Summer is the Season for Colorful Containers

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Summer is the Season for Colorful Containers

Categories: Blog, Garden Guru

Tropical plants in containers displayed outdoors in the garden are one of the botanical pleasures of our hot, steamy summers. Below are some masterful container combinations put together by our Horticulturist Donna Covell for the Under A Blue Moon Rare Plant Auction at Powell Gardens last Saturday night. The combinations were so spectacular I thought I should share them with our Powell Gardens’ friends for container combination ideas. It is not too late to put together some of your own masterpieces! Most of the plants depicted were donated by Heartland Nursery (I-470 and View High Drive) and Vintage Hill (north of Boonville, MO–a great day trip from here).

Here Belize Rubber Tree with its spectacular pink tinged variegated foliage is the “thriller” of this tall, dark green ceramic container. Good container design often uses “thriller,” “filler” and “spiller” plants (P. Allen Smith’s terms). Chenille plant will be a spectacular spiller as this container grows.

This hanging cone basket has ‘Black Coffee’ begonia as its thriller, white impatiens as its filler and fronds of Boston fern as future spillers.

Agapanthus makes the thriller in this ceramic container, with petunias as filler and Margarita sweet potato and purple heart as future spillers.

The thriller of this plant is the 2008 hot plant Agonis ‘Jervis Bay After Dark’ or “Peppermint tree” from Australia. We got this plant from Heartland Nursery and the use of brown Kalanchoe and silver Curry Plant make this an exquisite combination for the blue ceramic container.

The Leopard Palm (Amorphophallus konjac) with Calatheas in a translucent tan container was the hit of the silent auction.

These combinations of white and chartreuse plants in contemporary, translucent aqua blue containers were also a hit. The back container’s thriller plant is a variegated ginger and the foreground planter’s is Kona Coast Copperleaf.

Here Russian Red Canna is the thriller with a blend of other annuals to set off the foliage and the ceramic container.
The wild, almost tie dyed pink foliage of Haight Ashbury‘ Hibiscus is quite the thriller in this container. The filler is a Geranium and the spiller is Blackie Sweet Potato.
Here Euphorbia cotinifolia is the thriller while golden dewdrop (Duranta) shines with contrasting yellow foliage.
Come out to Powell Gardens and get more ideas for containers; we display them extensively throughout the grounds.