A shade tolerant planter that gets its zing from foliage color, with blossoms as a bonus
My goal, when designing containers, is to come up with combinations that are easy care, not too thirsty and will look fabulous right through September. As followers of this blog know, I am a big fan of succulents which you will see featured in many combinations. Here are some of this season’s ensembles.
An older black cast stone urn features a new plant (for us) Angel Wings Senecio, with Phormium ‘Shiraz’, Aeonium, Echeveria ‘Afterglow’ and Dichondra Silver Falls. Yep, I’m mixing succulents with other drought tolerant plants! This urn receives more shade every year, but it does get strong afternoon sun.
Plectranthus ‘Mona Lavender’, a Coleus relative, has dark green leaves with purple undersides and lavender-blue flowers. She’s paired with the Pineapple Lily Eucomis Oakhurst, Oxalis triangularis, Foxtail Asparagus, and yellow leaved Jasmine.
Nearby, in the teal green drum pot, I’ve used Pineapple Lily again with Phormium ‘Evening Glow’ , Euphorbia ‘Blackbird’, and the ever so sweet Santa Barbara daisy Erigeron karvinskianus plus Peppermint Geranium.
This rather wild planting in a 20″ cast stone bowl includes Feather Grass Stipa tenuissima with Gomphrena ‘Fireworks’, Gaura ‘So White’ , Ornamental Oregano and the Santa Barbara Daisy again.
This basalt gray trough is about 28″ x 10″ wide by 7″ deep. Perhaps it’s overplanted…we’ll find out. Cardoon Cynara cardunculus is the centerpiece, flanked by Luzula ‘Solar Flare’,Pelargonium sidoides , white Lantana montevidensis ,Santa Barbara Daisy and Dichondra.
A large brown terra cotta bowl is planted with a variety of succulents and Phormium ‘Evening Glow’ which adds height to the center.
The Martini pot makes an appearance again, featuring, of course, succulents
Found this great pumice rock planter at Snug Harbor Farm in Maine! Black Mondo Grass adds dark contrast and texture to this succulent planting,
A 20″ dark gray stone bowl is planted with succulents which pick up the coloring of the stone wall in the background.
Visitors to Avant Gardens are greeted by this tall planter featuring some of my favorite succulents. Super easy, so reliable, so drought tolerant!
A closeup detail…featuring a choice Echeveria, powder blue Sedum clavatum, and amber Sedum adolphii and Rice Plant.
This arrangement, in front of our little summer house which is quite shady, plays with gold, variegated and burgundy foliage. The perennials Tolmeia ‘Cool Gold’ and Euphorbia ‘Ascot Rainbow’ contrast with Coleus ‘Dark Heart’, and Abutilon ‘Gold Dust’ offers color with its melon colored blossoms. The Abutilon will probably need regular pinching. I can handle that.
A large urn , which now only gets a couple of hours of morning sun. I’ve had good luck growing the various Asparagus and Rabbit’s Foot Ferns, as well as the purple leaved Alternanthera in this spot. New additions for this year are Abutilon ‘Harvest Moon’ and the trailing variegated Bermuda Grass.
Another shady spot combo: Golden leaved Jasmine ‘Fiona’s Sunrise’ will trail and perhaps climb the cedar rail. Rabbit’s Foot Fern will add height, Oxalis triangularis adds dark tones while Tolemia ‘Cool Gold’ echoes plantings in the bed behind. Last year we had Begonia grandis in this pot, and it looks like seeds dropped and came up at the base of the stone wall. Maybe I should tuck one into this pot again.
I used to plant this huge 38″ bowl with succulents, but nearby trees have grown and shaded this area quite a bit. This year’s experiment is a mixup of shade tolerant plants that are not very thirsty. Here is a partial list: Begonia boliviensis ‘Santa Cruz’ dominates with orange color, Begonia ‘Ebony’ adds dark angel wing foliage, Black Mondo Grass adds contrast. Rice plant Rhipsalis cereuscala, Rhipsalis rhombea and Ming Fern Asparagus macowanii will trail, and Begonia bowerea will creep and fill. I had to add a gift plant from my friend Suzanne, Synadenium grantii. Can’t wait to see it grow…it is a succulent Euphorbia with red infused foliage and will obtain some height…observe and learn, I say.
This embossed cast stone pot gets only a few hours of sun, but it happens right in the middle of the day. I’m using plants that can take the heat, and hopefully some shade too. Euphorbia ‘Blackbird’ adds height and Euphorbia turicalli (Sticks on Fire) adds a warm glow, while Oxalis ‘Iron Cross’ will be filler, along with Begonia kellermannii and Ming Fern. Echeveria agavoides adds some weight. Oh, and I tucked in a String of Pearls too! It doesn’t ask for much, and more is good.
Check back in early October when I report back on how well these containers carried on through the summer.