My 2012 Heliotrope Container

I like to use planted containers on my deck and steps. If you feed and water them regularly they repay you with season-long bloom and textural interest. It’s been nearly two weeks since I posted that I’d bought some plants for my containers. They are not all planted yet! Our last frost date is May 24th and we did have frost just last week. It’s much easier to bring in flats of plants than already-planted, heavy containers.

Maybe you, like me, have heard of using the formula, “Thrillers, Fillers and Spillers” to choose and coordinate your containers. I planted this medium-sized, red resin pot (see photo) using this philosophy last week. Heliotrope is one of my long-time cottage garden favorites. I love the textural veining of its leaves and H. ‘Fragrant Delight’ has a deep purple flower spike. This will be my ‘Thriller’ plant. I chose the Euphorbia ‘Blush’ because its leaves have dark blotch that echoes the heliotrope’s flower color. The smaller leaves and delicate white flowers contrast well with the firmness of the heliotrope and will function well as the ‘Filler’ plant. I then needed a ‘Spiller’ or a flower that would cascade over the side of the pot. I was looking for another white flower that was of bigger stature when I found Bacopa ‘White Wedding.’

What formula do you use when planting containers?

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