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Northwest Gardening: Container Garden Recipe

Brought to you by Lowe's Creative Ideas

Looking for some planting inspiration for a colorful container? Here's a simple recipe from Lowe's Northwest region garden contributor Marianne Binetti.

A range of colors and shapes
Spiky Red Sensation cordyline.

Simple, quick and easy - that just about sums up this planter. Lime-green 'Alabama Sunrise' heucherella contrasts with the rich, wine-red tones of 'Red Sensation' cordyline. The velvetlike blooms of a Martha Washington geranium pick up the heucherella's burgundy markings and echoes the color tones of the cordyline. White bacopa adds contrast.

This recipe calls for only four plants, so splurge on large specimens in gallon-size pots to make an instant splash.

Start with the tallest plant, the spiky 'Red Sensation' cordyline. I positioned mine towards the back of the pot because this container will be viewed mostly from one side. Cordylines are great for tall containers, such as this footed urn, because you can purchase them with foliage that's already 3 feet tall. For a balanced look your tallest plant should be at least as tall as the height of the container.

Cordyline and heucherella.

Add the 'Alabama Sunrise' heucherella to one side. This hardy perennial will survive freezing winters and does well in a partly shaded location. Heucherella grows in a mounded shape that's a great contrast to the upright form of the cordyline.

The finished container garden has plenty of appeal.

Finish with a Martha Washington geranium, with blooms that speak to the foliage color of the other two plants. Tuck a white bacopa near the front edge of the pot to spill over the side.

All four plants like protection from the hot afternoon sun, soil that's kept evenly moist, and nutrients throughout the summer with a slow-release plant food such as Osmocote.

Now here's the best part about my color-coordinated urn: It continues to look great all year long - even in winter. The heucherella survives to minus-20 degrees F, and the cordyline and bacopa have been known to overwinter if grown in a protected location. The geranium won't make it past the first frost, but by that time the other three plants will be overflowing this urn with color.

If you’d like to see more about this planter, watch my how-to video.

So what plants are “urning” your respect this summer?

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