The other day I noticed we only had two midsize, light-weight brown planter bowls left in stock, and they were just calling to be planted. Since summer is relatively slow and we have time on our hands, we’ve been planting all sorts of mixed containers with annuals, herbs, perennials, and everything in between to tempt folks coming in; and I thought one of these might be just the right size for someone.
Usually if I plant two of something for display, I make them similar, but, with these, I decided to play off the brown color of the bowls with two different plantings – both for sun, but each quite different, using annuals. Here’s what I came up with. Of course, there are endless variations of plants out there; these are simply my two versions using annuals available mid-summer.
The first planting uses light colors that are quite harmonious – white, blue and yellow. A variegated Swedish ivy and yellow duranta are the all-important foliage accents here, and the white flowers of the angelonia will add a spiky bloom in the center (The yellow duranta will need some clipping eventually to keep it at the right proportion for this planting.). Pretty blooms of a blue daze trailing over the edge complete the picture. If the container were larger, I might have added a silver thyme as well.
Color is an interesting thing. You can either go big, bold, and wild and mix many together, or you might choose two or three very opposite colors (Think purple and orange, for example.). Combinations can also be fairly calm, using colors closely related.
Flowers obviously add color to any composition, but don’t forget the importance of foliage too. Many times I’ll begin a design by pulling foliage plants to accent a particular planter, then add blooming plants to play off of those leaves. In fact, leaves and their shapes are extremely important to the overall look of a planter once it’s completed and growing out.
The second is quite different, though once again there’s a yellow foliage (Yellow works so well with brown!), this time a dwarf Joseph’s coat, and white blooms too, represented here by a dark leaved baby wing begonia. Its leaves match the color of the bowl almost perfectly. The begonia is a heavy presence in this planting; so, to lighten it up, an airy blooming white euphorbia went in next. Finally, the silvery foliage of a trailing dichondra spills over the edge, adding a nice contrast to the brown of the pot.
So, there are now two fairly simple, yet quite dissimilar plantings in the same bowl. At another time of the year, the choices would have been even more different…yet another reason container gardening is so entertaining!
Stop in and take a look at our container planting designs if you’re in the Birmingham area. We try to have as many made up as possible to give you ideas and inspiration!