Pot culture is a great way to embrace seasonal color up close and personal. The possibilities depend on the look that you want to achieve. Summer offers tropical options that we might not think about. In January I had the opportunity to attend TPIE -The Tropical Plant International Expo in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. When I left Maryland I had just shoveled the snow from my walkway. My flight could not have been at a better time. I was not sure what to expect in Florida in January. I knew I wanted to expand my familiarity with using tropical plants. TPIE was just the place to explore creative pot culture.
What is considered a tropical plant in the DMV is what is in the landscape in Florida. I found it amazing to see a bed of begonias as a ground cover in the exterior landscape. Basic plantings like snake plants surrounded by impatiens can inspire any inner gardener. Perhaps not in the ground but what a statement in a pot. Height, structure with a soft skirt in the semi-shade garden…who would have thought about this?? Take those houseplants outside and give them a taste of the tropics. Pot culture has endless possibilities.
There were combinations of succulents with orchids as a mixed planting. Succulents in varying heights, natural color combinations as well as tropicals hung high to draw the eye up as well as around. A pitcher plant in a hanging basket, instead of a trailing petunia – exotic vs. traditional. Succulents planted on the bottom and sides of moss covered baskets – hanging or tilted on the ground are unique. One such succulent that would drape is the donkey tail cacti.
Consider the container as well. There are so many creative options to contain beauty. From paint cans, tires, broken pots, rotted bottom wheelbarrows, chairs, and more. A rectangular planter hanging at eye level with an assortment of bodacious tropicals adds interest to any setting.
No place to hang a planter? Pots at assorted heights with textural foliage, assorted blooms or not. Using cinder blocks, assorted wooden blocks or even bricks, assorted height combinations add interest in a basic way.
In a sunny corner, a collection of pots can add pop. A lush bougainvillea, sun-loving coleus, a Brugmansia in a pot underplanted with Vinca graced with Dichondra Falls…just a few options for pot culture. Exploring the options for what can be planted in a pot was a lesson well learned at TPIE.
I am glad I took the time to go to TPIE. As I begin to create bodacious planters for my terrace, I am inspired to think out of the box for my unique expression of pot culture. Will you think beyond the usual annuals and perennials and consider personalizing your pot culture?
Considering tropicals for my pots,
Teri, Cottage In The Courtby
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