Plant hardy, easy-to-grow staples—including ivy, ferns, and geraniums—to create classic container groupings that will last the season
Some things never go out of style. When it comes to planting containers, the combination of vivid red geraniums and green foliage have been a popular, beloved pairing for decades. What’s more, they leave an ever-cheerful impression on guests while giving your porch or garden an Americana feel. Thanks to the size and convenience of these planters almost anyone can pot the combinations shown here. “So many people are living in condos and patio homes now, and with containers there’s no limit to what you can grow based on your space. You can do traditional flowers and even add vegetables and herbs, too. You can really have a garden anywhere,” says David Munsey III, general manager of Little Rock’s Better Lawns & Gardens. With this thought in mind, Munsey and his father, David Munsey Jr., founder and owner of the business, put together several container groupings that you can plant now and—with proper care and maintenance—enjoy until the first chill of fall arrives.
“With proper lining and drainage holes, you can create a container out of just about anything,” David Munsey Jr. says. The grouping seen above includes an old washtub, a vintage ice cream freezer, and a basket for an antique-chic spin on traditional planters. Here, cool season lettuces mix with herbs, marigolds, and geraniums to make an edible-meets-ornamental display. When warmer days arrive, change out the cool season plantings for summer vegetables.
Potted geraniums line this home’s entry steps to welcome guests. A ‘Boston Tiger’ fern, which features stripes that inspired its name (see the close-up image below), sits at the top in contrast to the dark green foliage of the ivy and traditional ‘Boston’ ferns.
At varying heights and diameters, a grouping of three terracotta planters filled with ‘Patriot Bright Red’ geraniums work together to create a display with plenty of visual interest. The casual pots are a natural tie-in for the rustic, down-home swing and traditional white porch.
For a slightly more contemporary look, Munsey Jr. suggests planting geraniums and ferns with palms. Here, Elegant Earth concrete planters from Antique Brick Outdoors blend with the home’s façade, allowing the plants to infuse vitality with their natural hues. Above, at left, round planters offer a fresh way to display ‘Macho’ ferns, which are often used as an alternative to ‘Boston’ ferns when a larger, slightly more sun-tolerant variety is needed. Salmon-colored geraniums, an asparagus fern, and a palm were used in the plant grouping seen on the right. A larger palm, seen in the background, adds height to the arrangement.
Better Lawns & Gardens, Little Rock, (501) 454-9803, betterlawnsar.com