All Posts   Posted:   March 30, 2016 by Jennifer Williams

Do you pass through the doorway to your home; day in and day out, with blinders on to avoid the dreary state of your entryway? The home is our sanctuary, where we can express ourselves but far too often we focus all our energies on the interior and forget to look beyond the door. News flash - everyone sees it, especially you! Rather than ignore this space make it an opportunity to stand out and show the world who you are through thoughtful container plantings that accentuate your style.

Three different styles that will differentiate you from the neighbors are Modern, Bright, and Zen. Here’re some examples of my favorites for each of the three major components to well-balanced plantings; ‘Thriller’ (centerpiece) ‘Filler’ (medium sized) and ‘Spiller’ (trailing).

MODERN:

The clean lines, contemporary form and neutral colors of this style puts the plants in the spotlight, where you can showcase subtle combinations of structure and texture. Fiberstone containers are perfect for this look; dark, lightweight pots in a wide selection of shapes and sizes that will fit most any space.

Thrillers:  Some of the best structural centerpieces are compact Japanese hollies like Ilex creanata ‘Dwarf Pagoda’ and ‘Sky Pencil’. For a brighter, more whimsical look try Corokia ‘Sunsplash’. The large, glossy leaves of Fatsia japonica are bold and beautiful.

Fillers: My favorites for this look are evergreen grasses like ‘Evergold’ or ‘Prairie Fire’ Sedges (Carex) as well as Mondo grass varieties Green Ophiopogon japonica or Black Ophiopogon j. ‘Nigrescens’.

Spillers:  Tough and textural trailing plants include two types of Creeping Jenny, Lysimachia ‘Persian Chocolate’ and ‘Golden’ or try Sedum ‘Angelina’ for a bright cascading succulent ideal in hot spots.

COLOR TRADITION:

These pots are sure to put a smile on your face with color that accents your home in a more traditional plant pallet, complete with loads of flowers.

Thrillers: Dwarf Hydrangeas such as the oak-leaf variety ‘Pee Wee’, the beautiful conical flowering ‘Lime Light’ or the classic ‘Nikko Blue’. Camelia japonica is evergreen, slow growing and has large, showy flowers in the spring making it a wonderful centerpiece – if you are interested in attracting hummingbirds to the garden all year try Camellia ‘Yuletide’. You can really make a statement with columnar Boxwood Buxus sempervirens ‘Suffruticosa’ or really go for the gusto with topiary.

Fillers: Heuchera come in every color under the sun, have a wide range of sun vs. shade, and if that wasn’t enough they are evergreen as well. Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’ is a charming perennial with silver foliage and airy blue flowers in the spring that is well suited to life in a container. Zonal Geraniums have the biggest color bang of any annual, they will bloom their little heads off all summer long.

Spillers: A must have colorful trailing annual is Million Bells (Calibrachoa), think mini petunias with all the color impact and none of the deadheading the classic petunia requires (any of you out there that has collected the sticky spent blooms know what a blessing this is). Bacopa is a tried and true flowering trailer that in addition to the typical white now comes in purple ‘Colossal Blue’ pink ‘Colossal Pink’ and a fun golden variegated  variety called ‘Gold N Pearls’.

ZEN:

Gives a sense of calm and tranquility, where emphasis on form and balance create a harmonious combination

Thrillers: Japanese Maples are my go to for containers when form is important, you can choose a weeping habit or one with compact upright growth like Acer palmatum ‘Pixie’. A lesser known shrub that has interesting form is Edgeworthia chrysantha, in addition to deliciously fragrant blossoms in early spring.

Fillers: Ferns add the perfect accent for naturally cultivated look! I like Himalayan Maidenhair, Adiantum venustum or Autumn Fern, Dryopteris enthrosora. Japanese Forest Grass adds a sense of serenity with a soft texture and arching habit, look for varieties Hakonechloa ‘All Gold’ and ‘Aureola’ for a bright splash in lower light.

Spillers: Use care not to overdo this element for a balanced look! I prefer Saxifraga ‘London Pride’ as a well behaved creeping rosette type plant that will spill over the edge of your pot in the most endearing way.

