Pack a tall container full of cold-hardy succulents that will give you foliage ranging from chartreuse to ruby red to black during the winter and blooms that open in the fall and last through the winter. Use fast-draining soil and place in full sun. RECIPE: ‘Wildfire’ Sedum (Sedum SunSparkler ‘Wildfire’, Zones 4-8), 2 plants; Job’s Beard (Sempervivum heuffelii ‘Jade’, Zones 4-8); ‘Boromir’ Hens-and-Chicks (Sempervivum ‘Boromir’, Zones 4-8), 3 plants; ‘Elsie’s Gold’ Sedum (Sedum spectabile 'Elsie's Gold', Zones 3-8), 2 plants; ‘Dream Dazzler’ Sedum (Sedum SunSparkler ‘Dream Dazzler’, Zones 3-9); ‘Touchdown Teak’ Sedum (Terra Nova TOUCHDOWN Series Sedum ‘Touchdown Teak’, Zones 4-9)
This container is packed with hot oranges, reds and burgundies and balanced with cool limes. The echeveria, stonecrops and kalanchoe will keep their color in the heat, giving you a spring and summer of nonstop color. RECIPE: Coppertone Stonecrop (Sedum nussbaumerianum, Zone 10); Six-Angled Kalanchoe (Kalanchoe sexangularis, Zone 9); ‘Sorrento' (Sedeveria 'Sorrento', Zone 10); Sedum adolphii X (Zone 10); 'Frank Reinelt' (Echeveria agavoides 'Frank Reinelt', Zone 9); 'Melaco' (Echeveria 'Melaco', Zone 9); 'Black Prince' (Echeveria 'Black Prince', Zone 9)
An artful array of colorful plantings burst from vessels large and small, creating a peaceful spot to relax in the midst of the city. Woven seating has a stylish rubbed gold finish, and a modern accent table is a functional spot to set a drink while enjoying this urban oasis.
This deck is put to great use with space-saving vertical container gardening techniques. Everything from herbs and vegetables to tropical plants grow in the fabric pockets hanging from unique A-frame wood structures.
The pool's elevation is kept flush with the ground in order to take full advantage of the picturesque view. A slim black fence doesn't obstruct the scenery, while container gardens add dimension to the tiled pool deck.
Heat-tolerant thrillers, fillers and spillers pack this container of silvery-green succulents, with echeveria adding a pop of warm color on their red-tinged leaf edges. If you can’t get your hands on Blue Pickle Vine, substitute any succulent with a trailing habit. Use fast-draining soil and place the plants in full sun for a fabulous container that can take summer’s heat head-on. RECIPE: ‘Caribbean’ (Echeveria 'Caribbean', Zones 9-11); Blue Pickle Vine (Senecio radicans glauca, Zones 10-11), 3 plants; Peacock Echeveria (Echeveria peacockii, Zones 9-11); Little Jewel (Pachyphytum compactum, Zones 9-11), 2 plants; Mini Blue Chalksticks (Senecio serpens, Zones 9-11), 3 plants; Echeveria pollux (Zones 9-11); ‘Blue Ruffles’ (Echeveria ‘Blue Ruffles’, Zones 9-10); ‘Afterglow’ (Echeveria ‘Afterglow’, Zones 9-10); Pachyveria 'Noel' (Zones 9-11), 3 plants
Sliding doors open the living room up to a covered porch, connecting the spaces and blurring the line between indoors and out. Comfortable seating and ample greenery give the space a welcoming, homey atmosphere.
Don’t let this collection of cute little hens-and-chicks (sempervivums) fool you. They’re giants when it comes to cold-hardiness, tough enough to handle a brutal winter. Leave them on the porch or patio all winter, and they’ll provide color, even when the rosettes are peeking out from under a layer of snow. Some of these varieties hit peak color in the summer and others in the winter, so you’ll have a lovely little garden year-round. RECIPE: Sempervivum ‘Grammens’ (Zones 5-8); Sempervivum ‘Bronco’ (Zones 5-8), 2 plants; Sempervivum ‘Thayne’ (Zones 5-8); Sempervivum ‘Pinkerine’ (Zones 5-8), 2 plants; Sempervivum ‘C. William’ (Zones 5-8)
Container-grown plantings are your friend when adding greenery to a terrace or balcony. “When you use typical landscape plants in pots or containers you’ll see them very differently than when they are planted in the ground,” says landscape designer Jeffery Erb. “You’ll see all the details up close and notice textures, vein patterns, the colors on the undersides of the leaves and more. So I like to use a minimal selection of plants in a small terrace or patio because it creates a more calm and serene environment — just what we need in the chaos of a city.” Erb advises choosing slow-growing cultivars that won’t outgrow their pots too quickly.
Winds tunneling through high rises and neighborhoods can be damaging and drying. Adjust watering as needed and provide supports for tall plants or decorative fencing/screening as a wind break, says Melinda Myers, an urban gardener.
Test out your green thumb with these neutral brick container gardens. An alternative to raised garden beds, the containers elevate small garden plots to promote effective drainage and eliminate pesky pests and weeds.