Container Design Challenge: Mix to Match!

sunny front garden
Do you have one of those tricky scenarios like I do: two containers that need to “match” yet have different lighting conditions? The two pots flanking our front door are always a challenge.The one on the right receives more direct sun than the one on the left, and the far left side of that left pot is really mostly shaded, while the back right of the right side container receives some shade too. My challenge is to make the two containers relate visually yet accommodate these variable shade/sun conditions. Until a few weeks ago I had a blue conifer anchoring the design in each, but after several years the one that received more sun just looked too “different” from the one in partial sun so it was time to transplant them to the landscape and start again. I was completely stuck for ideas at first so the pots sat empty for several weeks until my daughter casually remarked “that porch can always be a bit dark for photography  – you need something with chartreuse or white variegated foliage.” Brilliant! There was my starting point.

Design Criteria

porch container designs

The variegated hibiscus will stay columnar but get much taller, balancing the design

Color scheme: blue, silver, white, with accents of burgundy and chartreuse Lighting: right pot for full sun with some shade at back right, left pot for partial sun with partial shade/bright shade on the left side Something to “sparkle” as the centerpiece!

Plant Selection used in Both

ontainer garden design

Close up of left container that receives more shade

Summer Ruffle hibiscus (for height) (First Editions) Angel Wings Senecio (for drama) Dibs Moonlight begonia Purple Queen tradescantia Lemon Lime heavenly bamboo (Sunset Plants) Diamond Frost euphorbia (Proven Winners) Bondi Blue fanflower to weave color throughout the design Silver Falls Dichondra (Proven Winners)  

Plant Variations

Close up of right container which is mostly sun

White tuberous begonia in left pot (shade) – Supertunia Vista Snowdrift (Proven Winners) in right pot (sun) Main Street Rodeo Drive coleus in left pot (shade) – Summer Sunshine germander in right pot (sun)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Stay tuned!

I’ll post photos of how this fills in mid- and late-summer so we can see together if the silver begonia scorched or something just looked “off”. Experience has taught me that the fanflower, tradescantia, and annual Euphorbia will always perform well on both sides of the porch. In fact all three of these are great “go to” plants that I use frequently. And although deer literally put their noses to the back door, so far they haven’t explored the front porch so I’m hoping the heavenly bamboo will be safe as they are usually eaten by deer in my garden. All the other plants have proven to be deer resistant although the deer may chomp on a begonia flower if it is somewhere convenient, and I’m testing my friends claims that coleus are not bothered by deer….

Want to Learn More about Container Design?

I have several online courses and workshops that you might be interested in. I would recommend Designing Abundant Containers as ideal- you can read the reviews and curriculum here.  

Subscribe to Receive Blog Posts

Gardening inspiration delivered right to your inbox from Le Jardinet

   

Container Design Challenge: Mix to Match!

sunny front garden

Do you have one of those tricky scenarios like I do: two containers that need to “match” yet have different lighting conditions? The two pots flanking our front door are always a challenge.The one on the right receives more direct sun than the one on the left, and the far left side of that left…
Read More

Homegrown Heirlooms: 2 chefs share their passion from seed to plate

Heirloom seeds

The most creative chefs aren’t afraid to try new flavors or to give familiar recipes a fresh twist. “When you experiment, you learn,” commented University of Washington chef Dustin Selner; except he is taking about growing food not just developing new recipes. Dustin met Colby Crouch at culinary school in Seattle many years ago, where…
Read More

New and Exciting Foliage to Watch For

My road trip last spring with the National Garden Bureau was a hortiholics adventure of the first order. I was one of four garden writers invited to attend the 2018 California Spring Trials (CAST) as their guest on a week long, plant-peeping extravaganza. CAST is the opportunity for plant breeders across the country to showcase…
Read More

Creating your own Gardentopia – book review & giveaway

Gardentopia cover

I’ve know author and acclaimed landscape designer Jan Johnsen for a number of years now, so when I saw that she was speaking at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show recently, I was excited to stop by and say hello. After catching up on hugs and news I stayed to hear her talk on Gardentopia: …
Read More

Versatile Container Plants for Spring

spring container garden

After being buried under snow for weeks, my Seattle garden is finally green again – with splashes of yellow, blue, pink, and white as spring-blooming perennials and shrubs wake up. It’s so exciting to see color! Inevitably a few things look worse for wear after the winter – especially some of my containers, but rather…
Read More

Behind The Scenes

video set up

What was I thinking?! Back on a cozy winters evening, glass of wine in hand, it seemed such a good idea. “Let’s film a short online workshop to help people get creative with their spring containers,” I said. My long suffering husband (aka roadie, book sales assistant, pot mover, and videographer) readily agreed. After all,…
Read More

Seed Selection Made Easy

It’s still a bit early to start sowing seeds here in Seattle – but it’s not too early to order them! Looking out of my office at the still snow-covered garden, I need a promise of spring, and poring over seed catalogs with tempting images of juicy vegetables and a rainbow of flowers gives me…
Read More

Designing a Winter Wonderland

It’s all very well knowing that for a garden to look good in winter it has to have “good bones“. But what do you do when a foot or more of snow turns those bones into a lumpy graveyard? Seriously – since when do white lumps look like anything other than just white lumps? When…
Read More

Gardens of the World – come for FREE!

It’s that time of year when Seattle-ites go into season-denial. Sure it may be snowing or raining outside, but within the walls of the Washington State Convention Center the sun is shining, the birds are singing and the air is perfumed with the heady spring time mix of hyacinths, daphne and sweetbox (Sarcococca). It’s Show…
Read More

Planting Blessings – Lessons from Childhood

Little girl tasting her first iced lolly in her nana's garden

Born in Ballymena, 30 miles north of Belfast, my Nana never lost her Irish brogue, even after moving to England as a young woman. By today’s standards she didn’t have much. She left school at 11 to look after her siblings “just as we were starting to learn long-division”, married the boy next door, lived…
Read More

Welcome to My Garden Adventures

SE6A7058

I'm a serious plant-aholic. In other words I'm usually covered in a layer or two of soil, I drive everywhere with a large tarp for impromptu plant purchases and I'm truly passionate about sharing the joys of gardening.

Buy My Books Here!

 

 

Container Gardening Course

Enter KCHAPMAN20 to get 20% off

Architecture, interior design, and more ∨

Use the help of top home decorators to select matching bedside tables and a new lamp shade for your own bedroom design.
Collect and share photos of bathroom tile, bathroom vanities, shower curtains and bathroom mirrors to create your perfect home decorating style.

TV Interview

Archives