Creative Fall Containers Start With Foliage Plants

Three creative fall containers by Marion of Mullan Nursery Company

Three creative fall containers by Marion of Mullan Nursery Company

Creative Fall Containers photogrpahed by Marion of Mullan Nursery

Creative Fall Display photographed by Marion of Mullan Nursery

 

Fall is probably my favorite season for creating great container combos. I love the colors, richer and more textural than spring containers, and enjoy pulling in some fun accessories such as gourds, pumpkins, grasses, and curly willow. Go to the garden center in October and November, and shrubs are there for the taking at give away prices. Shrubs are a great starting point for an all season container.

Fall container with pumpkin and grass

Fall container with pumpkin and grass

When I put a fall combination together, I tend to work with “blocks” of solid colors, like the mum, or green autumn fern above. Using perennials such as ferns, ivy, grasses, mums, coral bells, bergenia, violas, lamium, etc., means that I can have a long-lasting container or all season arrangement that will have a new life in the spring. When the weather warms up after a long winter, I simply pull out the dead annual plants,  groom the perennials that are left, and add a blooming annual to spruce the entire container up with little fuss or cost.

Bergenia with its large leaves has burgundy highlights in the Winter. Lamium is hanging down the side and 'Southern Comfort' Heuchera is on the right.

Bergenia with its large leaves has burgundy highlights in the Winter. Lamium is hanging down the side and ‘Southern Comfort’ Heuchera is on the right.

The all season container above looked like this in January.  The Heuchera was a little wilted, but it remarkably stands up to all weather as well as the Bergenia and Lamium. The bonus is that the Bergenia turns a wonderful russet color in the cold weather.

The graceful lines of the evergreen Carex 'Evergold' looks good all the time

The graceful lines of the evergreen Carex ‘Evergold’ looks good all the time

Carex is also one of my go-to plants for winter. In the spring, I plant Caladiums to give a punch of color in this container with the Carex, and it sits in full shade with little care.

Caladiums

Caladiums

Fall containers depend on some work horses – namely grasses, cabbages, evergreens, heucheras, euphorbias, ferns, pansies, dusty miller, and mums. I feel that by designing and planting a good all season container in the fall, I am setting the stage for next year’s plantings, which saves me a lot of work and cost in the busy spring season.

Most of the plants I have mentioned are foliage plants. The selling point for me when choosing a plant, is the beauty and lasting power of the foliage. Budget conscious consumers are picking up on this and investing in beautiful foliage plants, and not concentrating on just the flowers. Flowers are fleeting, foliage is long-lasting.

These Zinnias are showcased by the foliage

These Zinnias are showcased by the foliage

Fall containers by Leigh Barnes of Companion Plantings

Fall containers by Leigh Barnes of Companion Plantings

Fall container with kale, cabbage, mums, ivy, and dusty miller- courtesy of Leigh Barnes of Companion Plantings

Fall container with kale, cabbage, mums, ivy, and dusty miller- courtesy of Leigh Barnes of Companion Plantings

Fall container at Ladew Topiary Gardens

Fall container at Ladew Topiary Gardens

About thegardendiaries

Claire Jones is a landscape and floral designer and owner of Claire Jones Landscapes, LLC. She designs and helps people to create their own personal outdoor oasis and loves to write about her gardening failures and successes.
This entry was posted in Container gardening, gardening and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Creative Fall Containers Start With Foliage Plants

  1. Anne says:

    Beautiful creations, Claire! I love the caladiums!

    Like

  2. I didn’t know you could grow kale and cabbage with those vines, etc in containers. Learned something new. Thanks. I love container planting. Plan to do more after my last move.

    Like

  3. renlikesred says:

    Just beautiful! Am fairly new to gardening and these pics are so inspiring 🙂

    Like

  4. Life in the garden in autumn – I love it. Very inspiring and creative – I shall share with my gardening friends 🙂

    Like

  5. Jenny says:

    Last year I discovered container gardening and I love it. There are fantastic ideas for the fall. The containers can be moved from your patio to your porch and even into the mudroom on chilly days. My container gardens have been my greatest successes!

    Like

    • I do love container gardening also. I am thinking about doing a book on the subject. I find that the books on container gardening aren’t easy to use and don’t have the ideas that I would like to incorporate.

      Like

  6. Pingback: Containers With Pizzazz ! Not Your Ordinary Container! | The Garden Diaries

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s