Steph Green is the owner of Contained Creations, a custom container garden design and care company. They serve residential and commercial clients in Richmond, VA and surrounding suburbs.
Like a passionate chef, Steph's design process is a mixture of following the recipe and tweaking to incorporate the best available ingredients. When we spoke last week about her beautiful social media account that highlights abundant and tasteful container designs, I could sense her passion for the work.
We started off discussing her strategy for planting containers that transition from summer to fall gracefully.
She pointed out that when planting in late summer, you'll want to chose a mix of plants that will thrive through weather transitions. She suggested picking plants that are heat loving but somewhat cold tolerant. This combination usually sees her clients through October. For example, she like to include an evergreen, a few perennials, and ornamental cabbage, mums, sedum and grasses. With this combo she can even stretch the composition into Thanksgiving, improvising with mini pumpkins and quirky gourd fill-ins.
Steph created a "recipe" in the diagram below to help you plant a large fall container as beautiful as hers.
I also asked Steph about her design process, which can be quite intensive, involving planning stages like her beautiful map of a large trough planter above.
Some of her expertise includes adaptable "recipes" like the bullseye method. This method of planting containers starts with your tallest plant in the center, then 3-5 mid tier plants circling to fill-in, and finishes with 5-7 spillers around the perimeter. This simple design idea inspired us to create printable card for garden centers to offer their customers.
Bullseye Container Planting
This plan was inspired by my own experience as a first time homeowner, tasked with designing my containers. I made many mistakes, like planting Lamb's Ear next to Lavender. The Lavender soon towered over the Lamb's Ear, creating an awkward situation visually. Most DYI gardeners have minimal horticultural experience, and need a helping hand. Being the busy entrepreneurs you all are, we thought we'd provide that hand.
Above is a simple diagram that will guide customers through designing their containers. All you'll need to do is preselect and arrange an example of the bullseye method in an Anamese container or arranged near one. Printing out and displaying this diagram along with your staging will give customers a way to understand the concept and adapt as they see fit.
Inspired by Steph's work? See more of it here.