Monday, May 31, 2010

Containers at the Big House

I get asked regularly about the different components of containers, so I've put this in as larger photos.  As always, you can click on them to make them larger.

This first one is of the "white bridge," which is perhaps the hardest to construct technically.  The large (56") wire baskets hang on the sides of the bridge.  This side is dappled sun most of the day, and the other side is shade, so it's always a challenge to come up with a combination that works well through the summer.

At the pool, there are lots of tropicals this year.  In this grouping, the most noticeable plants are the bourganvillea, ginger, and Malva "Zebrina," that Tom at Seventh Street recommended.

At the garage, it's incredibly bright, but no direct sun, so I've had good luck with the Australian Tree Fern the past couple of summers.  Acuba likes it here, as well.

The banana and oleander are just starting to come into their own.  When summer comes and we're consistently hot, these guys go crazy!
Pots of Lemongrass flank the gate to the walled garden.  It requires a ladder to cut any for cooking, but it's really "all about the look."
At the front door, the Majesty palm is just starting to take off from the heat, as well.  This is a western exposure, so mostly shade, then blistering sun for a couple of hours in the late afternoon.  These containers get a lot of attention and turning, and some of the tougher things are specifically placed to block sun from burning the begonias and other delicate plants.  

A wider shot of the front door plantings.

Feel free to steal any ideas you'd like.  If you can't figure out particular plants from a photo, don't hesitate to ask.  (But please don't lift my photos without at least giving me credit.....)


  1. these are so beautiful...I especially love the one by the garage

  2. What do you think of the Zebrina? I grew it last year and it's reseeded in one spot. Mine hasn't bloomed yet, but it's growing. I should have blooms in less than a month at this rate.

    I love the containers. I have nasturtiums all over the yard. I can't wait til the blooms arrive. Do you buy starts or raise these things from seed? I imagine needing an instant impact, you buy plants rather than wait for seedlings.

  3. Tom, this is my first season with Zebrina, which I purchased because you spoke so highly of it. I have it in the ground at my house, and in two containers at the "Big House." The label says it's perennial to zone 7, so we'll see. In the fall, I'll move it from those containers into the ground at the Big House. The walled garden stays very warm in winter, probably pushing a zone 9 because of all of the brickwork and the pea gravel paths.

    I use nasturtiums early in the season here, but they completely fry by mid-June and get ripped out. For that reason, I buy plants already grown out. The nasturtiums came to me in 6" pots.

    I'm fortunate to have an incredible wholesale grower here who will do things upon request, as well as the things he knows do well. He grows primarily for the retail trade, so his products are always beautiful and usually fairly large.

  4. The pots look fabulous Tim. Some great ideas in the mixtures of planting!

  5. I wish my pots looked as good as yours.

  6. If things stop working out for you at the big house, I am sure they could use a gardener of your talents at Disney or Busch Gardens. Your combos are well thought-out and beautiful. BTW, if your Malva behaves like mine, be prepared to pull it up from many places you may not necessarily want it.

  7. I've not seen acuba in a mixed container, but what a great idea!