Sometimes trying to think of a great plant combination to
put together in a garden planter is a bit more difficult then imagined. You drive over to the local garden center or
nursery and just stand there, staring at all the choices. Over whelming, right?
Well, here are the exact details on how to duplicate this
vibrant and dramatic window box. We name
1. Make sure the window box planter you
select is a minimum of 24” long. Fill
the bottom of the window box with broken pot pieces, styrene, crushed pop cans
or whatever you want to help with the drainage.
Then fill the window box with compost, missing in 3 teaspoons of slow
release plant food granules. Now plant
the heliotrope centrally at the back of the window box, gently teasing apart
the roots if necessary. This is your
anchor piece. All other plant materials will arrange around this one center
2. Plant the dahlias
in the back corners of the planter with the black grass in the front of the
heliotrope. Now we have some depth
happening here that will make the planter look alive and not flat.
3. Plant the purple
verbenas at the back between the heliotrope and the dahlias. Finish with the red verbenas at the front
corners. This is a large container so it
is best to position it before watering.
These plants like full sun so make sure it’s in a good spot. Now water it thoroughly. Do this before
placement so that the water doesn’t add to the weight of the clay planter when
The intense purple of the heliotrope usually dominates other
plants, but here it is teamed with a selection of equally dramatic colors. Mixing the purple, dark red and black grass
will create a dramatic and intense look that will carry you through the season.
Tip: Dahlias can be
overwintered by digging up the tubers after the first frost, cutting the stems
back to 6” and drying them off before storing in slightly damp peat in a frost
proof shed. Start into growth again in spring and plant out after all danger of
frost is past.