Monday, September 22, 2008

Florence downtown containers



I serve on the Florence Beautification Board and this year I was asked to put together the planting schemes for the pots in the downtown area. I was a little apprehensive about this assignment because containers are not really my forte. At home, we have around ten large containers and I have big plans for them in the spring and can picture them abundant and spilling over with blooms like the ones I've seen in gardening magazines. This is rarely the result though and by summer's end, I'm ready to rip them out and start over again.



One strike against me was that we were late getting this task accomplished. It was mid June before we got started! The hot temperatures had already set in and the plants at the nursery were already past their prime. I wanted to use a variety of plants and tried to adhere to the "thriller, filler, spiller" concept. The pots were already planted with an arborvitae in the center and these were to stay in place. Knowing that planting in June was going to be a challenge, I chose plants that I knew would be tough and proven performers.



Some of the plants I used were coleus, sweet potato vine, purple heart (Tradescantia pallida), Mexican heather, million bells (Calibracoa), lantana, plectranthus, angelonia and petunias.



The first month was shaky but the plants finally started growing and filling in about a month later. The business owners are supposed to keep the containers watered - some do, some don't - and for that reason, some look better than others. I think I'm pleased with the way they have turned out. Now it is time to start thinking about the fall plantings.





23 comments:

  1. Ah, Florence, Phillip. I remember visiting relatives there when I was a child. Lovely town.

    Planting containers is an art isn't it? It's not my forte either but I think you did a great job. One thing I've noticed about the sweet potato vine ( chartruese one ) wilts very easily and is a water hog.

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  2. I think you did a wonderful job. In a large pot like those, the trailing plants really look great.
    Marnie

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  3. Your color combinations and foliage shapes are perfect! I'm so intimidated by container plantings...I have one that I did with perennials and reseeding annual in spring 2007 and it came back this summer! Now, that's lazy! :-) Cameron

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  4. I think you did a great job of choosing tough plants and looking for color in foliage rather than temporary blooms.

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  5. Hi Phillip!
    Gorgeous job on the planters. You might want to consider publishing a container planting book soon!

    By the way, I did get to see the outside of Little & Lewis' garden, but learned that they sold the property to someone, then moved next door. They're living part of the year in San Miguele de Allende now. Sorry to say that I wasn't able to see the garden after all. I'll be posting images from Butchart Gardens soon, though. I have several postings from our trip on my main blog (www.cindydyer.wordpress.com) now, when you have the time to view! You would think it was June in the Northwest! So much in bloom! Sigh...

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  6. Phillip they look great! Our town needs to consider that kind of a planting project. You made some great plant selections.

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  7. You should be pleased. They look great. I wished I could get my window boxes & containers around my house to look so good. You don't know any plants that DON'T require water all summer, do you?

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  8. Phillip,

    They are spectacular...and all my favorite color...Florence is fortunate to have your talents!

    Gail

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  9. wow, they are fabulous. And the color combinations really pop. Congrats on a job well done.

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  10. Well done indeed. We have a nearby town that has bad reputation for crimes and this year they decided to dress up the streets with big containers like these. I have to say this is the best way to make the town look beautiful.

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  11. The containers look beautiful! You made really great choices! I know the town's people enjoyed them.

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  12. They are beautiful! You did a great job...

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  13. Your pots look great. Around here it seems that good intentions put plants in pots, but no one ever keeps them watered enough during the summer, let alone fertilized.

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  14. I think you did a fine job Phillip!

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  15. I am sure that everyone is thrilled with these containers! They are lush and full and look great. I think container planting is great fun and it seems that practice makes perfect. You are already there!

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  16. I'm already here and I like your containers so I'll stay long enough to comment, Phillip - but that live feed thing appearing in bloggers' sidebars is freaking me out and I'm avoiding blogs who have it.

    Your containers look really good - not easy to get the colors blended with the bright terra cotta and burnt brick backgrounds!

    One can buy 'Guernica' jigsaw puzzles so a Picasso-style sidewalk horse is not a surprise, is it.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

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  17. Hi Phillip, you did a masterful job choosing the plantings for the containers, and even working around the small arborvitae. What are you thinking of for fall into winter? Pansies, but what else? I am terrible with containers. I want to steal some of your ideas!

    Frances
    new url
    http://fairegarden.wordpress.com/

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  18. You did a beautiful job on those pots..(psst..it's thriller, filler, spiller. LOL)....I love the sweet potato vine and the purple heart. They are standbys for me.

    Like Frances, I am writing all this down. I am a great copycat. And since we have almost the same climate, those should do good for me too. The trick is convincing Billy I need three huge pots for Spring.

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  19. Thank you Eve for catching that! LOL

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  20. Great job Phillip!! My containers don't always work out. The plants you used are ones that work well for me also. I agree with caroly gail that the sweet potato vine is a water hog but it is so worth the extra attention. Can't wait to see what you do for fall!

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  22. Well, they look fantastic. Seriously loving the ipomoea, that acid green is just exceptional.

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  23. just on the wonderful and creative plantings shown in this post alone... you are now one of my favorite bloggers. very nice work.

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