I buy plants on a whim - some of these, a few of those. I have no plan, no list, no vision for how I'm going to use them. So when I get home, my purchases typically look like this:
But several years of frenetic plant shopping have taught me a few things, like:
1. Buy plants in pairs. I can at least create symmetrical containers. (Or in threesomes or foursomes if I'm doing baskets or a trio of planters.)
2. Consider shapes. Like people, plants come in all shapes and sizes. A good mix of tall spiky and trailing stuff will offset all the bushy plants.
3. Double-check sun/shade requirements. Neither parched, scorched plants nor lanky, anemic-looking plants are attractive for the long haul of summer. Fortunately I have lots of both sun and shade.
I tend to gravitate toward purples and oranges (often at the same time), with lots of chartreuse foliage thrown in for good measure, but I know eventually these colors can and will be separated into groupings that won't assault a visitor's senses when they approach our doors.
After a little arranging and rearranging, the chaos starts to shape up into this:
|Caladiums, orange Diascia and burgundy spikes|
|More caladiums, purple shamrocks, lilac ivy geraniums|
|Plectranthus, Streptocarpellas, fiber optic grass & another Plectranthus|
And here they are, all lined up and waiting to be slipped into their containers.
|The plants in front are for a trio of deck containers...|
|Trio on the back deck|
|Two more on the back deck, catching some morning sun|
|Two new containers flanking the dining room doors|
|Closeup of one of the two pots next to the front door|