Containers in Color

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Containers in Color

Categories: Blog, Garden Guru

We are a month past the Summer Solstice and the summer annuals and tropical plants are full sized and exuberant at Powell Gardens! Here’s a brief show of some of our containers and plantings…

This container in the Perennial Garden (by former Senior Gardener Jay Priddy) is one of my favorite. It contains the three “classic” elements of container design: thriller, filler, and spiller. The thriller is hare’s tail grass (Lagurus), the filler is a cultivar of black-eyed-susans (Rudbeckia hirta) and the spiller is Margarita Sweet Potato (Ipomoea battatus). The use of a grass and a cultivar of a native wildflower really speaks to our region of native grasslands.

The Chapungu Sales tent covers part of our terrace beds outside the Visitor Center but the remaining corner functions as a container. The dramatic use of a Variegated Fucrea (Fucrea)”thriller” and shocking ‘Crystal Palace’ red geraniums makes quite a composition. The crisp stone edging to the bed makes use of a “spiller” obsolete here. This design is by Horticulturist Anne Wildebor.

This container by Anne Wildebor has a mix of harmonious foliage plants with just a splash of contrasting pink flowers. The dramatic foliage is Canna ‘Sunburst’ on either side with a Black Elephant Ear (Colocasia) in the center. Coleus ‘Fishnet Stockings’ and Alternanthera ‘Red Thread’ are fillers all being set off by the pink angelonia in bloom. Again the low crisp container would be muddied up by a spiller.

This container by Anne Wildebor is about texture and the wonderful color we take for granted: GREEN. A spectacular ‘Macho’ Boston fern is perfectly punctuated by a white Caladium. This container only gets morning sun under the east overhangs of the Visitor Center.

This dramatic Leopard-Palm (Amorphaphallus konjac) has a pink caladium to help set off the subtle pink in the print of its stem. A spiller would “muck up” the elegant container. This design is by Anne Wildebor.

Even Edible Landscaping can be unique: this container near the entrance to the Heartland Harvest Garden has a dramatic fig (Ficus carica) with a base of curly parsley for contrast. It’s all green but the drastic change between coarse dramatic leaves of the fig and fine detail of the parsley leaves make it work. This design is by Matt Bunch and Barbara Fetchenhier: look for their containers of edibles at the entrance plaza to the Heartland Harvest Garden north of the Visitor Center.

The seasonal display beds around the Visitor Center are reaching maturity with this wonderful planting (designed by Tracy Flowers – now gardener at the Kauffman Memorial Garden) outside the north side of the Conservatory: huge Castor Beans, sword-like Purple Majesty Millet, purple and white Kahuna Petunias and an edging of trailing Blackie Sweet Potato all make for a stunning, tropical-esque composition.