Updating a Planter for Summer

Woodland Garden Container Before & After

Woodland Garden Container Before & After

Last fall I planted Thalia Daffodils and Elfin Thyme in this large planter that’s situated in the Woodland Garden.  The Narcissus didn’t seem too happy growing in a pot and only put out a few sporatic blooms.  Since they are long since spent I dug them up and replanted them into the Fountain Garden intermingling with some common Yellow Daffs.  The Elfin Thyme seemed content so it stayed in place.  However I added a  Dracena (Cordyline indivisa), Asparagus Fern (Asparagus densiflorus) and Coleus ‘Defiance’ to perk it up for the upcoming summer months.   I added a fresh layer of potting soil and topped it off with some mulch.  Can’t wait to see it fill in over the next few weeks.  Right after I finished it started raining so I guess Mother Nature was pleased with the new planting combo too.  🙂

Patio Container w/ Heucera 'Dales Strain' and Dicentra spectabilis

Patio Container w/ Heucera 'Dales Strain' and Dicentra spectabilis

 This is my other container that I relocated from the fountain bed to the patio.  Right now it is potted up with Heucera ‘Dale’s Strain’ and Pink Bleeding Hearts.  The plants were so small when they came in the mail that I was afraid that my dog Spaz might destroy them before they reached a mature size.   This pot was sitting empty from last fall, so it was a perfect place to put them.  Perennials do well in containers for a few years.  And you can always transplant them into the garden at a later date. Once the Dicentra dies back for the summer I’m going to move it into the garden and replace it with an annual or two to extend the season of interest.  I love these large pots since they seem to retain moisture so much better and they’re faux terra cotta which means they can stay out all winter.  Any suggestions for replacements would be most appreciated.  This area gets filtered light all day long if that helps.


21 responses to this post.

  1. They look great. Thanks for the reminder. I need to replant a few of mine too.

    Thanks Deb & glad I was able to give you a gentle reminder about your containers. 🙂


  2. Hi Racquel~~ If it were me, considering the filtered light, I would grow an upright fuchsia. They look great with heuchera and they bloom nonstop. Perhaps a trailing plant as well. Just my two bits.

    Thanks for the suggestions Grace! I’ve never grown Fushsia so that’s an interesting idea. 🙂


  3. You always know your plants. So cool!

    What a nice compliment, thanks Chandramouli! 😉


  4. I like to have plants that I want special attention paid to in containers. Good idea about keeping them safe from Spaz. Wait til you see all my fencing…to keep the herd from running through the garden. I like hostas in with the Heucheras. There are so many shapes and sizes and colors of hosta…..I am sure there is one that would work. Ferns- like a Japanese Painted Fern would look nice as well. Or Caladiums, or the small black Elephant Ears…Alocasia. Or how about another Heuchera? One of the bright colored ones or the peachy colored? Oh the ideas are endless…….. 🙂

    I do that sometimes as well Janet, but then again plants that are low maintenance work well in containers too! Yep Spaz doesn’t mean to trample the plants, but it happens sometimes while she is in hot pursuit of a squirrel. lol I had to put up fencing around my little veggie garden to keep her from using it as a thoroughway. 😉 All of your suggestions sound great, especially the hosta, fern & alocasia. The other day I did notice they had some wonderful peachy colored varieties of Heucheras at Lowes. Hmm….


  5. Bacopa might work if there is enough sun, or for a touch of color (but it’s an anual) why not use an impatient. They are so pretty in pots.
    I know you will come up with something great–just walk through the garden centers and look at all the possibilities. It’s out there somewhere! 🙂
    Post a picture when you find something.

    That’s an idea Linda, but the sunlight here is more filtered than direct. A white Impatien would look great with the Dale’s Strain Heucera. Hmm… I promise to give you all an update when I get this pot replanted. 🙂


  6. I really like that coryline. One of these days I’ll take the dive and get some for my containers too. That heuchera and bleeding heart look really good in the container too.

    Their great for adding that spiky upright touch to a container. I love the burgundy red foliage too. Thanks Tina. 🙂


  7. There are so many different choices you can make for the second pot. I know it will look great no matter what you choose. I like the Heliotrope. The color is lovely and the fragrance is nice too.

    Thanks Susie for your confidence in me! 😉 Oh I love the scent of a Heliotrope, will it take filtered light? I’ll have to do some research I guess.


  8. Last year was the first year I tried one perennial in my containers–I don’t know why I didn’t think of that before! Thanks for the reminder; it’s a great way to fill a container and save money rather than buy more annuals every year. And congratulations on your blogaversary! I’ve enjoyed watching your gardens evolve this past year, and you always have some great ideas, Racquel. One of the benefits of blogging, besides the friendships made here, is simply having a record of what was happening in the garden each month. Isn’t it great to be able to go back and look at last year’s posts to see all that you have accomplished? I know I wouldn’t have kept such a meticulous journal in a book:) Looking forward to seeing all your projects in the coming year.

    I love planting perennials in containers, they really do well. Especially the ones with pretty foliage that look great even when their not in bloom. Thanks Rose, I’ve enjoyed getting to meet you & all the other wonderful garden bloggers out there. It’s been fun sharing my plants & projects with others who share my passion. 🙂 The record is icing on the cake!


