Plants that Go With Wine and Chocolate

Plants that Go With Wine and Chocolate

Part of Ep. 1706 Weeds, Wine and Chocolate

In Green Bay, Shelley Ryan creates gorgeous containers using plants that complement the colors of wine and chocolate. Jan Wos from Mayflower Greenhouse in Green Bay shows how it's done.

Premiere date: Aug 26, 2009

TRANSCRIPT+
Wisc Gardener Transcript: 

Shelley:
As summer heats up, I spend less time in the garden and more time with my two favorite food groups.  Wine and chocolate.  I'm at Mayflower Greenhouse in Green Bay, with my favorite gardener, Jan Wos.
Hi, Jan.

Jan:
Hi.

Shelley:
Here's to wine and chocolate.  But I understand you have designed an entire lecture series about plants that go with wine and chocolate.  What a wonderful idea.

Jan:
Thank you.  We also designed those classy glasses because it helps when you're gardening.  It's not a very clean job so you need to maintain some class.  And this works perfectly.  After you're done taking a sip, here you go, it fits just about into any pot.  And it works.  Right here we designed a chardonnay pot, very refreshing.

Shelley:
Crisp.

Jan:
Crisp, yes, here you go.  And as usual, filler, filler, spiller.

Shelley:
Okay, that's the design.

Jan:
Exactly.  It means tallest, medium, and trailing coming out of the pot.  As a filler works nicotiana langsdorfii, those beautiful chartreuse flowers a little bit later.  Millet will help, this lysimachia, "Golden Alexander," you have a chard right here that is also coming in.

Shelley:
Edible, too.

Jan:
Absolutely.  Golden Painted Tongue, yes, I knew you would ask about it.  It's a salvia "flame," a little bit later we'll add an entirely different dimension to it when we start blooming.  Really, really nice red.  So it will be kind of different.

Shelley:
Different color always.

Jan:
Yes.  We have also --- here, air plant, and of course, perennial vinca "Illumination."

Shelley:
Beautiful, beautiful.

Jan:
As far as maintenance goes, oh, we forgot about this "Happy Thoughts" geranium, of course, drinking wine you do have happy thoughts.

Shelley:
Yeah, exactly, or the chocolate.

Jan:
Yes, absolutely.
And basically, it's just watering and feeding it once in a while, basically maintenance free.

Shelley:
Full sun?

Jan:
Full sun.

Shelley:
Okay, now what about the darker colors, the chocolate plants or the merlot plants?

Jan:
We have a very, very wide selection, wide range.  We could start --- with a chocolate cosmos that is really chocolaty flowers.  It's not blooming yet, this is our last batch, and it didn't bloom yet.

Shelley:
This would be more for the flowers rather than the foliage.

Jan:
Yes.  Pseuderanthemum "chocolate," it looks like silk, like wax, very interesting plant.  Adds a different dimension to just about any container.  Of course, "Chocolate Ruffles" huechera, most people believe that it's really full shade, but works really very nice in the semi-shade to full sun.  Besides, in a planter, in a container, it will be kind of slightly shaded, so it will work very nice.

Shelley:
Well, let's plant this, shall we?

Jan:
Let's plant it, let's say dry, in a sense that we will just put pots together.  We'll start with the "Siam Ruby" banana.

Shelley:
Oh, look at the foliage there.  Now, that's a merlot, definitely.

Jan:
Very much so.  Here you go, this is another merlot, cordyline "Red Sensation."

Shelley:
Now, we leave them in the pots so if we change our mind?

Jan:
We can always change around.  And this would be another, I don't know what kind of wine that would be, but it's really very interesting.  Libertia.  And we can use those right here, those pseuderanthemum "chocolate."  And we can add, or maybe even right there, we can add this coleus that kind of echoes banana.

Shelley:
So even though we're doing a merlot and chocolate, you need different colors of foliage in there.

Jan:
Yes.  Otherwise, it will be probably a little bit too dark, too wine, too merlot.

Shelley:
Monochromatic.

Jan:
Yes.  And many plants will probably lose their texture and it would disappear.  You also work on the contrast.  Look, those are kind of blades-looking leaves, and this has very ruffled leaves.  And right there you have the contrast and a very different look.

Shelley:
So texture, it's not just color, it's texture, leaf patterns, and shapes.  So this is very glossy, completely different leaves.

Jan:
Different leaves, and yet it has basically all colors that will be included here.  This is coprosma "Sunset," and it's really a very interesting plant.  This is another one, that we can do here, but it's too much, so why don't we basically add it right there.  Here you go.

Shelley:
We're not relying on flowers almost anywhere here.  It's all foliage.

Jan:
Let's say, this is your favorite.

Shelley:
Yes, I like those.

Jan:
Jewels of Opar, Shelley's favorite plant.

Shelley:
One of my favorites, so beautiful, yeah.

Jan:
And look how nice it looks against the rest of it.

Shelley:
The contrast again, yeah.

Jan:
Yeah.  We're basically done with the fillers, so right now, we'll be working filler, this would be filler as well, those would be fillers, and we're working on the spillers.  This is oxalis "Zinfandel."  Name of the variety.

Shelley:
Beautiful, zinfandel is perfect.

Jan:
Yes.  And this right here, it's a "Raspberry Plum" alternathera, Joseph's coat.  Look at those nice variations.

Shelley:
So it might be a roset?

Jan:
Yes, yes, very much so.  We can add it right here.

Shelley:
Beautiful.  Now we could be done or we could rearrange after we dry planted it.

Jan:
Yes, we could be done, or we could rearrange it.  Right here we could add also this ornamental pepper, that at full it will be really dark, dark looking fruits.

Shelley:
This is the back of the plant, so the top, the high part, and then sliding down to the front here.

Jan:
This is the way it looks when it's done, done planting it.

Shelley:
And this would be full sun, even though you've got dark foliage in here.

Jan:
This would be full sun.  People ask me, is it all right that dark foliage plants would be in the full sun?  Yes, that's really no problem.  Because somehow, they withstand really full sun already, and it's no problem.

Shelley:
Jan, what a wonderful way to enjoy wine and chocolate.  Thank you.

Jan:
You're entirely welcome.

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