Now that the Michigan weather has finally turned to spring, it is time to start planting seasonals in your landscape. One of my favorite ways to utilize annuals is Container Gardening. In our last blog we touched on how adding colorful containers can really upgrade the look of your home. Now, we are going to dive a little deeper into the topic of container gardening, and talk about what makes a good seasonals arrangement in a container.
Container Gardens: The Options are Almost Limitless
Container gardening is the perfect option for anyone who doesn’t have a lot of space or just wants small pops of color in their yard. A well styled container is a simple way to add a ‘wow’ factor to your porch or patio. Matching containers on each side of your front walkway will easily impress your guests, while containers on your patio are a simple way to add color. Shade dominant areas in gardens can also benefit from the added height and color of a container, as well as provide more options for colorful shade plantings.
Garden Centers all over are stocked full of flowers, and there are so many different options when it comes to seasonals, it can be hard to know where to start. Deciding what colors and plant combinations will look best can lead to limitless possibilities. When it comes to the arrangement itself, it’s always good to have a Thriller, a Spiller, and a Filler.
The Thriller plant is the focal point of the arrangement, and is typically the tallest in the container either with large attractive foliage or a showy flower. If you are looking for that tropical poolside look, Canna Lily or Caladium are great selections. For a more natural look, Coleus or Mandevilla are good choices. These plants all provide the height and beautiful colors a Thriller needs.
Next step is selecting the Spiller. The Spiller should be something that grows up and over the edge of the container to spill down the side. The importance of the spiller is to bring added texture to the arrangement and to soften the container. Some great fillers I like to use are Sweet Potato Vine, Lemon Coral Sedum, or even a variegated Ivy vine.
The last step is the Filler. This is where your creativity shines. Since we’ve chosen an upright seasonal for our Thriller, and a vine-like seasonal as our Spiller, we need something to cover up all of that dirt in the pot but also bring some flower power along with it. Good selections include Superbells, Lantana, Supertunia, Calibrachoa and many more! Freely choose two or three options to add variety or just pick one for a more simplistic look. When purchasing seasonals for fillers, it’s important to plant in odd numbers. Oddly enough, this is most pleasing to the eye.
One last thing to consider when container gardening is that plants tend to need water more often. Make sure you are keeping a regular watering schedule, especially in the hot summer months. If you plan on vacationing for long periods of time, make sure to have someone to water your containers for you. If you have an existing irrigation system, you should look into having drip lines installed in areas you most commonly keep containers.
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