Earlier in the season I wrote about prepping containers for plantings. Now is the time to let them shine. Hopefully, you have filled your favorite pots and containers with lovely plants ang are enjoying beautiful color from them. Oftentimes the color comes from the container rather than the plantings. I've seen some colorful pots filled with only monotone plantings and they are really gorgeous. A simple container with clean lines can recede into the background when filled with architectural shapes of various single-shade only plantings. The same container can be filled with a single plant in a vibrant color and be stunning. 

I'm sure you've heard the terms filler (for fullness), thriller (for height), and spiller (to trail) referring to container plantings. The choices are endless. For most containers of average size, a single filler and thriller each are ample and fill in nicely when fully grown. Depending on the choice of spillers, you may need multiples around the edges. I usually found three to be sufficient for most pots. Colors can be from the same family or from contrasting groups (think color-wheel). 

For many years, I used burgundy red Dracena spikes as thrillers, geraniums or petunias in shades of pink as fillers and bright chartreuse creeping jenny, sweet potato vine, or variegated vinca vine as spillers. The colors were amazing together and the plants held up well in summer heat. 

A word of caution however, on the use of the Dracena and sweet potato vines -- if you are inclined to prefer easy end of season clean up, you may want to choose a different thriller and spiller. The root system of Dracenas can be quite extensive and the sweet potato vines actually do set on tube.rs which necessitates more extensive digging for removal. 

Depending on location, your pots will require daily (or sometimes twice daily) watering especially in sunny spots. Grouping pots together highlights their various shapes and sizes while making watering easier. Drip irrigation is often possible on grouped containers as well. 

Spring perennial blooms are nearly past now and in a few weeks time the summer blooms will be receding. While you may have planted annuals to provide continuous color, there may be a few spots in your gardens that look a little bare. Those spaces are just perfect for dropping in a container planting without disturbing the soil bed. This works especially well in newer beds where plantings haven't grown in fully yet. 

I hope you are enjoying your own special containers and many colorful plantings. 

Happy Gardening


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