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High Impact Container Gardens

Posted by Kath LaLiberte on May 5, 2017

High-Impact-Container-Gardens-Longfield Gardens

If I were hiring a garden designer to plant the containers around my front door, I’d expect to get something pretty special.  Big, dramatic plants in unique and surprising combinations. Container gardens that get talked about and that look fabulous every single day from summer through fall.

High Impact Container Gardens - Longfield Gardens
Colocasia Black Magic on the left and Alocasia Calidora on the right.

The front of my house doesn’t look anything like the front of this one. But these planters are delivering exactly the kind of WOW I’m talking about. To make a statement you need big pots and big plants.

Ask a Professional

Creating high impact container plantings is a year-round endeavor for garden designer Nick McCullough. His family business, McCullough’s Landscape and Nursery in Columbus OH, has many long-term clients with excellent taste, expansive gardens and high expectations.  This means Nick is always on the lookout for new plants and planting combinations that will impress and delight.

High Impact Container Gardens - Longfield Gardens
Alocasia Portodora

Count on Summer Bulbs

In most cases, Nick’s team is responsible for caring for the containers they plant. This means they need to feature high performing, low maintenance plants that don’t lose steam midseason. Over the years, summer bulbs such as elephant ears, cannas and caladiums have become mainstays in Nick’s container garden designs.

High Impact Container Gardens - Longfield Gardens
Colocasia Diamond Head

The photos in this post were taken by Nick last summer. A number of the containers include bulbs from Longfield Gardens. By collaborating with Nick, we get lots of fresh ideas for new varieties and combinations. In return, he gets bulbs to fuel his creativity!

You don’t need a large space to create a high impact container gardens. In the example below Nick created an elegant display of green-on-green, featuring  Caladium White Christmas.

High Impact Container Gardens - Longfield Gardens

For more information about these plantings, be sure to read Nick’s blog post:  Summer Containers Using Bulbs and Summer Tropicals, which appears on his blog, Thinking Outside the Boxwood. If you are on Pinterest and not already one of his 3M+ followers, be sure to check out nickgardenguy.

High Impact Container Gardens - Longfield Gardens



Topics: Container Gardening Foliage Plants Garden Design Spring Planted Bulbs Summer Bulbs

Kathleen LaLiberte has been writing about gardening for more than 30 years from her home in northern Vermont, where she tends a half acre of flowers, vegetables and fruit. She has been working with Longfield Gardens since 2011.

2 Replies to “High Impact Container Gardens”

  1. I love the caladiums and elephant ears
    What fertilizer do you feed them with
    And what are the ones that can handle heat at 90 degrees in sun

    1. You can give your plants any water soluble fertilizer (such as Miracle-Gro or Peters). Follow package directions for dilution rate. Most commercial landscapers use slow release fertilizers such as Osmocote. These are small beads of compressed fertilizer that release nutrients each time you water. Each application usually lasts a month or two. The beads are sprinkled on the soil surface, again following package directions. In hot climates, most plants are happiest if they get some protection from afternoon sun and this is true for caladiums and elephant ears as well — though they will grow in full sun.

      The most sun tolerant caladiums include: Aaron, Carolyn Whorton, Florida Cardinal, Florida Sweetheart, Red Flash, Rosebud and White Queen. All of these are available on our website.

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