Friday, May 27, 2011

Big French Urn Planting Recipe

We bought these two urns earlier this week.

I planted them exactly the same using these plants:

and one Tropicana that I removed from one of the 49 planters we brought out yesterday. Yes, I stored 49 planters over the winter. Here are three of the larger ones--I removed the Trops from the round one.

They all have either dahlias, cannas or calla lilies.  Just imagine all the money I saved by  not having to rebuy these plants!

 Here is the free Tropicana that I used to begain this combination planter.
Here's my Thriller, Filler, Spiller recipe:

1 Tropicanna - Free (would cost about $20 to buy one Tropicana from a place like Home Depot) - Thriller- you have to use your imagination as there is no thrill yet...Give it a few weeks and the big striped leaves will begin to fill the area.
1 Purple Fountain Grass - $5-filler (also a mini thriller in my humble opinion)
1 Asparagus Fern $1.88-spiller
1 feather-leaf coleus $1.88-filler
1 Purple Heart  $1.88-filler
1 Sweet Potato Vine - 'Bright Ideas Rusty Red' - $5.00-spiller - (I splurged on this because I have never seen this variety. I could have used 'Blackie' for $1.88, but I like the rusty red of this one)
1 Trebbiano Dahlia Tuber - $7.50-filler
1/2 bag of Miracle Grow Potting Soil - $5.00

This is the feathery coleus which had no name on the container:

I really like it intertwined with the asparagus fern. 

I hope it survives. I have a lot of plants in these containers. It will be survival of the fittest!

Here is a close up of one planter, which looks nothing like what I envision them to be.
See the big bare spot in the back?  That's where the "thriller" plant is.

Very soon that little shoot will look a lot like this:
The dahlia is in front of the Trop and its starbrust flowers are nearly black:
The dark dahlias should be wonderful against the bright orange Tropicana blooms. 

 This is the container (from a few years ago) that I removed the Tropicana from.  I had Purple Fountain Grass next to it that year, too. Yes, that little clump of ugliness in the new planter should blossom into these big sprays of squirrel tails swaying in the wind (that is what those soft fuzzy blooms remind me of)

Yeah, it really does take a ton of faith to be a container gardener on the cheap!

Ye of little faith--just wait until you see these in late July. I am pretty sure they are going to have at least four feet of gorgeous foliage/flowers reaching toward the sky.  At least that's my plan............

I had a few Bells of Ireland seeds left over, so I stuck some in both planters.


  1. I dub you "Queen of the Containers."I enjoyed your containers last year and wondered how on earth you did it. You take such chances at combining colors, textures,sizes etc...and that's what makes a fabulous container.So many of "us" have no imagination when designing a pot. That's what it takes...imagination. Looking forward to seeing these grow into beauties...Have a nice weekend...and some good weather..Balisha

  2. Zoey, I'm so far behind with everything, but I just went back and read your last five or six postings. Wow, you've been busy! Your back is not a pretzel, I laughed at that. Mine either. There is so much to do I feel overwhelmed at times, but all we can do is one thing at a time.

    I love the bouquets you put together, you make the most amazing floral arrangements. And getting grass to grow where it should and not where it shouldn't (ajuga) is something I can't do either.

    The new urns are so cool! I'm amazed by how many you have. That's a lot of tending, too. Do you reuse your potting soil from year to year or do you just toss it on the compost pile and buy all new? I have seven big metal urns here and was contemplating refilling them with new soil, but holy cow, that's a lot of money, too. Lately, I just take all the soil out, throw in a few shovels of new stuff and mix it all together with some slow release fertilizer. And then I water my pots with a liquid fertilizer at least once a week because the stuff I use for potting soil has no nutrients. Ok, I've written a book here. I have to stop by more often.

  3. Hi Zoey,
    I love your pots and combinations! That first coleus is cool! I don't think I've seen one like that. Now that our front yard has turned into a flower bed, I'm not planting as many pots. I did finally do some last night.

    I hope your bells of Ireland come up. I need to find some again. I had some in the herb garden, but decided I didn't want them there. The ones I moved died out after a year or two.

  4. I'm sure your urns will be spectacular! I probably have raised that coleus. I'm getting excited to see things grow now.
    Guess what-painted my nails chartreuse. I had polish on for the wedding and needed polish remover, so saw the unusual colors and bought what I am calling 'gardener's green'. : )

  5. Zoey, you hit the nail on the head. When you are buying plants, you are buying time, after all they all started from a seed/corm/bulb, right?? Just a matter of someone's time to bring them into a sale worthy maturity! Good for you, being a cheapo!! It's gonna be gorgeous, I am sure of that!

  6. Zoey, are you happy with Brecks? Another question: do you store the canna in the dirt?? Just put the entire pot in the basement? Is the basement finished? (ok, several more questions!!)


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