Spectacular Summer season Container Designs: Half 2

Summer season is the season all gardeners await. The brilliant solar and heat climate sign the beginning of the showiest time of yr, and nowhere is that this pleasure extra evident than with container gardening. Backyard shops are overflowing with crops and pots in each coloration, measurement, fashion, and form. Whether or not you lean towards tropicals or are passionate about succulents, summer time is the season to point out off your abilities. To get you began, we’ve assembled a couple of designs by Riz Reyes of Seattle and Julie Chai of San Francisco (for Julie’s designs, see half 1 of this text). We invite you to faucet into their creativity—and to develop upon their ideas—to make this your finest container season but.

Restricted coloration, excessive influence

container with various pink foliage plants

Limited color, high impact container illustrated and labeled

A number of of the crops on this container have comparable textures and shapes, however variegation is what units them aside. Somewhat than mixing right into a bland mass, the crops’ markings separate them sufficient to make the combination dynamic. A vertical accent and an total pink theme make the design cohesive.

  1. ‘Cherry Sensation’ cordyline (Cordyline australis ‘Cherry Sen­sation’, Zones 7–11)
  2. ‘Pink Princess’ philodendron (Philodendron erubescens ‘Pink Princess’, Zone 13)
  3. ‘Fishnet Stockings’ coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides ‘Fishnet Stockings’, Zones 12–13)
  4. Persian protect (Strobilanthes dyerianus, Zones 9–11)
  5. Polka dot plant (Hypoestes phyllostachya cv., Zones 10–11)
  6. ‘Silver Falls’ dichondra (Dichondra argentea ‘Silver Falls’, Zones 10–11)


Encourage crops to play properly collectively

container with blue and green succulents

Encourage plants to play well together container illustrated and labeled

Low-growing succulents permit their bigger counterparts to take middle stage on this easy planting. Whereas a tree aeonium can stand by itself, the eche­veria and blue chalk sticks add further curiosity and variety. The mix is made much more hanging by the deep crimson container that picks up on the information of the aeonium and contrasts fantastically with blue.

  1. Tree aeonium (Aeonium arboreum var. atropurpureum, Zones 9–11)
  2. Blue chalk sticks (Senecio mandraliscae, Zones 10–11)
  3. ‘Topsy Turvy’ echeveria (Echeveria runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy’, Zones 9–11)
  4. Blue rose echeveria (Echeveria imbricata, Zones 9–11)


Make a shady nook pop

container with various red coleus plants and other colorful foliage

Make a shady corner pop container illustrated and labeled

If it weren’t for the crops on this container, the chilly white stucco wall would dominate this shady entry with its starkness. As an alternative, it serves as the right backdrop for a dense association of types and textures. A chartreuse theme weaving by way of the coleus and a spot of white variegation within the hosta give the realm extra pop.

  1. Competition Grass™ cordyline (Cordyline ‘JURred’, Zones 8–11)
  2. Blood banana (Musa acuminata ‘Zebrina’, Zones 10–11)
  3. ‘Dream Queen’ hosta (Hosta ‘Dream Queen’, Zones 3–9)
  4. ‘Saturn’ coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides ‘Saturn’, Zones 12–13)
  5. ‘Defiance’ coleus (S. scutellarioides ‘Defiance’, Zones 12–13)
  6. ‘Odalisque’ coleus (S. scutellarioides ‘Odalisque’, Zones 12–13)


Even handed deadheading of flowers and pruning fast-growing foliage encourage slower growers to catch up, leading to a cohesive container plant­ing as an alternative of a bedraggled or misshapen one. That is very true for coleus; nothing will make a container messy quicker than forgetting to deadhead coleus flowers.

Silver is middle stage

group of three containers with various green foliage plants

Silver is center stage containers illustrated and labeled

The success of this dramatic trio lies in inventive coloration repetition and textural selection. Though the silver honey bush is clearly the star of the present, it shares the highlight with the shimmering leaves of brunnera and dichondra. The adjoining pots make a terrific supporting forged, choosing up on each the colours and textures of the crops at middle stage.

