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Thriller, Filler, & Spiller for a Killer Container Garden

Thriller, Filler, & Spiller for a Killer Container Garden

Posted by Michele Zagorski on 22nd May 2015

Want to try your hand at creating a beautiful container garden?

It's actually pretty easy if you remember these 3 words:  Thriller, Filler & Spiller!

Step 1: Thriller

Choose a bold, upright plant that goes smack dab in the middle of your planter. I chose a dracaena for its sword-like leaves.

Step 2: Filler

Just what it sounds like...it fills the planter, and is of medium height.  I chose an exotic zonal geranium for its color and texture, as well as some white alyssum to brighten it all up.

Step 3: Spiller

These will eventually cascade beautifully over the edge of the planter, creating a dramatic display.

I loved the texture of the Licorice plant (with white, fuzzy, almond shaped leaves) and the bright, cheery lime green Creeping Jenny. 

Some other considerations:

~Light and Water Requirements: My planter is situated at the entrance to the Underground Marketplace, with indirect light. You can find plants that work in any lighting situation, just make sure to check the tag before buying!  You also want to make sure the plants sharing a container have similar water needs.

~Color and Texture:  I knew I would be using this deep red planter and that I wanted to brighten up the bottom of the stairwell.  I chose glowing colors (lime green, white) that would liven up the space, and threw in the red to harmonize with the planter. 

 It's a good idea to either choose complementary colors on opposite sides of the color wheel(for example, red and green), or choose a color family and work within it(i.e., blues, lavenders, & pinks).  

I like to mix up shapes & textures for added interest and fun.  This planter has straight and tall, low and fuzzy, shiny, billowy, and frothy!  

When I was buying my plants, I actually arranged them in my shopping cart to see how they looked together.  I arranged them again in the pot before planting to make sure they fit.

Lastly, always 'butterfly' the roots of your new plant before placing in the ground or a planter.  Most plants you get at the nursery are 'root-bound' or 'pot-bound' and this will encourage new root growth for a larger, healthier plant.  When I'm at home, I'll use my garden shears or pruners and just slash vertically down the sides of the roots, but this time, I manually loosened the roots.

Before:

After:

A few more container gardens for inspiration:

Get creative and happy planting!

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