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Every season I do seasonal planters for family members and clients. It’s my favourite way to kick off the new season – a trip to the nursery to see all the new things in stock. Each season is different and presents a new set of challenges. Summer planters are fun because there are so many options, winter planters allow you to get more creative with the use of dry elements and lighting, and fall planters are special because these fall coloured plants are only around for a short season compared to the others. This weekend I switched our planters over from summer to fall and I expect in 6 weeks time I will make the switch to winter…I’m thinking about it already!
Tips for choosing your plants and making your planter:
1. Choose 3-6 varieties of plants
2. Choose your plants in 3 different heights – high, medium, low. I recommend 1 high plant, 1 medium plant and 1-3 low plants (try having at least 1 that cascades)
3. Combine textures – in my planter the texture of the big leaves on the kale is very different from the soft whips of the grass or lavender. Contrast is key!
4. Get more than you think! You can jam a lot in a planter. Summer planters will grow over the summer to fill out but fall planters will not grow much in the colder climate, so pack it full!
5. Plant in layers. You can either make your planter ‘front facing’ or equal all the way around. Front facing would have your tallest element at the back and then shorter as you get close to the front (like my planter here). Equal all around would have your tallest element in the middle and then shorter around the outside (think of a tiered wedding cake)
6. Plant like plant varieties together not isolated. For example, I planted all 3 lavender side by side, all 5 sedum side by side, and the kale in bunches of 2 and 3 etc.
My planter has 3 layers – the fountain grass is tallest at the back; the lavender is next in the middle; the sedum and kale are together in the next layer with the oxalis that cascades below the top of the planter
This 18″ diameter planter used: 2 fountain grass, 3 lavender, 5 very small sedum, 5 kale total, and 4 oxalis equally planted around the perimeter.
This planter is ‘front facing’ because the tallest element (the fountain grass) is at the back. The planter looks best when viewed this way because it allows you to see all the plants at once. As explained above, plants were planted in clusters instead of individually, this makes for a more dramatic presentation.
Can’t wait to share my tips for a winter planter with you in a few weeks time!
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