  1. ‘Antonow’s Blue’ honey bush (Melianthus main ‘Antonow’s Blue’, Zones 8–11)
  2. ‘Rosevallon’ rhododendron (Rhododendron neriiflorum ‘Rosevallon’, Zones 7–9)
  3. ‘Cha Cha’ cordyline (Cordyline ‘Cha Cha’, Zones 9–11)
  4. Keiskei fetterbush (Leucothoe keiskei, Zones 6–8)
  5. Deer fern (Blechnum spicant, Zones 5–8)
  6. Dwarf mondo grass (Ophiopogon japonicus ‘Nanus’, Zones 7–10)
  7. Dwarf golden candy flag (Acorus gramineus ‘Minimus Aureus’, Zones 6–9)
  8. ‘Blue Ivory’ hosta (Hosta ‘Blue Ivory’, Zones 3–9)
  9. ‘Sea Coronary heart’ brunnera (Brunnera macrophylla ‘Sea Coronary heart’, Zones 3–7)
  10. ‘Silver Falls’ dichondra (Dichondra argentea ‘Silver Falls’, Zones 10–11)
  11. ‘Whirligig’ African daisy (Osteospermum ‘Whirligig’, annual)


Easy is stately

large container with bold and fine foliage plants

Simple is stately container illustrated and labeled

The various shades of inexperienced and the starkly contrasting textures of the elephant’s ear and Mexican feather grass are all this planter wants. However by putting the 2 in a contrasting darkish navy planter that picks up on the blue-purple within the leaves of the elephant’s ear, this straightforward association makes a convincing assertion.

  1. ‘Blue Hawaii’ elephant’s ear (Colocasia esculenta* ‘Blue Hawaii’, Zones 8–11)
  2. Mexican feather grass (Nassella tenuissima, Zones 7–11)


Eager for simplicity? Keep in mind that a single plant—corresponding to agave, elephant’s ear, or phormium—is all it is advisable to make an announcement if it’s planted in the appropriate pot. When utilizing only one plant, make sure you choose a container that enhances, reasonably than competes with, the plant.

One-flower marvel

two containers with chartreuse foliage and red flowers

One-flower wonder containers illustrated and labeled

Chartreuse and black are a hanging mixture—the spots and variegation within the elephant’s ear echo the black mondo grass—and the sedge and New Zealand flax match the entrance pot to a tee. However add a jolt of blood crimson dahlia with darkish foliage to the center and this pairing is immediately reworked into a luxurious, dynamic show.

  1. Mystic Surprise dahlia (Dahlia ‘Velvet’, Zones 9–11)
  2. ‘Mojito’ elephant’s ear (Colocasia esculenta* ‘Mojito’, Zones 8–11)
  3. ‘Frosted Curls’ sedge (Carex ‘Frosted Curls’, Zones 7–9)
  4. Black mondo grass (Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’, Zones 6–11)
  5. ‘Yellow Wave’ New Zealand flax (Phormium ‘Yellow Wave’, Zones 8–11)


Each plant has its place

container with purple flowers and foliage

Every plant has its place container illustrated and labeled

The towering castor bean gives a cover underneath which plenty of crops flourish. The look turns into much more dramatic with the addition of a spiky ‘Tricolor’ New Zealand flax within the middle, however it’s then subdued by the contrasting flowers and foliage that decide up the colours within the castor bean, making a full-circle expertise.

  1. ‘Carmencita’ castor bean (Ricinus communis ‘Carmencita’, annual)
  2. ‘Intenz’ cockscomb (Celosia ‘Intenz’, annual)
  3. Persian protect (Strobilanthes dyerianus, Zones 9–11)
  4. ‘Tricolor’ New Zealand flax (Phormium cookianum subsp. hookeri ‘Tricolor’, Zones 8–11)
  5. ‘Fishnet Stockings’ coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides ‘Fishnet Stockings’, Zones 12–13)
  6. South African geranium (Pelargonium sidoides, Zones 9–11)
  7. ‘Silver Falls’ dichondra (Dichondra argentea ‘Silver Falls’, Zones 10–11)


*These crops are thought of invasive in some areas. Please examine invasiveplantatlas.org or your state’s listing of invasive crops for extra info.


Pictures: Lynn Felici-Gallant

Illustrations: Elara Tanguy

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