We’ve come to the end of our four-week installment of faaaaabulous cool-season planting ideas from Karen Chapman and Christina Salwitz, the Seattle-based authors of Fine Foliage. They saved the best for last—and it’s another container idea! If you missed the previous entries, find them here, here, and here.
Why it works: Inspired by the late season berry harvest, these color tones make a juicy container combination. By using a dusty-blueberry colored juniper, the small needles are not only one of three colors, but also of textural patterns that makeup this trio. The second pattern of the coleus is a soft contrast, with strawberry and gold deeply dissected feathers tickling the edges of the juniper. With a bold and broad surface of a larger leaf, the coral bells melds the combination together in a unique autumnal palette.
‘Blue Star’ juniper (Juniperus squamata ‘Blue Star’) – these sparkling blue needles are a garden standout. With its slow mounding growth habit and drought tolerance once established this conifer is as beautiful and useful in a container as in the border. To 2-3 ft. tall x 3-4 ft. wide, Sunset Climate Zones 1–24
Bonefish coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides) – this compact growing plant is a colorful sensation, its leaf form resembling a crustacean; fuchsia in the middle and chartreuse on the edges. Distinctive and sun tolerant, this charming and evocative plant grows 15-18″ tall x 10″x 12″ wide, Sunset Climate Zones 24, H1, H2 or enjoy is as an annual.
Berry Smoothie coral bells (Heuchera hybrid) – one of the most adaptable coral bells, this takes full sun or full shade and copes well with both heat and humidity. In spring, this evergreen perennial is a vibrant raspberry, gradually turning to deeper berry shades as the season cools. 18″ tall and wide, Sunset Climate Zones 1–9, 14–24
Conditions: Partial sun, well-drained soil