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Sun-Loving Container Garden

By Charlotte on July 10, 2009 9:44 AM

Mixed plantings are an easy way to add punches of color to your yard.  But how do you create a winning combination? 


  • Use an odd number. Three works well but five is better.
  • Include varying heights and textures.
  • Look for plants with similar needs. 

If you're expecting a long, hot summer, try this water-wise, heat-tolerant fivesome in full sun:


Grass - Start by selecting a tall grass to give the mixture some height, and centering it in your pot.


Mexican Heather - Add texture by including this bushy, fern-like plant laced with dainty purple flowers in the container's background. 


Cora Vinca - Turn up the color with this new variety of our ever-favorite Periwinkle.  Disease-resistant Cora's large, eye-catching flowers and glossy, deep green foliage will have your planter turning heads well into fall.  It comes in an array of show-stopping colors but we love it in Lavender.


Portuluca Grandiflora (Moss Rose) - Set sunny yellow Moss Rose near the front of the pot, beside the Lavender Vinca.  Growing only four to six inches tall, this trailing annual has brilliant, rose-like blooms that build interest by spilling over the sides of your pot. 


Marguerite Sweet Potato Vine - Complete the look with striking, chartreuse Sweet Potato Vine.  Like Moss Rose, this low-growing, ornamental vine thrives in hot conditions and will drape 24" to 36" over your container's side.     


Grouping these sun-loving, garden standouts will make your container a knock-out.  We recommend doubling your pleasure by creating two pots. Then you can enjoy the arrangement through fall with very little effort. Just add a little water and deadhead the Moss Rose if you feel like it. You can find this quintet at one of our favorite plant stops:  Lowe's Garden Centers. 


Growing Zones: Varies but these are star performers in zones 7-9.
Size Matters:    Use a 12" pot and one of each plant but Cora Vinca; go for two of these.
Sunshine Factor:  Best in 6+ hours of sun.

Flower Power:  Blooms early summer to frost.
Brown-Thumb Approved:
  You bet. 




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Diabetes-Friendly Chicken Burrito Bowl

ChickenBurritoBowlEverydayDiabetes 600.jpg

By Laura Cipullo and Lisa Mikus, authors of Everyday Diabetes Meals
Image credit: Colin Erricson

Prepare your own Mexican quick fix with this Chipotle-inspired bowl. Carbs are moderated by filling the bowl with beans, extra veggies and chicken. No need for rice, since the beans count as carbs.


If you love tomatoes, increase the quantity to 1/2 cup, but note that the carbohydrates will also increase.

If preparing this recipe for one person, cut all of the ingredients in half. Or simply prepare the full recipe up to the end of step 2 and store leftover chicken and vegetable-bean mixture in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat in the microwave on High for 1 to 2 minutes, or until heated through, and continue with step 3.

Health Bite: The iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, copper and zinc in black beans help to keep bones strong and healthy.

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Windy City

It's been almost 18 years since Alison Krauss gave us a solo album, but the wait is over with Windy City. The release (her fifth solo studio album) features ten covers of classic songs (and some bonus tracks) she picked with producer Buddy Cannon.

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