canopy. Bush height 15-25 centimeters, diameter up to 60 centimeters.
Where to get planting material?
This hybrid belongs to the vegetative type and propagates exclusively by cuttings. Due to its great popularity, young flowered bushes of such a petunia are easy to find for sale in spring. In the future, it can overwinter on the window in the presence of backlight.Petunia "Tambelina Priscilla" (Tumbelina Priscilla).
Petunia "Marvel" (Marvel beauty cranberry) - a hybrid petunia of the vegetative type. Has a wide bush of spherical shape, independently bush well and does not require pinching. Type of growth - cascading. As it grows, the center of the bush is not exposed.
Marvel petunia flowers are quite large, up to 5 centimeters, the petals are slightly wavy, and their color is amazing. The main tone of the flower is pale pink, but it can only be seen at the edges of the petals, since the flower is mottled with a bright raspberry mesh pattern.
In some places, the venation becomes so strong that it merges and forms a bright pink star of five rays. The neck of this petunia is also very noticeable, since it has a sunny yellow spot. Plant height 20-35 centimeters, width from 45 to 60 centimeters.
Where to get planting material?
Due to the fact that hybrids of petunias propagate only by cuttings, initially planting material is acquired in the form of rooted cuttings. In the future, it is possible to save the queen cells in the winter and carry out cuttings.Petunia "Marvel" (Marvel Beauty Cranberry).
Lobelia ampelous "Regatta Sapphire"
Ampelic version of the annual lobelia. The most delicate bushes form light clouds woven from thin stems covered with a scattering of bright blue flowers that look like tiny fans. A series of "Regatta" consists of several colors. The main feature of the variation is bright blue flowers with a light purple tint, with an expressive white eye in the center of each flower.
Ampel lobelia blooms almost all summer, but to stimulate the flowering of plants, it is recommended to cut the plants after the bulk of the flowers have faded. In height, the bushes usually do not exceed 10-15 centimeters, but in the length of the stems can drop to 30-35 centimeters.
Where to get planting material?
Lobelia is easily propagated by seed. The flower is grown in seedlings when sown indoors in March-April. Lobelia seedlings are very small and they do not grow too powerful, so it is recommended to dive in bunches and not to separate when landing at a permanent place. The thermophilic culture is planted in the composition after the threat of the last frosts.
Lobelia ampelous "Regatta White"
Lobelia ampelous "Regatta White" - A type of ampel lobelia from the Regatta series (see above.), It differs in its rare color, since it has pure white petals.Lobelia ampelous "Regatta Sapphire". Lobelia ampelous "Regatta White".
Variegated ivy "Hummingbird"
Variegated ivy "Hummingbird" (Kolibri) is an important detail emphasizing the Provence style. This variety was not chosen by chance. Not all ivy varieties can tolerate bright lighting well. The ivy of the Hummingbird variety has established itself in well-lit places (but not in direct sunlight), so it can be used in compositions with photophilous flyers.
This type of medium-sized leaves (2-3 centimeters in diameter), mottled with a marble pattern: a light border on the edge of the sheet, grayish spots in the center and a dark green basic tone. In the open air, ivy grows very well, and with its whips you can decorate the edges of the pots, as well as give them a different shape (for example, twist the decorative sphere).
Abundant fertilizers for flowering plants do not adversely affect the crop in the case of joint planting with summers.
Where to get planting material?
Hummingbird is an industrial grade of ivy of Dutch origin, and its young seedlings are quite easy to find in many flower shops and specialized departments of large supermarkets.Variegated ivy "Hummingbird" (Kolibri).
Secrets of the design of the composition "Country Provence"
The center of the composition is the spectacular Marvel petunia, which has a dense dense bush. At the same time, the bright color of the flowers makes it an ideal accent not only of this mini-flower garden, but also of the entire interior of the terrace. This effect is achieved due to the fact that bright pink flowers stand out against the background of the main violet-lavender colors, but do not look dissonance. After all, the pink color fully corresponds to the gentle romantic mood of Provence.
