CREATING A CONTAINER GARDEN
Last week I tackled planting my container gardens and I got so many questions about it on Instagram that I thought I would put together a whole post on how I like to do my pots. If you remember from this post, gardening is one of my favorite things in the entire world. I love getting my gloves on and getting dirty and then at the end hosing everything off and having a really beautiful end result. There is just something so soothing about it and I love the sense of accomplishment it gives me.
If you are local, I always use the Kiwanis stand on Whitebridge Road for my container garden flowers. If you recall, this is where I go to get all the white pumpkins in the fall. Ask for Belinda, she is the absolute best and is incredibly knowledgeable and helpful. As with all things in my life, I only want white flowers in my pots. Some people are all about that pop of color, which I totally get, but for me I love the classic simplicity of all white flowers. Then adding lots of greenery and texture with plants like ferns, boxwoods, and caladiums. I love how crisp it looks and all of the white flowers at night look really beautiful against the house with the lights shining on them.
This first planter is actually part of a pair of planters that are original to the house. I absolutely love them and the amount of patina that they have acquired through the years. I originally had boxwoods in these planters and unfortunately they just outgrew their home. I decided to go a little more of a tropical look this year and am hoping that since these plants are made to withstand the heat they will thrive this summer. I love the black stem on this Colocasia Black Stem Elephant's Ear and the height that it provides in this planter. Because I am very monochromatic in all of the plants I choose, I feel like it is VERY important to vary height, contrast and texture in my planters to make sure there is still visual interest. Because I have these at the entry way down to the pool, I wanted something really dramatic and the plants that I included in the base of these planters are going to do just that. The plants in the base are a Sweet Potato Vine and Whirlwind Whites.
AGAINST THE HOUSE
I like creating a sense of cohesiveness and consistency in my planters so I carried the tropical theme over to this planter that is right at the entrance to the pool house. Because this is up against the house, I went with a larger plant to provide some height against the white wall. The larger plant is an Elephant Ear called Upright Alocasia. It will get very tall and full and I love how dramatic it will look on either side of the sliding doors. As you can see, I continued the use of the Sweet Potato Vine and Whirlwind Whites from the other planters. It is super important to me that I select plants that are very hardy and don't require a lot of time and attention. #landyaintgottimeforthat These plants are awesome because they are very drought tolerant and while you DO have to water them, they are perfectly fine to be completely dried out in between waterings.
I have four of these around the pool, one at each corner of the pool. Because they are right next to the pool I wanted to make sure that I would pick something that would not shed and send flowers into the pool. Steve would literally loose his mind. I love the varigated leaves on this bush. The key when planting your planters is to give everyone space to grow and fill out. That is sometimes the hardest part for me because I feel like it looks bare when I first plant them and I have a tendency to want to over plant. However, you have to keep in mind that everyone is going to get taller and fill out more and they will need space to be able to do that. My theme is always white, white, and more white, but I love to play with the different shades of green and levels of variegation in the leaves of the plants.
I use these New Guniea Impatiens in the flower beds around the pool. I then mix in some white Salvia in to provide a little height. In addition, the Salvia attract butterflies, which is always an added bonus. I absolutely love these impatiens because they do not shed and you do not have to deadhead them or provide any maintenance outside of watering them. They will just continue to grow and bloom all throughout the summer without any work. Again with the white, but I dig the contrast of the white against the really vibrant green leaves and dark mulch.
I wanted to make a quick note about this particular variation of Sweet Potato Vine that I use in a lot of my planters. It is called the Sweet Caroline Bewitched in Green with Envy and it is a compact vine. It will get fuller and will definitely trail, but it won't get as leggy as some of the other variations of Sweet Potato Vines. Don't worry though if you get a different variation that starts to run really long, you can always just trim it up and keep it shorter. It will just require a little more maintenance.
I choose this Creeping Jenny for the planters around the pool because I love how the color changes as the plant grows. It gets darker on the ends and stays a really bright green in the center of the plant. It is so pretty when it starts spilling over the edge of the planters.
The bottom line is that I like to select very low-maintenance plants that are going to require very little of me through out the summer. I want to be able to enjoy the fruits of my labor without having to continue to labor over them all spring and summer. If that is your gardening philosophy then I highly suggest you try out some of the guys that I have included in my own planters. I promise you won't have to be a slave to your garden this year!