Once again I want to honor one of the folks who have took me early on to new levels of container design. Rita Randolph encouraged me to see beyond just having flowers and look for the beauty and artistic texture of foliage. Autumn fern, Heuchera, Acorus grass, variegated ivy, and the very simply named evergreen “Platycladus ‘Chinese Arborvites’ Aurea Nana” or sometimes known as Thuja orientalis produce a part-shade planting worthy of your front door. Rita, I’m lifting my wine glass to you even as I type!
It’s been a long winter but I have enjoyed the opportunity for hours of planning, ordering plants, working on designs, fine-tuning budgets… ok, maybe not that last part. But I do those things because they are necessary. This week I got to start doing the really fun part, the part where I smell the raw earthy scents of fresh bags of potting soil and fresh tilled earth, where I zone into my happy place so much so that sometimes clients walk outside and say, “We have leftovers from our supper. Do you want some?” Yesterday I got to replant 17 planters for a new client who had several big events coming up at their home. The challenge at this time of year was finding plants that provided color and texture, could handle a few more freezes, offered low maintenance for a homeowner who didn’t have time for tending to a lot of pots, that will continue to bring interest over the next few seasons, and that I could find available on the heels of winter.
So here are a few of the plants that I got to play with yesterday:
I moved some of the more interesting glazed planters over to this more visible spot.
A standard Loropetalum is bedded down with clove-scented Dianthus, Stachys, dwarf Gardenia, and variegated Ivy.
Blue Spruce collared by Firepower Nandina and Color Guard Yucca.
I reused this Gold-edge Yucca with some blue sedum to contrast against the red planter.
A close up of the planter holding the Red Twig Dogwood, which hosted Downey Lavender, yellow pansies, and Dragon’s Blood Sedum.
I’ll give you a peek at some of the other planters on another day 🙂
This beautiful bowl was adorning the streets of Raleigh, NC. It was Harley week (notice the bike in the background) and I’m sure all those biker folk were really taking in the incredible planters that lined the street. But if you needed to plant something that could take you from now thru summer, this planter filled with Angelonia sedum, dianthus, heuchera, euphorbia, and begonia would do the trick. Except for the begonia – you’d have to wait until after the first frost for that. So until then, how about planting a one gallon coral bark maple or a red twig dogwood or even just sticking the branches of a red twig where the begonia is until it is safe to plant.
Most of us dream of doing something extraordinary. We want to create something that touches lives and instills curiosity for creating greater things. And some people see the opportunity to do just that and won’t let go until that dream becomes a reality.
Louise Hartwig saw the opportunity and the need for a children’s garden. All she needed was quite a few thousand dollars and hundreds of hours of volunteer work. You can read about that journey at the link below, but enjoy now the gorgeous windowbox plantings she created for the Butterfly House – the centerpiece of this gardening feast. Created from easy to find plants like Gaura ‘Whirling Butterflies’, Petunia ‘Supertunia Raspberry Blast’, and ‘Supertunia Royal Magenta’, you have the opportunity to create this windowbox at your own home.
Smiley Park Children’s Garden in Van Wert, Ohio http://ourlittleacre.blogspot.com/2007/08/dream-becomes-reality.html