Having containers at the front of your house allows you to expand your landscape and explore other opportunities for plants. Many people use annuals, but using perennials in your landscape enable you to compliment your existing landscape while not having to re-plant annually. Many plants will thrive in containers, and there are many ways to combine them to create a stunning display of color, texture, and shape. There are three main components to an effective planter: a thriller - the most upright plant, a spiller - something that drapes down and spills over the sides, and filler - the plant that fills the space between the thriller and the spiller. Using at least one of each of these components creates a combination that is attractive and unique.
This combination echoes stately brick houses, covered in ivy with lions at the gateway. This planter will collectively do best in zones 5-9, but there is the potential to substitute and swap out plants for other zones that have similar characteristics. Use a concrete planter that has a pedestal for a completion of the look.
Thriller: Gaura Siskiyou Pink This plant makes for a stunning thriller; soft pink flowers effortlessly dip and sway in the slightest breeze. When there aren't flowers, small grey-green leaves provide a perfect backdrop to the other plants. Reaching about 24 inches tall, it makes a perfect thriller for our front-yard classic style planter.
Filler: Heucherella spp.
This group of plants has many options to choose what fits your needs; pick one that matches your style. Prized for its foliage, Heucherella ranges from a bright chartreuse green to a blazing red, with every sort of color combination in between. Small pink or white flowers bloom in early spring, reaching no higher than 18 inches. With it's bold, colorful foliage, it makes an ideal filler for this planter.
Spiller - English Ivy Though English ivy is thought to be the plant growing up the side of the house, it works as a spiller in this situation. With dark green foliage and a tendency to drape down, this ivy spills out beautifully. Though you will probably have to prune it back partway through the season to keep it from spilling too far onto the pavement, it will thrive as a spiller in your container.
This planter has a bit more of a modern feel to it. Collectively, this planter will thrive in zones 5-9, but each plant has a different zone associated with it. Feel free to adapt it to your needs with other plants. Use a brightly colored pot to contrast with the flowers and enjoy!
Thriller - Ice Dance Sedge Unlike grasses, sedges have triangular edges. Ice Dance Sedge has bright green blades with white edges, bringing a bit of pizzazz to the planter. It is relatively easy to maintain and provides a year-round backdrop to the rest of the planter.
Filler - Daisy May Shasta Daisy Bright, bold white flowers with yellow centers bloom in late spring and continue throughout the summer. As the filler, this Shasta Daisy performs admirably in a container. Deadheading the flowers encourages a continuous display of flowers throughout the summer.
Spiller - Chocolate Chip Ajuga Chocolate chip ajuga has foliage that is chocolate brown, providing the perfect base to this planter. The depth of this foliage contrasts with the white flowers, and will put up its own purple flowers in the spring. Though it does not drape dramatically down the side of the container, it still provides the perfect spilling quality to this front yard planter.
For more of a rustic, farmhouse vibe, consider planting these plants in a barrel. Though many of these plants may thrive in different zones, collectively, this planter will do best in zones 6-8.
Thriller - Burgundy Bunny Grass Narrow green blades with a hint of burgundy create the perfect thriller plant for this planting. Come late summer, tufted seed heads bob in the wind, and the burgundy color deepens. The seedheads will persist into the winter, so don't be afraid to let them stand and add a bit of texture.
Filler - Coral Bells With so many different colors to choose from, there is a coral bell that will suit almost any situation. Whether you pick for the spring flower color or the bright foliage, putting a coral bell in your rustic planter will be sure to please. Try using a plant that has the red or orange hues to bring out the colors of the other plants, or use a purple foliage cultivar to provide a dramatic contrast. The options are endless.
Spiller - Angelina Sedum Don't be fooled by this plant's ostentatious color; Angelina sedum makes the perfect spilling plant for this planter. Bright green in spring and summer and turning a brilliant yellow in the fall and winter, this sedum is sure to please all year round. It also provides a great contrast to the other colors you've chosen for this planter.