Just as I love to collect cookbooks and food recipes, I love to find beautiful container gardens and collect container garden recipes!
This time of year we are all trying to get our yards, gardens, decks, and patios in tip-top shape for the summer months. While I absolutely love working on the garden beds in my yard, both flower and vegetable, I also very much enjoy starting from a blank palate to create container gardens that really WOWs for the summer months!
I published a post several weeks back that detailed the theory of Thrillers, Fillers and Spillers as it relates to choosing plants and plant combinations that coordinate and contrast with each other. I also talked about how I collect examples of plants that work well in container gardens -a container garden recipe!
Today I’m sharing with some ‘recipes’ that really caught my eye during some recent travels and that I’ve filed away to prepare in the future. While I am fairly certain of some of the plants I’ve included in my ‘recipes’, I’m guessing at some others.
I think my guesses are close enough to get the desired effect. However, like many kitchen recipes, its fun to play with the ingredients and create your own container garden combinations to put your own personal spin on it. And while some of these containers are quite large, 4-5 feet diameter, remember that you can pull from these plant combinations in smaller quantities to use in your smaller container pots.
None of these next 3 planters were grown in full sun but did receive sun on and off throughout the day, especially in the late afternoon as it began to set.
Dracena Fragans (aka Corn Plant) is the thriller plant in this container garden. I couldn’t even estimate all the different varieties of hostas in the world, but ‘Twilight’ or ‘Afterglow’ are similar to the one shown here, which to me act as both Thriller plants and Spiller plants, as does the ‘Electra Shocking’ Heuchera with its white flowers. The orange ‘Bonfire’ Begonia, ‘ White Christmas’ Caladium, ‘Autumn Fern’ and ‘Kiwi Fern’ Coleus is the filler plant in this large planter. I could easily see picking and choosing a couple of these plant combinations to create a similar look in a smaller container garden.
I love the pop of purple in the planter below.
A Fiddle Leaf Fig anchors this large planter and is the clear thriller plant and is flanked by’ Lemon Lime’ Dracena. ‘ Julie Morss’ Hosta and a variety of Caladium (‘White Delight’, ‘Moonlight’, and ‘Aaron’) as the filler plant in the box. A shot of unexpected purple is provided by a purple leaf Heuchera, possibly ‘Chocolate Ruffles’.
My favorite container garden recipe from this trip might just be this one below. The Fiddle Leaf Fig is the Thriller but has competition from the Aeonium Black Jade, which provides such great color and texture contrast to the fig.
The lovely pink Caladium, which I think is either ‘Sizzle’ or ‘Florida Sweetheart’, fills in the lower portion of the planter and spills over the edge. Adding the ‘Corkscrew Rush’ as another spiller plant also adds a great contrast to the Caladium. I really ❤ this container garden recipe.
And last but not least, during a visit to the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY, I was so tickled with their container garden recipes which incorporated fruit, vegetables, and herbs. The profusion of nasturtium (possibly ‘Alaska Variegated Scarlet’ and ‘Banana Cream’) will be both filler plant and spiller plant as the season progresses.
I love how the strawberries are spilling over one side during their peak; on the other side of the pot, a bunch of chives tumbles out. A lovely purple-veined and stemmed eggplant is the thriller in this lovely and kitchen-worthy pot.
We get most of our plants from our local Home Depot. They have an extensive variety of thrillers, fillers, and spillers from which to choose to create your own “recipe”. They have a wonderful program by which you can Order Online Here and pick it up at your local store within hours or at your convenience.
So my friends, if you are collecting ‘recipes’ for your container gardens, I hope that I have added to your collection; I’m excited to incorporate some of these ‘recipes’ in my container gardens this summer.
And, don’t forget! Container gardening isn’t just for the outdoors! You can do indoor container gardens as well.
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