Containers Ideas found on a Mini Vacation

Sitting in Boston Public Garden I’m enjoying a special early-morning moment on a lovely summer like day.
On shady bench in front of an active fountain, I’m relishing it’s gentle sound except when the tourist with the creaky wheeled cart goes by.

I’ve rediscovered that when you have a house guest from out of town, you become a tourist and take a mini vacation. While trekking about, I find myself noticing container plantings and a garden or two that I want to share with you. Use these images as photo notes for future design creations.
After dropping my guest off at the airport at 6 AM this morning, I realized I was up for an adventure. I thought a traditional breakfast in Boston might be a lot of fun. Especially since I had several hours until an event at 10:30 in the North Shore.
Enjoyed a delicious breakfast on Charles Street, now I’m now in the public garden writing this (yes from my phone!) and thinking about some of the amazing annual containers that I’ve seen over the last two days. Rock port, Back Bay, and Newbury Street selections are shown.

As a landscape designer, home gardener coach, and avid gardener, I’m reminded I can’t help to notice great design whenever and wherever. Enjoy the images!

Containers at “Four Winds” a shop in Rockport, MA that sells the synthetic flowers shown. Only the green leaved plant is living and it looks like some kind of succulent or sedum.
Close up of the “Four Winds” container with synthetic and living plant material.
This shot intrigued me because of the interesting custom metal trellis and the way it was used to hang containers filled with the yellow and also orange Black-eyed Susan annual vine. At the foot is pink mandevilla vine. I image it’s a living wall of color mid summer thru early fall.
Obviously a planting in progress as the pink and purple coleus are still in pots. But the wisteria climbing the shingles, the granite steps, and the bird bath planter make a lovely combination of textures and simple color combinations.
I loved this art railing–especially paired with the generous granite steps, the green trim of door and window, weathered cedar shingles, and the variegated grass or carex.
The weathered rectangle pale blue gray planter works well with the lime green potato vine, blue green succulents, lime green frilly edge coleus?, and the purple leaves of a plant familiar whose name escapes me.
Idyllic cottage image of weathered shingles, white picket fencing, pink peonies, pink columbine, clematis climbing the trellis, and the purple tradescantia or spiderwort beneath the ‘tow away zone’ sign!
Lovely summer fence planter box even though it doesn’t hide the utility box!
Spring planter box–the kind that’s a metal frame lined with a moss or other to hold the soil. Friendly pansy faces of purple/lavender, yellow/brown, and also orange with yellow snapdragon, pink petunia, purple petunia, and a variegated leaf.
Walking on Commonwealth Avenue Boston, I liked these Victorian Urns for the use of white upright mandevilla vine, purple angelica, and variegated plant spilling over.
Pink mandevilla vine with white something paired with pink petunias, lime potato vine. The green ivy mound growing at the base grounds the planter visually and adds to the composition. As well as the pinky brown facade and the window box above in pink ivy geranium.
White hydrangea with trailing vinca and the small white flowering plant graces the entry steps in a charming manner.
I’m guessing that this combination started with a early spring combination of pussy willow branches that have now rooted and are leafing out. Mandevilla vine planted at base will climb the branches (I’m surmising) and bloom through the summer. At the rim, the silver plant will spill over, as will the purple. Clever. The yellow roses are lovely too.
This is one I created for a Back Bay client. Inspired by the client’s yellow ceramic container, I used the pelargonium x ‘Persian Queen’ (that’s lime green leaf ), calibrachoa ‘Minifamous Orange’ (that the orange flower), and the variegated Felicia.
Lastly, also created for my Back Bay client. The variegated (Flelicia), the coleus “Redhead”, the purple plant to spill over (Setcrease ‘Purple Heart’), lime green leaf (Pelargonium x “Persian Queen’), the lime green barely seen in the back (“Colorblaze Lime Time” Coleus), with the grass (Pennisetum ‘Sky Rocket”), and the lovely pinkish Geranium. While I keep the plant tags in a envelope marked with year in the client file, the geranium variety eludes me as the tag just reads “zonal”.

One response to “Containers Ideas found on a Mini Vacation”

  1. Marianne Büttner Avatar
    Marianne Büttner

    Hello Maria,

    Thank you for the lovely photos!! So much beauty in this world to be appreciated.

    Can you find out the name of the artist who created the beautiful hand rail (copper?) and let me know how to reach him/her?

    Thank you!!

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