These beautiful pots look complicated but they all follow a basic formula. From the center radiating out to the edge, plant something:
- Tall, upright, and spiky in the center:
Hollyhocks – here are some black and burgundy ones. So cool.
- Upright and bushy
- Upright and spreading
Osteospermum (African Daisy)
- Mounding and compact
- And finally,
Trailing, sprawling plants around all the edges:
Calibrachoa (Million Bells). They look like tiny petunias. I’m in love with them, especially Tangerine and Peach Evolution.
Verbena canadensis ‘Homestead Purple’
As far as containers go, you literally cannot go wrong with weathered terra cotta in a classic shape. And it will only look better with age.
Butterfly weed (asclepias tuberosa), Petunia ‘Hurrah Velvet’ and Coleus ‘Limelight’
Zinnias, Coleus ‘Watermelon’ and Mint Flower (Conoclinium coelestinum), the world’s most adorable plant.
Celosia ‘Tomato Red’ and Zinnia ‘Profusion Yellow’
Monarda and Liatris again but this time it’s a shocking pink more densely planted.
Persian shield and Sweet potato vine ‘Garnet Lace’
Black (and deep purple and maroon) plants give you everything: high impact, drama, mystery, and sophistication. They’re an easy way to add a focal point where you need one, and they intensify the colors of everything around them. All of these photos were taken in the gardens at Cantigny Park in Wheaton, IL.
Dahlia ‘Mystic Illusion’ mass planting in front of a green hedge. This variety doesn’t need to be staked.
Sambuca ‘Black Lace’ (Sambucus nigra). It looks like a Japanese Maple, but it’s an actually an Elderberry!
Persian shield with Coleus
A single black coleus adds depth and cools down this hot group.
Coleus in a pot from Crate and Barrel (which is now half price) and my nephew’s silver maple seedling make a charming pair on and old tree stump in a shady area of the yard.