Just because you have a shady front porch doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy bright and cheerful blooms! These plants are the ones that I chose, but I’ll also include a few alternatives that might be available at your local store or garden center.
For this seasonal container planting you will need the following –
- Large container – I used this 5qt size.
- All your plants – I used 5 types of plants.
- Potting soil – Use potting soil with fertilizer mixed in as you’ll be planting the container very densely.
- Gardening gloves and spade if needed (I always just use my hands.)
Start with your largest accent plant. I chose this columbine in a deep purple color. The upright flower stalks, and clover-like foliage is highly attractive. Columbine or Aquilegia prefers part shade and cooler temperatures. You want to fill the container with enough soil that the level of the soil will be even with the plant once you remove it from the pot.
This plant was mildly root-bound but not tightly.
I was able to loosen the roots easily by brushing my fingers across the bottom of the root ball.
Begin filling the soil in around the plant to raise the level of the soil so you can plant your other plants and they will be at the same level as the columbine.
Place the plants where you want them and pack the potting soil in between them. Water deeply and add soil again if any pockets open up when the soil settles.
I filled in with bright yellow pansies that are marked with minimal purple markings that will contrast nicely with the purple columbine flowers. (Canna lilies and pansies both have bold flower colors.)
White and pale yellow snapdragons give a contrasting flower shape as well as more fine foliage than the other plants in the container. (Try vinca and violas instead.)
Trailing ivy gives a glossy, bold foliage and weeping habit that softens the edge of the container and constrasts nicely with the rest of the container. (You might find asparagus fern or nasturtium for trailing habit.)
Dusty miller, with it’s silvery fuzzy leaves add another contrasting look. I wish I could have found larger plants to start with but this is the only size that was available locally. (Lamb’s ear is another silver-leaved plant that grows well in containers.)
TaDa! This top view shows the contrast of plants, flowers, colors, and foliage. The ivy will grow much longer and the rest of the flowers will fill in quickly. Easy peasy!