Sunday, August 24, 2008

Fall Containers

Now that we seem to have a little touch of fall in the air, it’s time to think about changing out our containers. The summer annuals have had their day with their vibrant colors and now we can think about the muted colors of fall. I was out at our growing facility last week checking on the mums. They hadn’t broken bud yet but many were getting close.

If you plan ahead when planting your containers you can still use some of the plants and only replace those that look a little tired. The purple fountain grass has probably reached its full height and is starting to bloom. The vinca vine probably also still looks good and it will last well into the fall, but you will probably want to replace the blooming annuals. Of course, mums and asters are the typical plants for fall containers. Other annuals that look good in the cooler weather include osteospermum, diamond frost euphorbia, and ageratums. In fact many of the plants that we recommend for spring containers also do well in the fall. Plants for foliage include ornamental kale and swiss chard and ornamental peppers. Also consider adding a small pumpkin for a different look and texture.

One thing to consider when planting any container is color. I usually carry a color wheel with me when I am on the sales lot and it really helps when selecting a color scheme for my containers. The three primary colors are yellow, red and blue. Purple is the complementary color of yellow, orange is the complementary color of blue and green is complementary of red. If you use colors that are complementary you will get a very bold design, whereas if you use colors that are next to each other on the color wheel it will be more soothing. There isn’t any right or wrong way to design, but understanding the color wheel can help when selecting plants.

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