Here’s a simple arrangement that will last all though the winter. The plants I’ve used are cold tolerant and will do fine in a container. For extra interest I added cuttings from evergreens. They will eventually dry out but I’m counting on them looking nice for at least a few months.
We had a first frost this weekend. The cold temperatures knocked out most of my fall containers with plants like Coleus and Begonias. The plants went to the compost and I cleaned up the front porch for late fall.
I usually do arrangements with three to four types of plants per container. But this year I thought I would try just one type of plant per container and instead to group the containers. It turned out really nice and clean!
It’s time to replace the summer flowers with fall plants! I’ve been looking forward to this for a few weeks but since my summer flowers were doing ok I couldn’t bare myself to kick them out. Then we hade heavy rain storms and the petunias finally gave in.
Here’s how I went about it.
Cleanup the summer plants
I just picked the old plants right up and fed them to the compost.
Tip! An evergreen centrepiece brings year-round interest
The evergreen White Spruce bring year-round interest. It’s also more affordable since I only have to replace parts of the container. I’ve had this White Spruce in the containers for two years now. It grows slowly so I’m counting on keeping it for many more years.
At this point, I also kept the Bacopa. It looked fresh enough and its white flowers looked nice with the other plants.
Tip! Arrange the plants while keeping them in their plastic cans
“It was only when I placed the cabbage slightly below the Kale that the combo just fell into place.“
I usually place out the plants while keeping them in their pots. It takes quite a bit of moving around and experimenting before I get it the way I like.
Make sure to take a few steps back and look at the container from different angles before you plant. Trust me, it’s much easier than having to dig the plants up again.
When happy with the way it looks, plant!
Make sure all the root balls have soil around them. When finished, water them in properly. Adding some fertiliser to the water is always a good idea.
How many plants fit into the container?
More than you’d think! For fall containers, I usually squeeze in as many plants as I can. They won’t grow very much since we’re having low temperatures and I want the arrangement to look full.
In this 16 inches wide container (40 cm) there is a total of 7 plants.
1 White spruce
1 Ornamental cabbage (4 inch pot – 9cm)
1 Ornamental kale (4 inch pot – 9cm)
2 Heather (3 inch pot – 6cm)
1 Variegated ivy (3 inch pot – 6cm)
1 Bacopa (4 inch pot – 9cm)
Enjoy the result!
Simple yet so pretty – the Mum. It’s a sign that fall is coming when these show up in the stores. I picked mine up for just a few bucks while getting groceries.
It has just a few flowers but is packed with buds that are about to open. That is exactly how you want to get them to get the longest blooming time out of them. If you buy it with lots of blooms already open it will bloom over sooner.
Late summer is my favorite time of year for container arrangements. All that beautiful color both in blooms and foliage!
This year, I’ve planted up quite a few containers to bring the late summer feeling to the entrance of the house.
A simple design trick to make an arrangement look great is to pick just a few colors and to repeat them. In this case the Hebe’s yellow and green foliage is repeated in the potato vine. And the pink edges come again in the blooms of the Mum.
Both the Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’ is a perennial and will come back next year. However, it’s always risky to winter over plants in containers so I might plant them in the ground in a month or two, just to be sure they make it though the winter.
Dichondra ‘Silver Falls’ is one of my favorite plants for late summer and fall containers. It brings contrast to the arrangement that makes the other plants pop.
‘Ruby Beauty’ is dwarf raspberry shrub that grows just 90cm (3ft) tall, has no thorns and usually needs no support. In spite of its dwarf height, it produces about 1.5kg (3lb 6oz) of raspberries, all with traditional raspberry size and flavor.
I grow it in a 40 cm (16in) container in vegetable soil and fertilize once a week. It get sun from morning until 5 PM and is doing amazing!
The small size makes it easy to tuck into my vegetable garden.
For a long time I had given up on the idea of growing veggies. Our back garden doesn’t get enough sun and our two bunnies would get to the plants before I did.
A couple of cheap raised beds, containers and window boxes later I had a vegetable garden.
Here are my summer containers for the front entrance. The centerpiece is a White spruce (Picea glauca ‘Conica’). For summer color I am using Sweet potato vine and pink Petunias.
Since the centrepiece is an evergreen it will look good in the container throughout the whole year. When fall comes I will switch the summer plants for some darker colors and in winter add Christmas lights on the White spruce.
I’ll give you updates as the season progresses.