Week 3 – Cool Weather Container Gardens with Filler, Spiller and Thriller

Today we planted cool weather container gardens that are perfect for the patio or deck.  The plants we planted today will be great up until around June and then we can change out some of the plants for warmer weather summer varieties and then when fall comes change out some for fall weather.  This is called the “wave” system so your pots are always fresh and beautiful.

Yesterday my task was to go shopping and pick up some filler plants.  My instructions were to find fillers but as I was shopping the nice lady at Tagawa named Jere said it looked like there were some spillers on the list as well.  So what I learned this week is there are fillers, spillers and thrillers. 

The plants we used today for our cool weather containers are:

Thrillers – Stock (purple), Gerbera Daisies (coral color) and Snap Dragons (Antirrhinum -pink); these are the main attractions

Fillers – Regal Geraniums (purple), and African Sun Daisies (Osteospurmum- Serenity Peach Magic and Astra White Improved), these fill in and are upright around your thrillers

Spillers – Twin Spur (Diascia- Flirtation Orange), Superbells (Calibrachoa – Sweet Tart – pink and yellow), and Nemesia (Opal Innocence – white and very light purple/lavender),  Lobelia (Hot Tiger – blue) – these spill out of the pot and trail down the sides

To plant your containers; fill your pot with soil, arrange your plants in the design you would like (we used one thriller and 3 each of fillers and spillers with the fillers and spillers placed every other one so there was 1 plant of each on each of 3 sides); remove the plant from its container with gravity (turn it upside down and let it drop out into your hand – don’t pull the little flowers heads off), push the soil aside where you want to place the plant and push it firmly into the soil so that the top of the soil is even with the soil in the pot (don’t be afraid to push hard so it’s firmly planted),  do this with all of your plants and make sure they are all firmly placed and just below the top of the pot so when you water it the soil doesn’t run over the side of the pot.  Water in your plants.

In Colorado it is so dry it’s not unusual to water your pots every day.  After planting I make sure the water leaks out of the bottom of the pot into the saucer (yes, make sure the pot you’re planting in has a hole or the roots will rot) and then every day I water until the water starts leaking out the bottom into the saucer again.  In Colorado a container or hanging basket can die in a day without the proper amount of water.  You don’t want to drown them but if they get too dry they can go beyond the point of reviving them.

It’s still early so if there is danger of frost or freezing place some stakes in your pot and put a sheet over them or if possible move them into your house or garage for the night.

Tools we used today were our hands. 

So far, so fun.  To see today’s Proctor’s Garden segment visit http://www.9news.com/garden/262475/358/Proctor-Try-wave-system-for-container-plantings to see a demonstration of how to plant your container gardens.


About pbodwell

Master Gardener; Nat'l Award Winning Photographer; Garden Writer; Artist - art books, print maker, hot glass, wire jewelry designer; sometime quilter; new homesteader; bee keeper; very crafty; Baseball fan, enthusiast, and researcher; all things vintage
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One Response to Week 3 – Cool Weather Container Gardens with Filler, Spiller and Thriller

  1. Lina says:

    oh you’re having way too much fun! thanks for sharing your knowledge.

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