Finally, it’s fall! It’s time to think about some outside decorations that bring some color and cheer for the long winter ahead. A little planning now will make some happy, pretty places for your home on those cold and dreary days. Container gardening is a favorite of mine. It’s like having a canvas for living flowers and anyone can do it. It doesn’t have to be in a pot either. It’s better to think outside the (window) box!
Repurposing things into containers makes for unique displays that become works of art.
I have used an antique European baby bathtub, old galvanized tubs, chicken feeders and old toys cars. Just make sure there are drain holes. If there are none, hammer a few holes in the bottom. The recipe for a container is simple: dirt, filler, thriller, filler and spiller. A thriller plant is the plant that is “wow” factor with height, filler is the medium height that does exactly what it says and the spiller is the plant that cascades down the sides. Sometimes not all containers follow these rules. Just look for color, texture and balance.
Here are a few examples below to inspire you to create your own container garden:
Succulents are wonderful year round. They prefer a well-drained container with very little water. When the soil feels dry, it’s time to water. Too much water is bad for succulents and they love cactus soil. They can also be divided and placed in other containers. Succulents are happy inside and outside and make a great container project for little ones too. These also make wonderful additions for fairy gardens. In this example, a galvanized bucket holds a variety of sedum and succulents on the left. To the right, succulents look elegant in mercury glass with touches of reindeer moss. Succulents can be found at most hardware stores and grocery stores.
This window box is a favorite. The mix of dried grasses, lemon cypress, winter pansies, ivy, sedum and winter cabbage with grapevine is stunning! The use of thriller (lemon cypress), filler (cabbage, sedum, dried grasses and pansies) and spiller (ivy and grasses) is seen here and keeps the eye in motion around the arrangement. Lemon cypress does well indoors and out and can be used in a variety of ways. Simply place in a pretty pot or Ironstone and it’s ready. Most of these items can be found at your local nursery and select hardware stores. Lemon Cypress is available at specialty stores and at The Back Porch Mercantile, Knoxville, Tennessee seasonally.
These repurposed containers use a mix of things that are easily found at most garden centers. The container on the left uses ornamental cabbage and heather for a beautiful purple and pink look. The container on the right uses a mix of tall grasses as thriller and coral bells as the filler and spiller. These vibrant containers will last through the fall and winter when kept close to the house.
Both of the containers use pine as their main “ingredient.” The first container on the left uses a mix of living pine in the middle, with several types of other pines mixed in. Pinecones were tucked in as accents. Red berries are nice to include at Christmas and can be found on Nandinas and Holly. Twinkle lights could be mixed in to add a touch of whimsy. The fairy garden container on the right is a nice project for children in the winter. It has a winter forest feel and would be fun to add a touch of flocking to the tips of the trees as well.