Monday, August 30, 2010

Transition Your Containers

September is looming and it's just a tad cooler outside.  Just a tad.  I realized this weekend that the containers on my back deck that I so lovingly planted and watered at the end of spring really took a beating this summer in the 95+ degree heat (for weeks on end) and my own shameful neglect.  But my budget is stretched from back-to-school, and it's too early for pansies, so what's a girl to do?  Start researching how to rejuvenate those sad, sad pots.
I hit the jackpot on with these beautiful and inspiring images and easy tips to take my back deck from dried-up drab to dazzling for the next several weeks.  I'll post some of my own photos from my container makeover in the next couple of weeks, so you can hold me accountable!

Pull out your tired summer annuals and replace them with late blooming perennials, such as Mexican sage bush.  Your replacement plants should be large and mature since we're out of growing time for this year.  Make sure you add a variety of textures and colors.  Suggested plants include ornamental peppers, mums, crotons, lambs ear, and creeping fig.  Consider adding a small shrub into a large container, especially if you can transplant it into your landscaping later on.

When you're planting your container, start with the tallest plants in the center, mid-size plants around that one, and finish off with a trailing plant at the outer edge.  Containers with a collection of several different plants should be the focal point in any grouping.  Sound it with smaller containers filled with one plant selection to avoid "busy-ness."  To keep your look cohesive, use pots that are consistent in type (such as terra cotta) but varied in size.

I'll be working on my own after Labor Day and am envisioning Indian summer evenings surrounded by beauty.

Photos by Ellen Ruoff Riley for Southern Living.


  1. I have Blue Spruce trees (very small) in my ceramic containers. I heard that they should be wrapped with burlap to protect them in the winter. That might be a nice fall look. What do you think?

  2. Great idea, Donna! Especially with a trailing plant. I love Blue Spruce trees. Evergreens, especially the small ones, are perfect for containers year round. Thanks for stopping by!


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