Every season I re-plant the planter box in front of our front door, so thought it might be fun to share how to plant a planter box with flowers and plants. These tips are especially helpful if you’ve got a larger one that is visible/accessible from two sides (like mine, how convenient).
You may have seen our built-in planter box when we got our new front door and then when we painted our brick, which included painting the brick for the planter. When planting, first go buy a bunch of plants and flowers that you like. Here is what was calling to me.
Pay attention to each plant’s sun exposure requirements and watering habits – you’ll want to get plants and flowers that can work together in the setting you have for your planter box. You’ll also want to get colors that complement your house – although if they compliment it too, that would be awesome (clearly we watched Alice in Wonderland this week if I am thinking of talking flowers). It is also nice to have a mix of non-flowering and flowering plants. When you’ve got all your plants/flowers and have driven them home, plunk them down together so you can see exactly what you are working with:
Every season I do something totally different. This season I went for pink, purple, yellow, orange, and white – bright colors to work with our newly brightened exterior. Sometimes I do monochromatic, like this past spring when I went for all red tulips with some red primroses (the tutorial for that would be quite boring).
When you’ve got a bunch of different plants and flowers, I always test out the arrangement by starting with the biggest plants first. Here I set down the pink (“lipstick”, so said the label) and orange plants to start.
For a two-sided planter like mine, put your large plants toward the middle so that when looking at it from the front or the back (street or house), it looks good both ways. If you have a planter only seen from one side, put the larger plants toward the back/wall. Next build around them with the smaller plants.
Move things around until you are happy with the layout. Think of it as a gallery wall for your yard. After my initial layout, I moved the bigger plants a little closer together so there wasn’t a big gap and then evened out all of the other plants so they have nice little groupings. And it helps when you have a helper:
I only worked with my larger plants and saved the smaller petunias so I could fill in these 48 little guys at the end.
Then just plant away until everything is happily in the dirt. Don’t be afraid to group a few smaller plants to get an arrangement you like. I grouped the petunias – no way was I going to dig 48 holes for those, plus all the other plants. Also, don’t be afraid to over-plant a little meaning you can ignore those spacing suggestions on the plant label. I am too impatient to wait months for all my plants to look as if they are all mature, lush, and beautiful, especially when I know this is the one area of my yard I’ll re-plant for each season. So go for a closer planting arrangement which will fill in nicely but not look too stark on day one. Here is my planter box immediately after planting, and I know it will fill in pretty quickly (until I forget to water):
Anyone else have good tips for planting planter boxes? Or re-plant each season? Hope your are getting some spring sunshine so you can plant, too!