Do you pass through the doorway to your home; day in and day out, with blinders on to avoid the dreary state of your entryway? The home is our sanctuary, where we can express ourselves but far too often we focus all our energies on the interior and forget to look beyond the door. News flash - everyone sees it, especially you! Rather than ignore this space make it an opportunity to stand out and show the world who you are through thoughtful container plantings that accentuate your style.

Three different styles that will differentiate you from the neighbors are Modern, Bright, and Zen. Here’re some examples of my favorites for each of the three major components to well-balanced plantings; ‘Thriller’ (centerpiece) ‘Filler’ (medium sized) and ‘Spiller’ (trailing).

MODERN:

The clean lines, contemporary form and neutral colors of this style puts the plants in the spotlight, where you can showcase subtle combinations of structure and texture. Fiberstone containers are perfect for this look; dark, lightweight pots in a wide selection of shapes and sizes that will fit most any space.

Thrillers:  Some of the best structural centerpieces are compact Japanese hollies like Ilex creanata ‘Dwarf Pagoda’ and ‘Sky Pencil’. For a brighter, more whimsical look try Corokia ‘Sunsplash’. The large, glossy leaves of Fatsia japonica are bold and beautiful.

Fillers: My favorites for this look are evergreen grasses like ‘Evergold’ or ‘Prairie Fire’ Sedges (Carex) as well as Mondo grass varieties Green Ophiopogon japonica or Black Ophiopogon j. ‘Nigrescens’.

Spillers:  Tough and textural trailing plants include two types of Creeping Jenny, Lysimachia ‘Persian Chocolate’ and ‘Golden’ or try Sedum ‘Angelina’ for a bright cascading succulent ideal in hot spots.

COLOR TRADITION:

These pots are sure to put a smile on your face with color that accents your home in a more traditional plant pallet, complete with loads of flowers.

Thrillers: Dwarf Hydrangeas such as the oak-leaf variety ‘Pee Wee’, the beautiful conical flowering ‘Lime Light’ or the classic ‘Nikko Blue’. Camelia japonica is evergreen, slow growing and has large, showy flowers in the spring making it a wonderful centerpiece – if you are interested in attracting hummingbirds to the garden all year try Camellia ‘Yuletide’. You can really make a statement with columnar Boxwood Buxus sempervirens ‘Suffruticosa’ or really go for the gusto with topiary.

Fillers: Heuchera come in every color under the sun, have a wide range of sun vs. shade, and if that wasn’t enough they are evergreen as well. Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’ is a charming perennial with silver foliage and airy blue flowers in the spring that is well suited to life in a container. Zonal Geraniums have the biggest color bang of any annual, they will bloom their little heads off all summer long.

Spillers: A must have colorful trailing annual is Million Bells (Calibrachoa), think mini petunias with all the color impact and none of the deadheading the classic petunia requires (any of you out there that has collected the sticky spent blooms know what a blessing this is). Bacopa is a tried and true flowering trailer that in addition to the typical white now comes in purple ‘Colossal Blue’ pink ‘Colossal Pink’ and a fun golden variegated  variety called ‘Gold N Pearls’.

ZEN:

Gives a sense of calm and tranquility, where emphasis on form and balance create a harmonious combination

Thrillers: Japanese Maples are my go to for containers when form is important, you can choose a weeping habit or one with compact upright growth like Acer palmatum ‘Pixie’. A lesser known shrub that has interesting form is Edgeworthia chrysantha, in addition to deliciously fragrant blossoms in early spring.

Fillers: Ferns add the perfect accent for naturally cultivated look! I like Himalayan Maidenhair, Adiantum venustum or Autumn Fern, Dryopteris enthrosora. Japanese Forest Grass adds a sense of serenity with a soft texture and arching habit, look for varieties Hakonechloa ‘All Gold’ and ‘Aureola’ for a bright splash in lower light.

Spillers: Use care not to overdo this element for a balanced look! I prefer Saxifraga ‘London Pride’ as a well behaved creeping rosette type plant that will spill over the edge of your pot in the most endearing way.