  9. Pretty pots 🙂

    Thanks Mom! 🙂


  10. Racque, I still need to do all my containers, though it is a little early for it here. I’m planting a lot of veggies in containers on my deck, hoping the groundhog won’t find them there (ha ha, I know!). I like the idea of a seasonal container, good idea!

    Hi Monica, I think that is a wonderful way to outsmart that pesky groundhog of yours, lol. I did all my beans in containers this year. Seasonal containers are a great way to keep the garden interesting I think. Glad you liked the idea! 🙂


  11. Um, sorry, I don’t know where the “l” went in Racquel!

    You make me laugh Monica, lol! 🙂


  12. I love container combos! Yours looks great.

    Thank you Darla! 🙂


  13. No, thank you! I did have the lupine and the larkspur mixed up!!!

    You are quite welcome! 🙂 I recognized the Lupine foliage.


  14. I wish I could help. I’ve never done any good with pots. My plants just don’t like pots. They like to be planted in the garden. Everything I’ve ever tried to plant in a pot has died on me 😦

    You should give them another chance DP. The main thing with containers is you have to water/fertilize more often than ones planted in the ground. The fertilizer can be compost tea, or whatever you prefer. It leaches out of the soil with the watering. The bigger the container, the less often you have to water too. 🙂


  15. Elfin thyme is so cute. I love that plant! Your pot looks great with the redo(-: I plant new plants I get in the mail in pots sometimes too. I don’t want to lose track of them!

    Me too Cindee, it’s so tiny that I figured it would look best in a container. That’s exactly why I did that & Spaz is not so gentle with tiny plants. Large ones she goes around. 😉 Thanks!


  16. My bleary, jet-lagged eyes are trying to catch up on your blog! I tried to leave you a message from Paris on your blog anniversary, but I didn’t want to sign on with my userid on borrowed wi-fi connection. I was reading on my tiny iPod Touch — glad to be back on the big screen this afternoon at home.

    Your planters are really coming along! Mine survived my absence as son#2 (but mostly the rain) took good care of watering things.


    Welcome back Cameron! I hope you had a great time on your trip!!!! Thanks I’m pleased with my container combos this year. I’m exploring new territory again, thanks to you & others with your great combos. 🙂 Looks like you picked a great time to go out of town with the rain we’ve had this month.


  17. The mulch is a good idea – something I always forget – mean to buy – then the season is suddenly over and it’s too late. Must do better this year!

    I always mulch since it cuts down on weeds, helps retain moisture & just finishes off the garden. It’s like the icing on the cake. 🙂 However I just started adding a little bit of mulch to my containers a year ago. It gives them the same benefits.


  18. Your new woodland container looks great Racquel. I am in the process of planting my containers right now too. It’s so much fun thinking of different plant combinations. I have a veronicastrum that has been in a pot for 13 years and is still going strong!

    Thanks Kathleen. 🙂 You always put together the loviest container combos. Can’t wait to see what you have instore for this season. That is a long time for a plant to be in a pot, do you have to add more soil or trim the roots?


  19. Containers are great fun, aren’t they Racquel! Happy Blogging Anniversary 🙂 Where would we all be without you 😦 Thanks for your dedication and fine posts.

    They really are a fun way to experiment with plant combinations. Thanks Joey, how sweet are you! You guys are the best!!!!


  20. I’ve gotten an education from reading everyone’s plant suggestions for the shady pot – mine would be valerian, which has a really nice scent (kind of like heliotrope) but is hardy. And well, I tend to throw violets into about any pot in the shade; pretty in spring and doesn’t mind being overwhelmed as a ground cover for the rest of the year.

    Your pots look nice and are a good reminder to me to clean out and refurbish some of my own. I do the great bulk of my gardening in pots; some turn out better than others. I like the shapes of foliage in the ones you’ve designed. And you’re right, those new fake-terracotta pots are great. Aesthetically, I love terra cotta, but practically speaking, the resin pots are a lot easier and longer-lasting. And not as heavy to lug around.

    By the way, I’m surprised your Thalia didn’t do well in pots. I grow scads of them in pots and they have stuck around for years. They are in fairly deep pots, but yours look pretty big to me, too.

    That’s another great suggestion Pomona. I’ve never grown it but after googling in online it looks like a great plant for the garden or containers. I too love the aesthetic look of real Terra Cotta, but the new resin pots are lighter & longer lasting as you stated. I’m wondering if my Thalias didn’t like the location of the pot (part sun) rather than being in a container. Thanks for stopping by today. 🙂


  21. Your updated container is looking great. I think it will fill in very well. I’ve done one container so far-everytime it gets about dry enpugh, here come the rains again. I am planning on putting some perennials in containers this summer to let them grow some before planting in the ground this fall. Some are natives that were very small when I bought them.

    Thanks Beckie, I’m pleased with the plants I chose & look forward to it filling in more. 🙂 You’ve been getting those rains we had the week before, it was a soggy mess in my garden for days. That’s a good idea of letting the perennials get more mature before transferring them into the garden. I’ve done that with tons of plants including Hostas, Astilbes & Ferns. 🙂


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