Fill a pot with flowers and plants that thrive in autumn’s cool air. Sweet alyssum, pansy and snapdragon all blossom strongly during chilly days. Many grasses and grass type plants (like Carex)—both the perennial and annual types—hold their own as temps start to tumble. Count on grasses to add texture and/or an upright element to cold weather container gardens.
Shady spots explode with color when you draft botany’s big guns for shade: caladium, begonia and ivy. This pot showcases classic container garden design. A white and green caladium stands in as thriller, with Dragon Wing Pink begonia as filler and green ivy as spiller. It’s a blend that easily fits on any porch or deck to bring season-long color. Dragon Wing begonias are a shade all-star, strutting their stuff in part to full shade. These begonias are low maintenance, heat tolerant beauties that pump out flowers until fall’s first frost. This planting combination looks great in a pot, but would transition easily to planting beds, too.
The kitchen is home to another DIY moment. With some hardware brackets, and a solid piece of reclaimed wood that eventually had to be cut to size, the couple installed open shelving. It’s the perfect place to house their collection of ceramic dishware. A space was also added to hang pots to dry. The genius design allows water from the pots to drip right into their overflowing plant in the kitchen.
Fill spring and fall with eye-catching color and sweet floral perfume by planting a container overflowing with fragrant annuals. This pot features a trio of plants that thrive in the seasons when days and nights are cool. Perennial ‘Lucius’ snowy woodrush (Luzula nivea ‘Lucius’) is the grassy green plant in the center of the container (hardy in Zones 4-9). It’s surrounded by Cool Wave Lavender Blue Trailing Pansy, which has a light floral fragrance. Clear Crystal white sweet alyssum offers a sweet perfume. This group of plants beckons early and late season pollinator insects.
Many perennials such as Canna, daylily, Iris, and daffodils are easy to dig and divide into more plants. Though some can be divided any time, it is best to most alone when in flower or under summer heat stress; my rule of thumb is to divide plants in the season opposite of when they flower. Replant immediately or put in pots with a little soil and keep out of harsh sun and freezing temperatures.
What was once an unused spot behind the garage is now a perfect place to have a bite to eat. New furniture allows this space to be utilized white a fresh coat of pant and new plants bring the red pots back to life.
Include beautiful English lavender (Lavender angustifolia) in your garden plans for a plant that’s packed with fragrance. Leaves, flowers and stems all exude that classic lavender scent, and when sun warms the plants, you only need to brush the leaves to release the fragrance. Lavender helps keep biting mosquitoes at bay outdoors. In the evening, reap its bug-busting benefits by crushing flower buds and leaves and rubbing them on your skin. Tuck lavender into pots or planting beds. Plants grow 12 to 18 inches tall and wide. Hardy in Zones 5-9.
This diminutive beauty is content in even the smallest pot. Don’t let the small size fool you—this plant is big on fragrance. The leaves release a refreshing minty aroma when brushed. A sunny window yields best growth. Botanical name: Mentha requienii
The white exterior of this house creates a beautifully bright look in the sunlight. A black front door matches the window framing. The brown mulched yard compliments the shingled roof and allows the plant life to shine. Blooming flowers and turquoise pots add extra color to decorate the yard.
Always read pot tags and consider looking plants up online to confirm just how tall and wide they’ll grow in your region. With living groundcovers like this perennial alpine strawberry, it’s also important to consider how far plants can spread. Groundcovers used as bed edging may need constant attention to keep them in bounds. Read plant reviews online and ask local garden centers to discover how aggressively a particular plant grows in your region. A docile beauty in a northern zone with hard winters can often be a garden thug in regions with mild winters.
Homeowners wanted a simple shelving unit to help them maintain their garden, so designers built integrated steel and cedar shelving welded onto corrugated panel fencing that connects to the fence. These shelves add an area to pot and store gardening supplies next to the raised vegetable planting beds.
Vigorous and versatile, SunPatiens take traditional impatiens to the next level with plants that thrive in shade or sun. SunPatiens is the result of a cross between two different impatiens species: New Guinea impatiens and traditional shade-loving Impatiens walleriana. The result is a plant that grows in shade or sun and stands up to high temperatures with ease. Plants add color to the garden or pots from spring through fall’s hard frost. Variegated leaves dazzle in shady settings. Plants grow 14 to 28 inches tall and 14 to 24 inches wide.
Beautiful arched walkways lead out onto a bold, diamond-patterned courtyard area. The gold and black colors in the tiled courtyard pop against to the neutral stucco of the home exterior. Black lanterns and terra cotta pots filled with a variety of plants accent the home's Mediterranean style.
Classic bay leaf fragrance—and flavor—abounds in Sicilian sweet bay (Laurus nobilis ‘LNSS’). Sunny gold leaves and red stems give this shrub beauty in the landscape or stew pot. Harvest leaves as needed for cooking. Plants thrive in full sun to part shade and are hardy in Zones 8-10. To grow Sicilian Sunshine sweet bay in colder regions, keep it in a pot and stash it in a bright, cool spot for winter.
In garden circles, plectranthus is known as the plant with a funny name that delivers big, strong color. ‘Velvet Elvis’ is no exception. Leaves offer a fuzzy touch with a deep green top and violet-purple underside. Lavender flowers rise on 4-inch spikes that last easily through summer heat. Use ‘Velvet Elvis’ in pots or planting beds—pair it with ‘Jack Frost’ brunnera or ‘All Gold’ Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa macra ‘All Gold’). Plants grow 28 inches tall and 31 inches wide.
Before frost arrives, take cuttings of favorite plants, like coleus, plectranthus, or scented geraniums. Stem tip cuttings from these plants root easily to allow you to overwinter starts for next year’s containers. Also take cuttings of herbs like pineapple sage, Greek basil, mint and basil to root in water and transplant into pots to grow garden fresh flavors on your windowsill.
Selaginella moss, also known as peacock moss, is nestled in a decorative container. This variety of moss likes moist soil and high humidity, says Karin Jeffcoat, owner of Cote Designs. When planting into containers with no drainage, she lines bottom with pea gravel. Placing plants with their pots into the container allows her to water them individually. She also adds water to the bottom of the container to allow for humidity.
The green thumbs on your list will appreciate this handy caddy filled with potting soil, pots, an assortment of seeds and other necessities for getting a head start on spring planting. Make a gift to nurture their green thumbs with our step-by-step instructions.