Guest Author - Jessica Carson
The container flowers on my front porch were looking a bit past their prime so I decided to spruce things up. With Halloween just around the corner and Thanksgiving fast approaching I decided to redecorate with a harvest theme. Here are some ideas for how you can revitalize your containers for the holidays ahead.
First, there is no need to hide your leggy lavender and other plants you are letting dry for seed or sachet. Decoratively tie the drying branches into bunches with ribbons, or add stems of real or silk colored leaves among the drying branches and flowers to fill them out.
For Halloween, really dead-looking plants and branches can be hung with imitation spider web and plastic spiders.
Mix in groupings of small to large pumpkins, Indian corn and gourds with your containers to emphasize the harvest theme.
There is no end to the possibilities. Shop your local stores for holiday-themed decorations which you can add to your containers for just the right touch.
There are also some great options for re-planting your containers for the Fall. Some nurseries have chrysanthemums, snapdragons and pansies for very good prices and in a wide range of colors. Replace your not-so-healthy plantings with harvest-colored fall flowers. Mixing miniature and large-sized chrysanthemums with pansies and viola of similar colors makes a beautiful container. I made two groupings of fall flowers, one group primarily of chrysanthemum and viola and the other of mainly pansies and viola with snapdragons. All have tones of reds, oranges, golds, and yellows with a little pink.
Here is what I planted:
In a grouping of five terra cotta pots on my porch, One 10 inch diameter and four 8 inch, I planted the following:
In the 10 inch container, one large gold chrysanthemum, one orange and black 'whiskers' pansy, and two gold and pink viola. In the four 8 inch containers I planted one miniature chrysanthemum with two viola of similar colors. Then I nestled among the pots a group of three small pumpkins which I bought at a local farm with dried stems and leaves still attached, and a second group of two larger pumpkins which I set near the door.
In a grouping of three terra cotta pots next to the bottom step, one 12 inch diameter, one 10 inch and one 8 inch, I planted a mixture of different flowers. At the back of the 12 inch pot I planted a wonderful tall ruffled coleus in reds and golds. Next to it on the left, two small ruffled parsley draping over the side. In the middle, a light orange-pink pansy that blends in color with the coleus. To the right of the pansy are two mini-snapdragons of yellow and orange color. At the front of the pot are some sweet alyssum draping over the edge and a viola of colors matching the pansy. The mixture is quite pleasing. In the two smaller pots I planted different mixtures of the pansies, viola, snapdragons and alyssum to blend with the larger container.
Get creative – mix and match the colors and combinations you like best. At my local nursery I saw some six-packs of what were called 'Halloween Pansies' – three were bright pumpkin orange and three were such a deep purple that they looked black in all but the brightest sunlight. You could have such fun with those! Mix them in a container with other Halloween decorations or some orange snapdragons or chrysanthemum, or even a plastic or ceramic pumpkin and some silk autumn leaves.
The weather is turning cold and your flowers are dying back, but don't give up on your containers yet! You can still use them for one last splash of holiday and harvest cheer. Enjoy!