Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A Container For All Seasons

I have been on a mission to find every plant I need to fill my daughter-in-law's containers.  My dear friend and I visited three nurseries the other day and I went to a final one yesterday in order to complete the plant list for these large pedestal type cast iron containers.  They are very impressive and lead up to the front door of a Nantucket style home.

I know I said I was going to do a Cezanne arrangement for these pots, lots of color!  I think we have achieved our goal with pinks, whites, blues, yellows, purples, magenta and of course lots of green. 

Our tall background plant is Dracena Bauer, which in the tropics will grow to ten feet, not in our container.  In front of that we will plant Dahlia Mystic Beauty, encircled by Lobelia, petunias, zinnias,  coleus, sweet potato vine, dusty miller and creeping jenny.

What most of us do not realize is that it takes a lot of plants to fill out a container.  They need to be packed tight to make an impact.  You can shake away some of that dirt to squeeze them in. These full pots also need to be fed at least every two weeks and watered daily if necessary.  I am also going to add some water absorbing crystals to the soil and fertilize.

I took a tour one day of the village where I live to really notice how well containers enhanced the homes where they resided.  To my surprise, many of them were too small for the size of the home and so many did not compliment the style of the specific residence.  When you place containers at the entrance of your home or garden, stand back and look at them from the perspective of approaching your entry or passing by from the street.  Containers should be large enough to make an impact but not overpowering.

When choosing plants for containers, take into consideration the style of the home and also the color of the brick/siding, roof and fencing.  I am not a fan of Dusty Miller, but I am going to use it to peek out from this container to pick up the color of the siding and draw your eye from the plantings to the home.


Hocking Hills Gardener said...

What a beautiful choice of plantings Eileen. I love the zinnia white profusion and the red velvet coleus. Beautiful!

Cottage Garden said...

Your planters are really impressive Eileen - wonderful displays and choice of plants and colour. Your DIL is a lucky lady - they will enhance and add grace to a front door with no problem!


Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

I love your containers and all the color. The Coleus' are really pretty. I agree with you on the size of containers in relation to the house. I've had a really hard time trying to find on the right size for one side of our garage.

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Thanks Lona,

I had seen the Red Velvet Coleus at a house last summer and could not identify it. I went on the internet and had it narrowed down to two - then saw it at the garden center.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Thanks Jeanne,

I am hoping the Dahlia will not get too big or we will have to subsstitute.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Catherine, I was really contemplating getting out of my car to take pictures of just right pots and pots that were inappropriate for the house. I am still thinking it would make a good blog, but I am concerned that someone would think I was stalking their house!


Jim Groble said...

I guess it is a small world. Today our youngest daughter texted me that her insurance agent and I went to grade school and high school.
You can transplant the creeping jenny in the as a ground cover or reuse it in pots next year. jim

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Yes Jim, we all seem be connected in some way. I am growing the creeping jenny as a ground cover in two areas, neither next to grass, or it will go into the lawn and is very difficult to get rid of. I do love it in my pots - reminds me of the south when it hangs so, so low.


Mr Brown Thumb said...

Wonderful color combinations. I really like Coleus Gay's Delight. I may have to look for that one to add to the garden.

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Mr. Brown Thumb, I have one that looks almost exactly the same, maybe a little more lime,think it is pineapple something (threw the tag out). Gay's Deligh gets fairly large, 24 inches or more, so you will see it in this big container.


RainGardener said...

Hi Eileen, Great post and I love you container plantings. I think that the reason sometimes people don't have containers large enough is the cost of them. Planters are very spendy and I would like bigger ones than I have. Consequently I end up just planting in a variety of things and a lot of weird or primitive things because I can pick them up for less money and at garage sales. Bob is finally getting use to what I drag home. LOL Loved your post on Heucheras too. Thanks so much for stopping by, I love the company!

LC said...

Your containers look great! Another very windy and rainy day here, I'm going to visit Northwinds Perennial Farm tomorrow for the first time... hope it's a pleasant day! Larry

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Raingardener,

I think it is great that you use primitive and vintage to plant. Large containers can be very expensive, hundreds of dollars in some cases. An alternative is resin as tney are getting better and better at looking "real." The big box stores usually have great pots at reasonable prices.

A lot of my containers I pick up at outlet stores, but I have had to bite the bullet for some. Lots of rain here last night and today.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Larry, hopefully it will be a much nicer day tomorrow. I think you will enjoy Northwind, not tons of perennials but a unique place.