Literally, on the opposite side of the street from the Idea Garden, there is a collection of container gardens that add visual interest to the front of our building. To visually connect the plants in the Idea Garden with plants in the container gardens, we chose plants with similar colors. We were looking for silvers, purples, and blacks. To tie in the chartreuse color from some of our pots, we looked for gold, bright yellow, and chartreuse foliage, too.
To bring in the silver color to our pots, we tapped our classic Dusty Miller and added some licorice vine (Helichrysum petiolare ‘White Licorice’). The Dusty Milled will be a great filler in the pots, while the licorice vine will make an excellent spiller with its fuzzy, gray-green, rounded leaves. We also had a few Caladiums that filled some of our shade pots.
We found purple and black the bold foliage of purple sweet potato vine. This plant makes a great spiller in a container because it will grow over the edges and cascade down the side.
We fell in love with the black velvety flower of the Petunia ‘Black Velvet.’ Petunias make great fillers in pots, with mounding foliage and lots of flowers.
To add chartreuse to our planting scheme, we found hostas and oregano. The large, bold leaves of Hosta ‘Sum and Substance’ stands on its own in shadier parts of the container garden collection. Hosta ‘Fire Island’ has yellow-gold leaves with red petioles, providing a good filler (10 to 14 inches high, 15 to 30 inches wide). Other hostas fill in between.
Another splash of bright golden yellow comes from golden oregano (Origanum vulgare ‘Aureum’), an ornamental herb that loves the sun.
Coleus is a great go-to plant for gardens and containers. We found several with striking foliage colors that helped blend our color schemes. ColorBlaze Dark Star Coleus (Solenostemon scutellaroides) provided a terrific purple-black foliage with an upright habit. It is reputed to be heat and sun tolerant.
Coleus ‘Wasabi’ gave us a bold, bright chartreuse leaf.
Coleus ‘Under the Sea Bone Fish’ provided a different look with its purple-and- chartreuse serrated leaves.
With all of these choices, we have lots of combinations to consider! These colors will help visually draw together the plantings in both the island and the containers.