Here’s the thing about fall decorating – it’s all going to end up in the compost pile pretty quickly – in about six weeks.
So, if it’s only going to last a short amount of time, and its all going to die anyway, why would you spend a whole lot of time and money on it?
What you want is something quick, and easy, and cheap, but that looks great. What you want is something that doesn’t need attention. And that is what this autumn planter delivers.
Plus, it also has a certain ‘retro chic’ sensibility.
What gardener doesn’t have a lengthy list of plants that didn’t quite live up to expectations?
This year, I planted a lot of Coleus, but for some reason (I take full responsibility for poor placement and low water) the one I was most excited about – Coleus ‘Fishnet Stockings’ – didn’t take off like the rest of the varieties. I’m still smitten with its sexy leaves, and despite neglect, it lived. So I decided to give the small but healthy plants a new life in this container planting.
I had about a half-dozen of these planted around the garden, so I dug them all up to transplant here to get some leaf volume. If you have had better luck with a favorite coleus or other foliage plant, then maybe you only need a plant or two – but I have five here.
- Pennisetum ‘Red Head’ (cuttings)
- Hydrangea ‘Limelight’ (cuttings)
- Colues ‘ Fishnet Stockings’
The coleus is the only thing living in this arrangement and that is the beauty of this container planting. The grass and the hydrangea are both great materials for fall plantings for a few reasons:
- They look great and very ‘of the fall season’ as this is their time to bloom anyway
- They fill lots of space and add texture
- They look just as good dead as they do alive – so in a month or so, they will look better than that coleus
(Would you believe that I once had a fresh (and then dried) bouquet of grass heads and hydrangea on my dresser for a couple of years? The only thing not pretty about it was the eventual dust.)
The container is a treasure I found in a local second-hand store. It’s avocado colored and it is a straight sided round vintage masterpiece. I somehow seems to sylistically match the grasses and come out on the positive side of modern.
images by rochelle greayer