|Gaura last summer in a pot, next to petunias|
But they did. They thrived. I mean, really, they looked like this as of March 12:
|After a winter on the enclosed porch|
By April they had shot up, filled out, and tripled in size. By May they had outgrown the pots. In June I took them out before I couldn't handle them any more, and put them in the ground outside.
I put them in the hottest, driest, lightest soil I have: along the garage wall, bordering the front walk. They are leaning forward, reaching out to tickle the legs of anyone walking by.
The experiment with the pots over winter worked well, but they really got too big for containers this season. So now my next trial will be to see if they winter over in the ground in this location --- it's south facing, in front of the brick wall of the garage, so it's much warmer and drier than other spots in my garden.
A surprise was how the deep pink flowers on the whirling stems of the gaura echo the intense pink blooms of a groundcover stonecrop, Sedum spurium 'Red Carpet' that edges the walk. I didn't plan that.
The conditions along the front walk are probably better for gaura to thrive, but the location isn't the best in terms of design. Gauras are willowy, bendy prairie plants, better suited for a meadow. They are too loose looking for the structured brick wall and narrow walk, and the long wands are arching out, flopping across the walk a little alarmingly. They really don't belong there, and they look kind of messy.
It's constant trial and error, balancing what plants want for their living conditions and what I want for design. It's all a big experiment, isn't it?