Pot Up a Bit of Sunshine

Fire It Up

Combine rich, warm colors in fiery hues to energize containers. This design pairs form and color for a dynamic planting full of motion. The upward facing fruits of ornamental pepper echo the upright structure of ‘Orange Rocket’ Barberry and New Zealand iris (Libertia peregrinans). The combination makes the entire planting feel like it is ready for lift off. The rising motion is counterbalanced by the mass of ‘Sunshine’ Ligustrum, which settles the planting into the container with graceful, arching branches.

Sunshine Ligustrum in a container with purple and green sweet potato vine (impoea) and Lamb's Ear.

Complementary Colors

Colors that appear opposite one another on the color wheel provide the greatest visual contrast to the human eye and always work well in combination. This planting emphasizes color contrasts by adding a textural element. The large, coarse leaves of Little Black Magic™ Dwarf Elephant Ear contrasts ‘Sunshine’ in both color and texture. Likewise, the golden foliage of sweet potato vine pulls the vibrant yellow hues downward in bold splashes.

Purple and Orange

Pairing purple as a dominant color with the yellow-green foliage of ‘Sunshine’ and the orange hues of sedum and New Zealand iris (Libertia peregrinans) provides what artists call a split complement. The end result is strong visual contrast which creates interest, but with a gentler touch than true complementary colors. This is an easy color scheme for beginners to use as it is quite forgiving.

A Little Bit of Sass

A playful application of the “Thriller-Filler-Spiller” container design uses texture and color to enliven a shaded deck. ‘Sunshine’ Ligustrum serves as an anchor in each container from which the design unfolds. Spikes of ‘Design-A-Line’ Cordyline and Baby Tut® Papyrus provide lift and texture, while draping sweet potato vine counters with a downward pull. Fuchsia celosia and Little Black Magic™ Dwarf Elephant Ear add bold texture and vibrant color.​

Stately Trio

You’ve likely heard the saying “less is more”.  Sometimes simple can be elegant and striking. Here a trio of containers each planted with a single ‘Sunshine’ Ligustrum illuminates a side yard walkway. The arrangement applies several design tricks. The Rule of Odds – grouping objects in odd numbers is visually balanced and harmonious.  Contrast – the vibrant yellow-green against the red wall is a near color complement and also pairs light with dark. Repetition - rather than being gathered in a tight group, the containers are spaced such that each becomes an independent element, one that is repeated through the space.

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