Sunday, October 31, 2010

Pots In The Garden

No silly, it says "Pots"; that's plural.  Hopefully you weren't looking for some other type of gardening adventure.

Until this past year, the concept of placing pots out in the garden was quite foreign to me.  Why would I want a pot on the soil - that's a spot where a plant could go!  Of course, I've always had potted plants, but they tended to be grouped onto my deck and certainly not amongst the garden plants.

Thanks for the Coleus, Robin (Getting Grounded) - I think its done rather well.

But as I visited other gardens in person and viewed garden blogs online, I began to see the value in pots going out into the garden.  If nothing else, in a shady garden, it certainly gives one the chance to add some needed color amongst the dominant green foliage (ummm...or bare dirt).  Not to mention the structural aspect it lends to certain areas, plus the way it catches and directs the eye.

I'm still trying to get comfortable with the whole idea.  But I have started dabbling with it.  Looking not only at plants when I visit nurseries, but also watching for pots that catch my fancy.  Trying to determine which plants might do better in a pot than in the ground.  Wrapping my mind around the thought that larger pots make more visual impact, but they're freaking heavy once filled - so better consider either annuals or winter-hardy plants (cuz lugging around pots to dodge freezes ain't my kind of fun - though I seem to be doing plenty of that anyway).

Most of my garden-bound potted plants still tend to find their way onto rocks or paths, but I'm beginning to feel adventurous enough to move a few out onto the dirt or amongst the soil-bound plants.  And I'm thinking I kinda like them out there.

Planted in the Ground:
  • Southern Wood Fern (Dryopteris normalis): I'd been considering adding these to my garden and, when I found it on the discount rack, I grabbed five.  Though somewhat battered, as long as the roots are good, I figured it really didn't matter since our winter freezes would be removing the foliage before long anyway.

Planted in Pots:
  • Tricolor Ginger (Stromanthe sanguinea 'Triostar'): Another discount rack discovery; has been on my Gotta Get list as a potted plant (along with 'Tricolor' - but I'm beginning to think its the same plant).
  • Palm Grass (Setaria palmifolia): Have admired the plant's strap-like leaves for a while, but have always held back.  Will be interested to see how it does through the winter as I plan to leave it out.


  1. I think your pots with their handsome plants add a beautiful element to your garden. Lovely post! ;>)

  2. Very nice pots! I like the one with the tricolor ginger. I think it matches the plant perfectly

  3. I particularly like the coleus. Perfect pot and perfect plant. Robin passed along a plant to me to take cutting so I am hopeful to add some color like that to my garden next year. I have a few shady places that could do with some brightening. What potting soil do you use?

  4. Yep, I like to use potted plants as focal points in the garden too.

  5. I'm not doing pots. I used to help my Mother with hers and just hated it. I really like that Palm Grass, where did you get it? I'm going to keep up with it here to see if it will over winter.

  6. Carol: Thanks - still trying to determine if I prefer a particular color or style; might just go for crazy eclectic.

    fer: Yeah, I always try to match some aspect of the plant to the pot; that plant should grow a fair bit, so I think it'll work well together.

    Lancashire: Nothing special for the Coleus soil, just Miracle Grow potting soil with some peat moss added.

    Pam: Your blog is certainly one that got me thinking of moving some pots off the deck and into the garden.

    Bob: I got the Palm Grass from Barton Springs Nursery; I believe, here in Austin, The Whimsical Gardener has some planted in the ground - so you might wanna follow how they do there too.

  7. That coleus looks very happy. I like all your paths and rocks...very pretty!!

  8. I believe Philip at ESP lost his Palm grass in the freeze last winter. Hopefully, this winter will be a kinder, gentler winter! I'll post in the spring as to how it fares.

  9. Amy: Thanks - thinking I may try to snip off some pieces of the Coleus and root 'em over the winter.

    Whimsical: That doesn't sound good. Maybe the tree cover will help - could put up with the top getting zapped as long as it comes back from the roots.