6 Fillers for Fantastic Container Plantings

Geranium cinereum Ballerina - ideas for container plantings from Weatherstaff garden design

The Thrillers are the architectural plants, usually the tallest plants in the display. They provide the structure for your planting combination.

Next come the Fillers, the second layer of planting in the container. They add mass to the planting, as well as providing a contrast in shape and texture. Think mounds, if your Thriller is a spire.

Here are my 6 choices for plants with superb filler qualities.

Geranium

The colourful summer bedding pelargoniums of course make fantastic summer container plants. If you want a longer lasting display, though, choose from the hardy perennial geraniums, known as cranesbills. They are superb for providing long season flowering year on year. Some of the more vigorous ones, like Geranium Ann Folkard, make...

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Spring update – How to Plant Pots for All Year Round Interest

Dianthus for garden pots - from the Weatherstaff blog

Last spring, I decided it was time to give my little courtyard a make-over, by potting up three matching containers. My challenge was to choose plants which would provide interest all year round and continue to look good the following year. It was hard work restraining myself over the cold months but, eventually, in early spring, I allowed myself to indulge in my favourite pastime at the garden centre!

Buying plants earlier in the year means that the plants are small – and I did have to take some on faith that they were going to survive and grow more than the one flimsy leaf they came home with – but they are usually cheaper, so you can get a...

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6 Thrillers for Fantastic Container Plantings

Acer palmatum Ukigumo - container planting from Weatherstaff

The Thrillers are usually the tallest plants in the display, the eye-catchers and head-turners. They provide structure to the planting group.

Here are my 6 choices for plants with superb thriller qualities.

Acer palmatum

There are hundreds of varieties of Japanese maples and they are a popular choice for container plantings as well as for garden borders.

Acer palmatum ‘Bloodgood’ is a small, deciduous tree or large shrub, grown for its beautiful autumn colours. The deeply dissected, dark reddish-purple leaves turn a brilliant red in autumn.

‘Katsura’ has wonderful spring colour. The attractive foliage opens pink-orange, becoming green in summer, before taking on yellow, orange and red autumn tints.

The small, deeply lobed leaves of ‘Ukigumo’ are mottled green, white...

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A Guide to Planting Eye-catching Containers

A collection of charming daisies and forget me nots

Planting up a container is a bit like designing a garden bed in miniature and the same design principles apply.

Colour

Get the colour scheme right. Nature’s soothing greens often make even unlikely plant groupings work, but don’t rely on that if you want your containers to sing. Decide whether you want harmonising or contrasting colours, pastels or rich hues.

A group of pansies in varying hues of purple-blue make a soothing combination. The bright yellow eyes and different flower sizes maintain interest.

Vibrant clashes can work well – like this glorious combination of tulips and grape hyacinths.

But take care! When my new display of red summer pelargoniums suddenly took off, they clashed horribly with a pot of purple...

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