Rob D. Brodman
Soaring summer temperatures can take a toll on many garden plants.
But you can freshen your landscape’s look practically instantly: Just combine crisp white blossoms with a shower of icy blue or silver foliage in a glazed aqua-colored container (pale blue or celadon green are other cooling shades).
Set the container in a high-visibility area, such as on a patio or beside an entry.
Then notice how the soothing palette mimics the sparkle and cool, watery blue of a swimming pool or water feature.
To create the planting pictured above, we first selected an aqua pot at the nursery.
Then we chose four plants that combined well: a tall blue oat grass as an accent in the center, lower growers ― mealycup sage ( Salvia farinacea) and angelonia―to surround it, and a spiller (Dichondra-argentea 'Silver Falls') to soften the pot’s edges.
How to plant this container garden
- To duplicate our planting, you’ll need:
- A container about 10 inches tall and wide
- Wire screening to cover the pot’s drain hole
- Potting soil (a 1-cu.-ft. bag is enough to fill one 10-inch container)
- One 1-gallon blue oat grass (Helictotrichon sempervirens)
- One 4-inch ‘Victoria White’ Salvia farinacea
- Two 4-inch Angelonia angustifolia 'Angelmist White Cloud'
- One 4-inch Dichondra argentea ‘Silver Falls’
- Place a small piece of fine wire screening in the bottom of the pot to cover the drain hole and help keep soil from washing away.
- (Cut rounds of screening, like the one shown here, are available at many nurseries and garden centers.)
- Partially fill the container with loose, well-draining potting soil so that the top of the 1-gallon plant sits below the rim of the pot.
- Lightly firm the soil to minimize settling.
- Set the tallest plant, the blue oat grass, at the back of the container.
- Set the remaining plants into the container, adding soil beneath their rootballs as necessary to raise them to the same soil level as the larger 1-gallon plant.
- Add the salvia toward the back of the container beside the grass, the mid-height angelonia in front, and the dichondra near the edge so it trails over the pot's lip.