5 Tips for Creating a Dramatic Fall Planter

Scratching your head wondering how you’ll create a dramatic fall planter? Here are 5 tips to help you design one just like the stunning, colourful creations you see online!

Fall Planter by Terra Nova

  1. Do I need to know plants? What about growing habits or what they need to thrive? Simply put – no! The trick is to understand that a planter is a combination of colour and form using plants that don’t normally belong together in a garden. It’s not about how big it might get in maturity or whether an ornamental shrub is sitting cheek to jowl next to a vegetable. If these look good together in a small vignette, go for it! All you need to make your own creation, is what you like the look of. It’s as simple as that.


  1. Decisions, decisions. Most garden centres have selections of plants grouped together for the purpose of making planters or containers in the fall. What they may not have displayed are plants that aren’t normally considered for this purpose. These are small shrubs like a variegated Euonymus, or a Blue Conifer. All the evergreen Perennial grasses are fantastic additions to give height or texture. Perennials that are evergreen and don’t lose their leaves are a perfect element that gives continuity through the winter. Ornamental Kale, Pansies, Primulas and Wall Flowers are also available in the fall.


  1. Just add Colour. Do you like orange things, yellow things or purple things? The purpose of your planter may be to go with the colour of your front door, or the colour of your house. This is a legitimate reason for choosing certain plants. They can be punchy ones like orange plants with your blue door, or purple plants with your yellow trim. You may want to work with pastel colours or contrasting colours like blue and orange, or black and yellow.


  1. Visualize! Is it a tall one, is it large or is it short and squat? You may want to group three planters together, tall medium and short.  In this case they don’t have to be the same style but could all be the same colour.  Planters and their shapes can compliment each other when placed together.  Remember if you want your planter to be viewed from the street, a good sized pot needs to be chosen.  Finally, planters can be ceramic or plastic, an old apple box or something else that is unconventional. Check out Wildwood’s online store for some planter ideas.

  1. The More, the Merrier! Because it is not a garden bed, plants can be arranged close together. Remember they will be existing in an unusual situation and to create impact, try to use as much of the planter as you can. When using shrubs choose one gallon or 6” pot sizes. Depending on what plants you use, a container that is 12” or more in diameter might need 5 to 7 plants. If there are any gaps, you can fill with pansies or other seasonal flowers.

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