Finally, we have snow and below freezing temperatures. This mild winter has allowed the team to continue with projects up until Christmas, and now finally we have a chance to breath. 2015 was a busy year, and unfortunately I did not always remember to bring my camera to the job site. And as I look back at blog post, I did not share much of what we accomplished. But now I am in the office, editing the images I will spend the winter posting to catch up.
Here is a selection of our container designs from our main container season of May through October.
The next series of posts on Thinking Outside the Boxwood are going to be more of rant than normal as I attempt to solidify the impact container gardens have in residential gardens. By no means are container gardens a ground breaking concept, there are hundreds of books from edible containers, instant containers and succulent containers to name just a few. But the more I travel and see residential gardens, I wonder why there is a lack of color and excitement in the design besides shrubs and trees. Understanding not everyone has the budget let alone time to maintain vast perennial gardens, I believe embracing the well designed container gives all the impact with a fraction of the effort. Please bear with me as I attempt to see if I can spur a widespread love of Container Gardens.
The beauty of utilizing containers gardens is the ability to control a very small area and create a garden beyond your geographical area, existing plantings or maintenance ability. Container gardens allow you to experiment from season to season or year to year. Even in a large container, it is very easy to control the soil type, sun exposure, water frequency, and beneficial nutrients. Also you can create a very large impact in a garden that has mainly foundationial plantings.
This was a concept I experimented over the years with the container flanking our front door. The blank wall and landing provided us a canvas for building a container design that would be seen by every visitor. The location next to our front door made it easy to water (near the hose) and reminders to water with frequent traffic past. But what the container allowed was just to change the plantings with no relation to the surrounding landscape or worry about how items would fair in a zone 7 long term
This is the front of our previous home taken around the end of July in 2013. The planting beds include our foundational plantings that give the garden year round structure. It also includes seasonal color of alliums, daffodils and nepeta that are highlighted throughout the different seasons. The container next to our door never reflected the surrounding plants and changed from year to year.
Here is three years of the containers from our front door; 2013, 2011 and 2013. These were always an experiment in design, with the container from 2012 including Asparagus deniflorus ‘Myers‘ – Foxtail Fern never taking off due to lack of sunlight. In 2013, inspired by Mediterranean gardens, I contrasted the height from previous years with low-water plantings. It was this container that was an “Ah ha” moment for me on how containers can be used to transport you across the world into your favorite gardens without touching the rest of your garden.
My ranting will continue with the next post showing how a destination garden like Lotusland in Montecito, CA or geographical area can be recreated in container garden. I am very interested to see what you think about “containing” a destination or favorite garden in a container.
Spring has finally arrived in Ohio. With three warm sunny days in arrow, we have dried out from the early April showers. This weather should have you excited to plant your spring containers, if you have not already. If you are still looking for some inspiration, peruse the options on Container Gardens: Spring + Summer. Together with terrain, I have complied some of my favorite container designs from Pinterest to provide you some great inspiration to welcoming spring. As a bonus, terrain is offering a $500 gift card giveaway if you repin your favorite container design from the board. The giveaway ends April 25, but don’t wait too long to plant your containers and it will be time for summer color. Here are some direct links to enter:
- Here is a link directly to the board: HERE
- You can also pin directly from terrain’s site: HERE
Some quick ideas for building your spring containers: More than just Pansies. We use a lot of pansies in containers, they are great for color, price and resiliency to spring’s temperamental weather. But build a container with more than just pansies. Try an evergreen or edible like kale to mix up the texture and dimension to the container. The container below includes some topiaries underplanted with pansies and a few deep pink heuchera to play off the mauve of the pansies. This was photographed and planted the same day, but in a few weeks the heuchera will have a bigger presence.
Look for unique containers. These can either be vintage containers or items not initially intended to be planters. I like to look for old barrels in either wood, galvanized or steel. The come in all sizes, but generally have a large scale or top opening to fill with with numerous plants. Remember to drill a hole in the bottom for draining before planting. Below is a vintage grape crate from terrain.
I will share some more container designs from this spring later this week, and reminders to pin to win!