The Planter Forecast

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With container garden season getting into full swing, we asked terrain’s Creative Director Greg Lehmkuhl and Lead Floral Designer Matt Muscarella to share the trends that have their attention this summer. Generally, our experts are interested in getting past what Greg calls the “thrillers, spillers, and chillers formula” for this year's planters. He advises, “It’s more how you plant than what you plant. Striking combinations, such as very tall plants mixed with low growing varieties, create a contrast that draws the eye." Matt adds, “Simple is not everyone’s style; bold use of scale looks new and fresh.” Both agree on one key point-- allow ample space to paint your planter picture. Avoid containers that are too small when creating an assortment of plants, unless you cluster many small planters together to create a coordinated ensemble. Read on for some of Greg and Matt’s best bets for the season’s container gardens.

Icy Pastels: For color,  you can’t beat this combo. The icy blue-greens of lamb’s ears or succulents ground cool citron yellows and light corals. Whites are perfect for this palette too—preferably the off-white of a stock flower rather than a stark, bright white.

Succulents as the Centerpiece: The colors, shapes, and sizes of succulents are amazing as the centerpieces for plantings of annuals. We’re seeing more and more people who want to learn about cultivating succulents. Remember, they’re not cacti-- they can thrive with the same watering and fertilizing schedule as annuals. A well-chosen succulent can make a pot of geraniums look absolutely brand new. What else can do that?

Better Than One: Perhaps the strongest way to make a statement is to plant the same combination in repetition. Even a pair of similarly-planted containers right next to each other is a refreshing change from the usual. Try placing one on each side of a door.  

Shape Style: Easy and often just as nice, shapely boxwoods planted in row of containers can define a wilder space. Simplicity really helps to organize a chaotic space and makes it look intentional. 

Scale in the Shade: It’s easy to find big, flashy tropical plants for sun. How about for shady areas? Shady sites can become exotic with a larger-than-life, giant-leaf tropical. Try the largest elephant ear, ‘Thai Giant,’ or an Australian tree fern, then underplant with a shade begonia.

Back to Basics: Incorporating the most commonplace options into wild plantings can breathe new life into Grandma’s houseplants. Think pothos, philodendron, or epiphyllum.

Neon Brights: Find your brightest blooming plant and underplant it with a muted background palette. 

Greg and Matt add, “Ultimately, breaking the rules is the name of our game. It’s something gardeners do all the time, and our customers remind us to keep breaking the rules when they tell us they love the planter combinations in the store. So here's your reminder, too!”

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  • thefolia said...

    The icy blue greens give me goosebumps! Thanks for lifting our spirits with you rule breaking foliage. Happy Nesting.

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