Are you guys’ big planters? I have to admit, I never really thought about planting until we moved into our forever home. Now when spring rolls around, I just can’t wait to start adding bold, beautiful colors to the yard via a few artfully designed pots.
In the past my mother-in-law has graciously done my pots for me as an anniversary present to my husband and I. This year, though, my kindergartner’s elementary school was having a massive plant sale so he and I are going to attempt the task together.
I’ll soon be up to my neck in coleus, potato vines, petunias, and snap dragons! Read on for more info. from our contributor Kristin on the method we’re using to ensure big and beautiful plant pots this year!
P.S. Along with getting excited about flowers – I also can’t wait to dig into projects from this book with the kids this summer!
The weather’s getting warm and I’m starting to focus my attention to my yard. Winter months are great for inside paint jobs and organizing shelves, but spring is a perfect time to spice up the yard!
I used to be a little intimidated by gardening, especially mixing different types of plants AND making them look beautiful. My thumb tends to be more black than green.
But after looking at this Patio Perk-Ups article on Better Homes and Gardens, I got inspired and turned to the internet and a few friends that love to garden to find out if there was a method to the madness.
A beautiful potted plant looks organic. It looks as though the different types of plants were found like that in nature.
Nevertheless, it turns out that there IS a method! Seasoned gardeners typically mix three different types of plants together in a pot and the result looks effortless.
Here’s how it works: You start with a ‘thriller’, add a ‘filler’ and end with a ‘spiller.’ Easy to remember, right?
Thrillers are the divas of the plant world. They are tall and the types of plants that people are drawn to in the rows at Home Depot.
A thriller might also be structurally impressive or just unique in color. You’ll know when you see a thriller! Some examples are Ornamental Grasses, Tall Growing Succulents and Cannas. Start by planting the Thriller first – typically in the middle of the pot.
Fillers tend to be billowy and lighter in texture. They are there tohighlight the Thriller. But, Fillers do another job in the pot too. They add mass.
Typically, Thriller plants are more expensive, so the less-expensive Filler can add mass to help fill up the pot and hide the stems of the Thriller. They can either echo the theme of the Thriller (if you’re doing a monochromatic pot) or they can add contrast if you like a bolder look.
Some examples are Coleus, Pentas and Lantana. When you are potting, make sure to position the Fillers around the Thriller on all sides.
Just when you thought your potted plant was perfect, you’re going to take it to the next level with the Spiller. This plant is going to spill over the sides of the pot and anchor it. They also soften the edges of the pot, again looking like something you’d find in nature.
You can continue the monochromatic look with the Spiller or add even more contrast and statement with this last piece. Some great examples of Spillers are Sweet Potato Vine, Nasturtiums and Verbena.
Want even more help now that you’ve got the basics down?
First, download this FREE cheat sheet to take with you to the nursery when you get your plants:
Don’t forget, good soil is important for your plants to thrive. The best option is a mixture of one part high-quality potting soil, one part compost and one part shredded pine bark.
And finally, remember as you are arranging your plants that symmetry isn’t important. It’s better to focus on the colors and textures of the plant to make sure it’s balanced.
We’ve rounded up some of our favorite examples of Thrillers, Fillers and Spillers for planting inspiration. Have fun getting your hands dirty and making your yards pretty for summer!
counter-clockwise from top left
- Dracaena Spike, Geranium, Lantana, Trailing Petunias, Asparagus Fern and Ipomoea (update: no longer available)
- 24 Patio Perk-Ups
- Coleus, Impatiens, Lysmachia (update: no longer available)
- Canna, Penta, Periwinkle, Star Zinnia, Sweet Potato Vine
- Angelonia ‘Serena’ Series – purple, Red or Pink Pentas, ‘Ace of Spades’ Sweet Potato Vine
- Containers with Pizzazz! Not Your Ordinary Containers!
More MPMK Backyard Projects:
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