The Art of Container Gardening
Those should be the basic rules to live by when doing container gardening. By no means are the ensuing lists the only Spillers, Fillers & Thrillers for container gardening, nor are they simply the best. They are merely a list I made by walking through The Arbor Gate a couple of days before I did my recent visit on Channel 11ís Great Day Houston.
Some good rules to remember when doing container gardening: 1. Always use Rose Soil. The two best for the Houston area are Living Earth Technology Rose Soil and Natureís Way Resources Rose Soil. Why rose soil, as opposed to potting soil. First, with Rose Soil, you donít have to provide for drainage at the bottom of the container. Secondly, it holds on to moisture a lot longer than any potting soil. 2. Containers in the shade should actually be much lighter in color and those for the sun can and should be darker.
To me, this is no secret, because I know youíve seen them like I have when driving around Ė beautiful container gardening specimens with cascading vines, color masses in the center along with some striking specimen in the back or as a focal point -- In other words Spillers, Fillers and Thrillers. Whenever you see that combination, you can almost bet theyíve employed the Spiller-Filler-Thriller concept. To give credit where credit is probably due, this is a concept first developed by the experts at Gardening Gone Wild and Container Gardening Magazines affiliated with Fine Gardening Magazines by Taunton Press.
Most of that advice always says you should pick your Thriller first, as it is supposed to be the centerpiece of the planting. Itís usually something big, bold or beautiful. Then you can choose your Fillers as a colorful foliage plant or as most people do the standard flowering plant. Itís important that it should complement but not overwhelm the main player. Finally, in pops the Spiller which is actually my favorite part, because of the cascading effect it has. Itís simply something that tumbles over the side.
The bottom line for me with the Thriller-Filler-Spiller combination is the ability it gives you to mix varying colors of foliage as opposed to just different colored flowers. As example, the potato vine, which can be used in the sun and shade, is uniquely yellow. Then, couple any coleus (sun or shade variety--with its darker purple leaves) behind that with a Thriller of your choice and youíll see what I mean by striking color variations in the leaves alone.
My list I prepared at the Arbor Gate this past Sunday
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