Since the composition is placed in an oblong window box, we are forced to maintain symmetry between all the floral elements of the ensemble. Therefore, petunia, located in the geometric center of the box, requires two neighbors balancing it. Small-flowered and stunted petunias of Tambelin Priscilla ideally suited this role. Due to their external parameters, these petunias occupy a subordinate role in relation to the larger Marvel hybrid.
To decorate the edges of the container, blue and white lobelia waterfalls, planted near the very edge of the box, pour out from under the greenery of petunias. In addition, lobelias visually combine the composition with the window itself, since their color is close to the color of the shutters. There is no strict geometry in the arrangement of lobelia bushes, which gives the composition a more free and picturesque look.
And finally, the final detail that will make us feel the proximity of the mild climate of the south of France is decorative ivy. Its long flexible shoots can gently wrap around all participants in the composition and easily rush down. A variegated variegated foliage makes ivy more noticeable against the background of the lush greenery of its floral companions.From late spring to late autumn, the basis of the decorative ensemble is continuously flowering petunias.
Phases of decorative composition
From late spring to late autumn, the basis of the ensemble's decorativeness is the continuously flowering petunias Marvel and Tambelina Priscilla. Incredibly spectacular lobelia waterfalls - the beauty is fickle, as this summer has a wavy flowering character.
After the bloom of lobelia practically disappears, the bushes must be cut. But at this time, the composition will not look incomplete, because the flowering of self-sufficient petunias remains at the same level.
The inconstancy of flowering of lobelia brings dynamics to the composition, because for the time until it regains color, the eye manages to rest from its many bright blue flowers. And later it will be especially joyful to watch how flower streams will again line up against the background of familiar petunias.
The fast-growing and plastic ivy will also not allow the composition to be static all summer; as it grows, it itself gives the ensemble more and more new outlines, or its stems are deliberately directed either one way or the other.For added chamberliness, we closed the openings of the terrace blinds.
The quantitative composition and planting pattern
For a balcony drawer 50-70 centimeters long, we need:
- Petunia vegetative "Marvel" - 1 pc.
- Vegetative petunia "Tambelina Priscilla" - 2 pcs.
- Ampelic lobelia "Regatta Sapphire" - 2-4 pcs.
- Ampoule lobelia "Regatta White" - 2 pcs.
- Ivy "Hummingbird" - 1 pc. (adult), 2 (young plants).
Composition Care Tips
Optimal amount of sun for the growth of each plant: partial sun (4-6 hours).
Dates of decoration: from mid-May to the end of September.
Priming: light, water-permeable (preferably ready-made mixture for flowering plants based on peat) with a high content of nutrients. For rarer watering, a hydrogel is added to the soil.
Watering: Regular and abundant as the soil dries. In extreme heat, be sure to monitor the soil moisture level. Since my composition was in the country, the plants were watered only once a week. Watering was very plentiful. Since there were no drainage holes in the drawers, moisture was enough for this period of time.
Top dressing: Regular top dressing with liquid complex fertilizer once a week or at each watering is mandatory for petunias. When planting in the soil, it is also recommended to introduce long-acting fertilizers.
Possible problems: Do not expose the composition to open air too early, as all its plants are sensitive to cold. When kept in open places (without rain protection), the buds of the Tambelina Priscilla petunia can rot. With prolonged periods of bad weather, the flowering of the plant may temporarily cease, so if possible, remove the composition under a canopy during rain.
Read also our article from the series "Compositions for Containers and Hanging Baskets" - "Purple Dawn."
If you plan to take ivy for the winter, do not forget to transplant it before the onset of cold weather, or cut the cuttings in advance. When kept under the roof (on the terrace), the flowers feel noticeably better than in open places: they are not too trembling with the wind, not flooding with rain. In addition, they are not in the sweltering sun, while receiving enough light.
The only negative that occurred in my case was that the petunia flowers were turned to the south (since the composition received the maximum amount of sun from there), and the main viewing point was on the east side.