Have you ever walked or driven past a home garden and thought to yourself, “Wow, that planter is gorgeous!”? This reaction results from both hard work and thought about what a client wants for their property—the environment of the planter and a vital element of artistic flair.
Planters allow homeowners to give a seasonal flare to their property. Winter planters, for example, can showcase a mixture of plants including holly, red twig (osier) dogwood, birch branches and various seed pods and cones. Summer planters tend to utilize annual plants (those that only last the year) such as petunias, geraniums, begonias, and impatiens.
A good understanding of what plants need and the conditions they thrive in can make the difference between a planter that lasts a few weeks versus the whole season. Such insights come with experience. As a gardening professional, taking the time to educate oneself early about proper planting techniques and learning which plants work in what conditions will benefit not just the customer, but yourself and the company you work for.
Another thing to keep in mind when designing a planter is the expression, “Fill, Thrill, and Spill”. ‘Fill’ refers to plants that increase the density or provide that full, lush planter effect. With such filler plants, prepare to buy many of them, as it is volume that provides that dense, lush look so desired by clients. Examples include begonias, coleus, or impatiens. ‘Thrill’ plants are those noteworthy species that really impress in terms of their colour, texture, or general size. Think of these plants as the star of the show! Examples range from Alocasia to Banana Plants to Canna Lilies, basically any showy plant that will capture the interest of passersby. ‘Spill’ plants are those that typically hang over the side of a container to give the planter a sense of depth and decoration. These can include Fan Flower, Lobelia, Sweet Potato Vine, and various types of ivy.
By remembering basic questions about the environment of the planter, what the client’s budget is, and “Fill, Thrill, Spill”, the professional gardener is well on the road to providing a quality planter. Whether you are looking to join the world of professional gardeners or just want to add some flare your property, use these tips to make your planters survive and thrive!