In constructing the gardens of this home, landscape designers employed strategies to make the look appealing in any season. One example: Limelight Hydrangeas were placed in pockets so that when they die back, there's not a noticeable empty spot.
A good planting combination for a fall pot includes ornamental or flowering kale, viola and garden mum. For a thriller with height, tuck in a shrub like Nandina domestica. Buy plants in larger pots with established root systems to ensure best survival.
When early season snow starts to fly, some plants in fall container gardens won’t survive. Ornamental or flowering kale and viola sail through even a dusting of snow. As snow melts, wilted violas bounce right back, while the ornamental kale just keeps looking good. In pots, garden mums and nandina don’t recover from snowfall like this.
Add interest with textual ferns and plants that bring the gardens indoors during the winter months. A Boston fern (front) joins a Rhipalis (wood riser) and feathery plumosus fern (back left), on a console table styled by Karin Jeffcoat of Cote Designs, a floral and event studio in Aiken, S.C. A maidenhair fern is on the right. The painting is by Dixie Purvis; the furniture is from Nandina Home & Design.
No matter what makes someone cherish a plant, for it to remain a garden favorite it must tolerate a wide range of soils and climates. The bright red berries of heavenly bamboo (Nandina domestica), the large winter flowers of Camellia japonica ‘Pink Perfection’, and the fragrant stems of paperwhites (Narcissus tazetta) are from plants grown at my family home place for over 75 years with no care at all. And they have been shared from cuttings and divided clumps and bulbs throughout our whole family.