With a number of summer parties planned, from a graduation to a school fundraiser, Kristin Savini wanted her backyard to look beautiful. But when she gazed outside, “everything was beige and brown.” She loved her pool. patio and brick fireplace, but her flowerbeds and the cushions on her outdoor furniture seemed overwhelmingly “blah.”
So she called in the pros. First, Steve Gilbert from Willow Glen Home and Garden suggested using the color of the pool as inspiration. He brought in bright turqoise cushions for the furniture and no fewer than 11 ceramic urns. To Kristin, it all looked “elegant and fun.” But that was a lot of urns to plant. So she called in her friend and container gardener Dhelia Fahrner of La Jardiniere.
With the bright cushions and pots, she knew the plants needed to be one thing: saturated with color. “It couldn’t be pale,” she said. At Summerwinds Nursery in Campbell, she and Kristin pulled out bright orange-gold “Easy Does It” standard roses and a big chartreuse ginger plant for height in the middle of some of the taller pots. They also added purples, fuschias and oranges with geraniums, lantana, verbena, petunias and alyssum of various heights and textures.
The results were spectacular. Here are some tips for vivid container gardening from La Jardiniere:
1. Before going to the nursery, take measurements of your pots, both width and height, to figure out how many plants are needed to fill each pot and how tall the plants should be to balance the size of the pot. At the nursery, find an empty corner to arrange your chosen plants to see how they would appear together in the pot.
2. Know the sun exposure so you know whether to get sun-loving or shade-loving plants.
3. Choose a style — tight, loose, abundant, minimal — to fit your style or the architecture of your home.
4. If you’re planting several pots, purchase some “foundation plants” that are perennial and can last from season to season. Buy colorful annuals in six-packs that are less expensive to replace.
5. Use quality potting soil and fertilizer and water, water, water.
To see what Dhelia did to her own backyard and another project open these:
Before and After:Spanish Courtyard Gets Makeover
Here’s the complete slideshow:
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