Remember, you want color, not chaos. If you’re not yet color confident, choose one flower you love in a favorite shade, and stick with it. For more texture and interest, add foliage that echoes the color of your flowers. White violas (‘Sorbet Coconut’) star in this show. Echoing the white flowers is a variegated American boxwood, which anchors the planting and gives it height, and variegated vinca, which spills over the edge of the pot and softens it. Three plants, two colors--easy, easy, easy.
Here’s another tip: You can’t beat terra-cotta pots if you are on a budget. Their warm shades not only amplify yellows and oranges but also contrast nicely with cool purples, blues, and whites.
Mix It Up
If you think pansies and violas are the only game in town, you’re missing out on the incredible variety that fall offers. This time of year, you can find an abundance of flowers, herbs, vegetables, and foliage that will thrive in containers.
To create an interesting combination, think high to low. Anchor your container with a plant that gives it height, such as ‘Ogon’ golden sweet flag, variegated monkey grass, leather leaf sedge (Carex buchananii), heuchera, or autumn fern (Dryopteris erythrosora). Next, choose flowers and fillers. Herbs such as thyme, lavender, fennel, and Italian or triple-curled parsley fill in beautifully between colorful snapdragons, calendulas, nemesias, and sweet alyssums. For an alternative to blooms, try lettuce, Swiss chard, mustard greens, and kale. Finally, soften the edges of your containers with trailing plants, such as ivy, vinca, and ‘Angelina’ sedum.