Plant This! Flower Urns
by Beth Behrendt
HOMELiving May 2016
Large urns are beautiful ornaments on their own. When filled with the right combination of plants, they become start of any garden, patio or entryway.
Laura Stine, designer and owner of Laura Stine Gardens, said, “Proportion of the plants to the container is key to the overall beauty of an urn.” Pick plants that work for where the urn will be located, in sun or shade. Then look for a combination of what Stine called, “Thrillers, fillers and spillers.”
“You may want one or several tall plants for height.” Stine suggested. “Grasses, cannas and elephant ears are all good choices for containers. For very large urns, or ones that are tall and slender, add an obelisk-shaped trellis and allow a vine to climb it to create height. Filler plants provide colore and texture for the middle area of the composition — plants like coleus, caladium or asparagus fern to this job with flair. Lastly, you want to add a trailing component to spill over and soften the edges of the urn. Sweet potato vine, Bacopa and wave petunias are some nice options.”
As far as choosing color combinations? Go with what makes you happy. A good rule for a dramatic look is to combine colors in the urn from opposite sides of the color wheel; for example, yellow and purple. Stine said that popular combinations for summer are “deep wine with touches of pink and lots of chartreuse. Some clients really like bold, primary color combinations with red, blues, purples and yellows.” For a shady area, a variety of plants with white flowers can be a lovely touch, as “white does calm the eye,” Stine said.
Ready to create your own? Find a beautiful urn then look for thrillers, fillers and spillers that catch your eye. You can easily create the perfect combination for gorgeous urns that will be stunning all summer long.
caption [cover image]: An urn planted for early to mid-summer is bursting with cheery colors: yellow Bidens, purple Lanai verbena, white petunias, and red geranium; asparagus fern as a filler plant adds an airy touch. The urn’s plantings perfectly complement the flowering perennial Cranesbill geranium ‘Roxanne’ in the flowerbed where it sits. (photo courtesy Laura Stine)
caption [above]: This same urn is shown now bedecked in colors more appropriate for late summer to early fall. Variegated red fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum ‘Fireworks’), the dark maroon Coleus ‘Merlot’ to contrast the yellow Rudbeckia ‘Tiger Eye Gold’ daisy-like flower; again asparagus fern works as an attractive filler plant. (photo courtesy Laura Stine)