Fall Containers

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In the past, I haven’t done much with containers in the fall. There’s no point, really. “Fall” is a very short season for us. Our first frost comes early in October and much of what goes into a container would be killed by that.

But this year, I have two lectures in October that needed containers. One was a lecture on container gardening itself and the other was a lecture on house plants.

In both my house plants and container lectures, I always like to talk about–and feature–both house plants and succulents. Why? First, because you can’t go anywhere without seeing them. Next, because I like them and I think that, despite the fact that they’re so popular, they are very versatile and great plants for a lot of gardeners in many situations (provided you have sun). So showing them–and talking about how to care for them–is important. Lots of beginning gardeners think that succulents and cactus are the same–because they are sold together. So a little education there is necessary too.

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This is my “house plant” container, where I play off the colors in the croton with the color of the flowers in the kalanchoe and the color of the sedum foliage. This type of planting is called “complementary.” It’s the same design principle as using throw pillows to pick up the color from a painting or a rug, say.

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And this is a late season herb planter with primarily tender perennials. The golden oregano at the front (my “spiller”) is hardy, even in my climate. The tallest plant, the variegated basil is ‘Pesto Perpetuo,’ a tender perennial basil, although I have never successfully over-wintered it without it succumbing to scale. The rosemary (the “filler plant”) will generally winter in my unheated sun porch unless we get a very cold winter–in which case I bring it into the house.

All of these, along with Wednesday’s show stopper ornamental container, will be traveling with me to my lectures in the next few weeks to illustrate some container design principles (as well as some fun fall containers).

I hate the see this year’s gardening season end!

2 thoughts on “Fall Containers

  1. tonytomeo September 26, 2019 / 11:16 pm

    the variegated basil looks to be reverting to unvariegated; or is it just one unvariegated plant in bunch that are variegated?
    Such containers always seem to be freshly planted from newly purchased plants. Must the plants get replaced seasonally like annuals, or do they get potted to be used for something else, or (for those that live outside) put into the garden?

  2. gardendaze September 27, 2019 / 5:48 am

    The variegated basil is indeed reverting but the green part of the plant is doing far better than the variegated so I am leaving it.

    As for the freshly planted–yes. The succulents and croton containers will live indoors as is with me as house plants. The other containers will be taken apart and perennials will go into the garden, tropicals will come in as house plants and sadly that gorgeous grass is Zone 10, so it becomes compost.

    Karla

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