Gardens - Container Gardening

Green envy: Four verdant containers

Tara Nolan
Photography by
Edward Pond

Pack your pots full of lush, textured greenery for a dramatic, monochromatic effect

Splendour in the grass shopping list
  • ‘Butterfly’ Japanese maple (Acer palmatum ‘Butterfly’)
  • Southern maidenhair fern (Adiantum capillus-veneris)
  • Foxtail fern (Asparagus densiflorus ‘Myersii’)
  • Elephant ear (Bergenia cordifolia)
  • ‘Candidum’ caladium Polka Dot (Hypoestes phyllostachya)

Planting steps and tips

1. Place the Japanese maple in the lar­ger container. Then add caladium and bergenia in both, followed by the ferns.

2. Fill gaps with polka dot. “Hypoestes require regular pinching to keep them compact and to promote the best leaves with the best colour,” Paul says.

3. Even though arrangements like these are best for shade, they still need to be checked for water. If it’s very windy, they’ll dry out.   

Tip: In tall containers, create false bottoms using items like terracotta, crushed pop bottles or Styrofoam peanuts in a bag. Use bricks to weigh down a top-heavy container—just make sure you plant it in the desired spot first.


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