Amazon Iron – Crazy about Containers

So it’s March and I’ve been checking out posts on Pinterest. Now I’m getting eager to plant my containers. Oh I love spring when the first day to play in the soil arrives. Sunshine, soil and new growth warm my soul.

At this time of year I alway go back over the arrangements I have done in the past. Taking photos of all arrangements is so very important. I have seen more mistakes and masterful creations in photos than in the real versions. It’s also important to go back and remember which arrangements make me smile.

Soft and calm

I plan over 200 container arrangements in a season for the Calgary area and have great success with all types of combinations.The best part is I also do maintenance on these arrangements throughout the summer. This allows me the opportunity to monitor what works well and what fails. I always like to try new plants from the industry as well.

Small containers can be a challenge as a 12″ liner does not have a lot of space for a height element. This extra small obelisk works fabulous as it takes no root space and will last forever. It will also challenge the designer to come up with more creative arrangements every season.

HotI personally like combinations that are vibrant and hot. This arrangement happened by chance as the geraniums were marked red in the green house and turned out pink. The Dahlia was not labelled and so I had no idea what the color would be. I have since come to love orange, red, pink and chartreuse together in arrangements.

Mother nature really hasn’t created any color combinations that don’t work well together so step outside the box and play. I have found over the years that some of my best arrangements are the ones that had less of a plan.

When I plan a container I always start with the height element as these are theĀ biggest item and can make or break a design. Dahlias and cannas are my favorite height elements in this area. I do use grasses as well but I always smile when I see the dahlia and canna blooms. When using dahlias always be prepared to support them as they grow. This one is being supported by three corkscrews.

Stepping down the height grade is the next choice. Marguerites are a great second height for both dahlias and cannas but really do require maintenance. Some of the medium grasses work as well.

Then comes the body of the container and I love geraniums. There are so many varieties out there in the geranium world and once geraniums start to bloom they are constant for the season. Today we have so many geraniums that have fabulous foliage as well and this can be used as a statement in an arrangement.

Now the trailers. I love the drape over containers and tend to be heavy-handed with the amount of trailers I use. The best part of having too many plants is when the first frost hits only the top layer dies the plants underneath are protected. I would say petunias, german ivy and trailing alyssum are my most favorite trailers. Oh but what about lobelia, lotus vine, verbena and creeping bamboo. See that is why I love planting so many containers I don’t have to set limits I just go ahead and use all the wonderful annuals I like!

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