Late season planters with kick

Some summer planters look pretty sad by the end of August; not these!  Perhaps there are some lessons to be learned.

These metallic planters are quite large.  The size and depth allow plants to spread their roots and grow on through the four + months of summer warmth.  The large planting area also allows for the soil to stay relatively moist longer, as does the dense planting that shades any soil surface.   And the fact that the metal is a light colour means it does not absorb the heat, so the soil stays cooler.

The planters have a north-facing orientation and are shaded by street trees, so they don’t have to deal with blazing heat.  Some of the plants are shade lovers (i.e. the angel wing begonias and golden creeping jenny) but the others are usually chosen for sunny locations (the dark purple Pennisetum, sweet potato vine and purple/blue petunia).

Shiny metal planters, especially with interesting shapes, often demand a simple planting.  This doorstep planter offers just that with two fancy leaf begonias with their metallic overtones and striking forms.

Another planter arrangement on the front steps of a duplex is exuberant in growth but fairly simple in construction:  asparagus fern shares space with creeping alternanthera (‘Purple Knight’), lamiastrum and plectranthus.  These steps are north-facing so these plants are the perfect choice for a mainly shady location.  I think they would look even better if they were incorporated into a window box, allowing them to spill over the sides.

Lovely.

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