Stretch the Season with Container Plantings

Nothing brings new life to a fading midsummer garden like some fresh container plantings. Try these “recipes” for plant combinations created by Seattle landscape designers Glenn Withey and Charles Price. 

Vary the pots, vary the plants. See what looks good to you. In one example, reddish and white petunias spill from pots. Tall dark coleus offers foliage in complementary shades.

  • 3 ‘Black Beauty’ coleus
  • 3 Plectranthus coleoides ‘Marginatus’
  • 5 Petunias
  • 1 ‘Gartenmeister Bonstedt’ fuchsia
  • 1 Witch hazel (Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Jelena’)

Both provide pizzazz but bright leaves often require less upkeep (no deadheading). In this combination, you’ll see that foliage dominates, especially orange coleus and yellow oxalis.

  • 1 Cordyline fruticosa ‘Lilinoe’
  • 1 ‘Bierned Orange’ coleus
  • 3 ‘Mrs. Pat’ pelargonium
  • 3 Superbells ‘Coral Pink’ calibrachoa
  • 3 Oxalis vulcanicola

It’s best to start with a restricted color scheme. Play with color once you understand how the entire palette works in your environment. Here, the color scheme makes use of red/pink flowers and shades of green leaves.

  • 1 ‘Persian Queen’ pelargonium
  • 3 Petunias
  • 1 Tibouchina
  • 1 Superbells ‘Cherry’ calibrachoa

Try at least one new cultivar each season. Don’t place the newbie in a prominent position unless you know how it performs in your area. These mostly new annuals and perennials are versatile enough to grow in most of the country.

  • 1 ‘Bierned Orange’ coleus
  • 3 ‘Terra Cotta’ calibrachoa
  • 1 ‘Kentish Hero’ calceolaria
  • 3 Pereskia capensis
  • 1 Cuphea ignea ‘Firecracker’
  • 3 ‘Cambridge Blue’ lobelia