After a long cold, winter, I need colour!
One of the fastest and easiest ways to add colour to any landscape is with annuals and tropicals. Instead Colour! A few containers filled with nonstop blooming annuals with a focal tropical for texture, creates Instead Colour. Containers strategically placed in a landscape can transform the look and feel of an outdoor living space. Use annual containers to set the mood on a patio or pool space or welcome friends to your home. Containers placed in gardens adds Instead Colour as perennials flowers fade.
Here’s a few simple tips for creating colourful, textural containers that will make look like a Container Star!
It’s All About the Container – Size Matters
Container size selection is important. We tend to look at containers with a close up perspective, not from the street as a car would see it driving by, or a pedestrian on the sidewalk. Think big. Think colour. Selecting a container that is too small in scale for your home reduces visual impact and you want your container to stand out. A container can feel ‘too big’ in the store however when you get it home, it can be just right in an open setting. I tend to look for containers at least 3 feet in height and 2 feet around. And if they come in a great colour, bonus! Orange is hot for 2016! In both containers and flowers.
Double Potting – Colour Made Simple
A larger container allows you the option of ‘double potting’. Double Potting is a liner (or pot) smaller than your container, placed inside the larger container. Fill the larger container with gravel – make sure you have a drainage hole in the bottom of the container (you don’t want your plants to drown). Then place the liner pot inside the larger container on the gravel. Double potting allows you the opportunity to remove the liner for quick changes, helps reduce watering because liner insulates plant roots keeping them cool, and the liner expands during freezing, not your new container. You can easily pick up an established planter at a greenhouse and pop it in your larger new container for easy, fast colour.
Feed Your Containers – For Nonstop Colour
To keep nonstop colour throughout the season, annual and topical flowers require food. Try using a slow release pellet, high in phosphorus (the middle number), and sprinkle the pellets around the plants. Phosphorus promotes flowering and we want flowers. Slow release pellets seep nutrients to plant roots during watering. No mixing required, just sprinkle and go! I use Miracle-Gro Shake ‘n Feed. You can check out Miracle-Gro here: http://en-ca.miraclegro.com/smg/goprod/miracle-gro-continuous-release-plant-food/prod70290
Splurge on Something Gorgeous – One Amazing Plant Will Do
It’s no secret. If you are planting your own containers, it’s all about the specimen. Every year I walk into the greenhouse and fall in love with one great specimen (one-of-a-kind) plant. It could be an ornamental grass or a topical plant or a flowering vine. This specimen becomes my inspiration. Yes, they are more expensive, however they tend to be mature and you only need one! So what’s holding you back? Buy something unique and interesting. And select cheaper plants as fillers. You’ll find a specimen will take up a large portion of your liner and you will only need a few fillers for texture and interest. If you are new to annual containers, one specimen plant surrounded by all the same filler plants will make you look like a Container Star! If you’re not sure what colour to pick for flowers, white is never out of style!
Finishing Touches – Add Bling to Your Containers
- An obelisk with a flowering vine for height at a front door
- Add large seed pods (natural or painted) for interest in container gardens
- Wrap colourful tulle around a container – a simple way to add flourish of colour
- Paint an old container a new colour – something old is new again
- Add glass watering bulbs – water and beauty in one!
It all starts with the right container.
Take your time, select containers you love and remember, the right container can be around for a long time. Longer then the kids!