Gardens - Container Gardening

Green envy: Four verdant containers

Tara Nolan
Photography by
Edward Pond

Pack your pots full of lush, textured greenery for a dramatic, monochromatic effect

Emerald sentinal shopping list

  • Lion’s head japanese maple (Acer palmatum ‘Shishigashira’)
  • Mexican false heather (Cuphea hyssopifolia)
  • ‘Aureola’ golden Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’)
  • English ivy (Hedera helix)
  • ‘Praying hands’ hosta
  • Curly-leaved parsley (Petroselinum crispum var. crispum)
  • Golden variegated sage (Salvia officianalis ‘Icterina’)
  • Golden thyme (Thymus pulegioides ‘Goldentime’)

Planting steps and tips

1. If your container, like this one, has decorative details that you don’t want to hide, keep “spillers” to a minimum.

2. As with all container plantings, water everything individually before you plant and again once it’s complete.

3. Fill the container with a lightweight, soilless mix (Paul adds up to a third of compost if he uses a lot of perennial material or heavy feeders like edibles).

4. Start by placing the Japanese maple into the pot. Paul positioned it slightly off-centre to avoid symmetry.

5. Add the hakonechloa, hosta and curly-leaved parsley. Plant the cuphea on an angle for fullness.

6. Press down firmly, adding extra soil if necessary to close up air pockets. Fill in the gaps with spillers, which include  thyme, ivy and sage.

7. Water the whole container and fertilize with an organic transplant fertilizer.

Tip: At the end of the season, plant hardy perennials in your garden and bring tender annuals indoors. With this con­tainer, the Japanese maple went into the ground along with the hosta and hakonechloa.



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