Behind the Private Gates, Design, In the Garden


Planted Containers: Horticultural Delights for an August Garden

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It’s about this time of the summer that planters are “strutting their stuff,” full and bounteous with mature horticultural offerings.

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From breathtaking and dramatic (repeating the planting around the gates for a gorgeous Newport estate)…

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To flopsy and charming in front of an old potting shed at a Newport converted gardener’s cottage…

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And as its own centerpiece in a feminine garden setting.

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Beautiful on their own, planted containers show off another asset at this time as “fillers” for empty spots that pop up in an August garden. You’ll welcome them especially now!

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In the shade…

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Or in full sun, containers are a prized fixture of any garden.

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Don’t be shy — try something new. Here at Parterre we love pushing-the-envelope with unusual green plant material that focuses on shape, texture and shades.

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We couldn’t resist this collection of mini hostas.

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Or shades of silver, crimson and “ghostly green” that make clustering individual begonia cultivars their own statement; a trick we like to use atop the Parterre Bench to add a spot of color in an otherwise all-green winter garden.

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Containers need not be over-packed. Just three botanical selections, chosen very carefully, bring simple grace to a pair at a front door. The Sambucus (or Elderberry) with its graceful, simple curves steals the show.

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You’re not alone if you’ve toyed with the idea of maybe, just maybe, letting your container collection double as a “planted garden.” One of the most handsome and memorable gardens I have ever seen belongs to dear friends in Montecito, California. You don’t realize at first glance that the lush well-chosen plant material is all potted. For those with small gardens, this is definitely a to-be-considered option. Isn’t this inspiring?

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To close…a bit of humor highlighted the Newport Flower Show this summer, giving new meaning to “potted”…a living mime performed in her own container.

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