Pots, planters or containers — it really doesn’t matter what you call them. We all use them throughout our gardens in every shape and size. Gardeners often ask me what’s the trick to making great containers for each season. My answer to that is a simple formula of T-F-S — thrillers, fillers and spillers.
If we break this formula down, it works like this. First and foremost is the thriller — the centrepiece of the container. It’s the star of the show, something big and bold. It could be a canna, banana tree or a tropical such as a palm or ficus.
The centrepiece is where we start creating any container so chose something for its wow factor. It helps to select a plant that will grow at least as tall as the container.
Some more suggestions might be an ornamental grass such as the ever-popular purple fountain grass or papyrus grass, an obelisk or a mandevilla.
Quick side note — if you’re using a tropical from inside you house or plants that you will need to winter over indoors, leave them in their pots and plant pot and all into the container. That way in the fall you don’t have to repot it before you move it indoors.
Next comes the fillers. These are the foliage or flower plants that will complement but not over shadow the thriller. Here comes the unlimited list of plants in every colour under the rainbow.
You could try upright fuchsia such as Stand-up Shirley or Paul Jane — this fuchsia grows into a beautiful bush form as opposed to their cousins that we put in hanging baskets.
Coleus, begonias, dusty miller, Persian shield, Euphorbia, heliotropes, pentas and geraniums are other options — the limit in this area is your own imagination.
And to finish off the container I add the spillers. These are the plants that spill out over the edge of the pot, softening the edges.
Potatoes vine is the most popular to use here, but bacopa, nasturtiums, calibrachoa (mini petunias), ivy geraniums and lantanas are all great choices.
As long as I use each of these kinds of plants — in various proportions — and take care to balance colours and textures, I can create a pot with pizzazz.
While walking the aisles of the garden centre I found some new to me great-looking annuals.
In the spiller department, I discovered Scaevola Pink Wonder. Clusters of pink fan-shaped blooms scatter themselves through the low, rounded and trailing foliage. Their colour is a good mixer in baskets and a pretty floral carpet beside a path.
In hot, sunny locations, growth is vigorous with non-stop flowering. With its small pink and dark violet-centred flowers, Calibrachoa Hula Soft Pink provides an amazing show of colour when mixed with blue or lime green.
Petunia “Crazytunia Mandevilla” is simply spectacular! Incredible fiery colours radiate outwards from the centres of these unique star-shaped blooms. This compact upright petunia has a robust habit and superb weather resistance that ensures a brilliant performance throughout summer.
Dwarf Scaevola Bondi is a filler. Compact and upright habit with non-stop white blooms, this plant is heat and drought tolerant so it just loves the sun.
Be adventuresome and try something new in you pots, containers or planters this year. The only thing stopping you is your imagination.
Content courtesy of http://www.torontosun.com
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