trailing Orchid Frost lamium, sedum pansies and
dianthus create an artistic planter for this Old
I was schooled, so to speak, on ĎPansies and their
Partnersí as I was invited to visit Old Town, a 2016
Southern Living Community of the Year award winner in
Columbus, Ga. Iím a pretty good cool-season container
guy but everywhere I looked was foliage and cool season
color combinations I had never tried.
community may be one of a kind, nature trails, and
waterfalls, streets named after camellias like Frank
Houser and Massy Lane, with new homes that look like
yesteryear. There is an upscale apartment complex called
Swallowtail Flats with individual units named for
butterfly plants like milkweed and plumbago. Cool season
color was growing everywhere which has to bring a smile
to the face of all residents.
was evident that trailing foliage and flowers are
equally paramount to designing mixed baskets and
containers in the cool season. Throughout Old Town
community were planters that caught the eye with
artistic spillers. One such plant was the Orchid Frost
Lamium or dead nettle that dazzled with both its silver
and green variegated foliage and lavender blooms. Orchid
Frost, known botanically as Lamium maculatum is cold
hardy from zones 3 to 8.
some containers, Orchid Frost was used with Dash
dianthus, pansies, and sedum. In other areas it was
partnered with pink snapdragons, thyme, and the silver
leafed Carolina Sapphire Arizona cypress that created a
most stunning thriller, spiller, and filler.
of my favorite containers used Goldilocks Lysimachia or
creeping Jenny. While this is nothing new it was the
application I found intriguing. In white street-side box
planters, Goldilocks was tumbling over the rim in
combination with dark colored blue Matrix pansies for a
screaming complementary color scheme. In other
containers, the Goldilocks was planted adjacent to Lemon
Ball sedum for a frenzy of golden-chartreuse.
was also apparent in Old Town that pansies too had
indeed become colorful spiller plants for the designer
of cool season containers. Whether it was on some oneís
private porch, patio or in street side planters both
Cool Wave and Freefall pansies were making a colorful
horticultural designer also used interesting textures of
lemon thyme, creeping red thyme with its tiny leaves and
ground-hugging habit and ajuga or bugleweed with ornate
variegation. All of these made me realize I had gotten a
little boring or complacent in my own designs, and maybe
like you, have ignored the artistic opportunities these
plants offer to the mixed container.
can take some cultural tips from these containers too.
First, choose a container large enough to hold several
plants and equipped with mandatory drainage holes in the
bottom. If you are using the lightweight containers that
look like terracotta or stone, you may have to drill
your own holes. While you are at it, add four or five
holes that are about three-fourths of an inch in
potting mix used in the containers was the key element
to the long cool growing season. Choose a good
lightweight, fluffy potting mix that already has
controlled-released granular fertilizer mixed in.
some containers large enough, to incorporate thrilling
evergreen like a juniper, lemon cypress, holly or
topiary rosemary as the center plant. The designer of
the Old Town containers not only used these but also
though the temperatures will be much cooler during your
pansy growing season, we must pay attention to plants'
water and fertilizer needs. Here they used a soil mix
with fertilizer but continue to feed regularly with a
dilute water-soluble fertilizer. In other words, they
mix up like you do at home except they donít have a
jug with blue water but a large tank.
Town is special with flowers blooming 12 months of the
year but even if winter dictates a much shorter season
for you, there are still ample opportunities for you to
show your creativity with artistically designed
containers around the porch patio or deck. To me the
cool season offers the best of container gardening.