This is not the way to have amazing, professional looking flower containers like the ones you see at Disney World. It is how to have flowerpots that do not look completely silly.
I just love flowers in containers on porches, decks, walkways, steps. They’re in the book “A Pattern Language” as something that makes a home feel right, and so they do.
But mine have always looked dumb. Mismatched, odd color schemes, looking exactly like what they were… the result of grabbing a bunch of things and mixing them together. Every year I would find “inspiration flower pots” and what was available at stores would not match up with the inspiration at all.
For five years I only did red, white, and purple petunias. So I guess that looked okay, but boring.
Last year I did red white and blue but changed the plants. Stupid looking.
That is just awful, and why I took a picture of it, I will never know.
One year I did yellow and hot pink. Yuck.
Yes I know the advice, “thriller, spiller, and filler”, which always results in something like this:
No thank you. Actually this one looks okay compared to most of the spiky plant ones.
And then, while watching the show “Escape to the Country”, (sort of a British “House Hunters”), and admiring the containers, I noticed something.
Those British geniuses plant one type of flower per container. One. Then they are arranged in groups. So one pot of all white petunias, one pot of red geraniums, one pot of some weird leafy thing. And when they are arranged, they look natural and beautiful.
I was further inspired by how they looked on my porch, waiting to be arranged. Pretty good.
So this year I gave it a try. I was able to pick out whatever flowers struck my fancy. They sort of coordinated, but I didn’t worry about it too much. I put some herbs in too. Each got it’s own pot.
As they grow, they will look better and better, spilling over the sides, and the basil in the bigger pots will give it some height.
The more interesting flowers can stand alone and look lovely, instead of making a mixed planting look busy.
The small pot has blue lobelia that I started indoors, and looks like it will bloom in approximately 100 years.
Even the mudroom entrance got some.
And at last, I have flower pots I can be proud of! Or at least not embarrassed by. They will look better as they fill in a bit more. And if I find that I need more contrast, more height, whatever, I can buy more plants, pot them up, and rearrange.