“Pockets” Make Easy Fall Containers
This time of year I feel like that kid from the movie The Sixth Sense. Remember the one who saw dead people? That’s me. Only I see dead windowboxes. Containers. Urns.
Ghosts of gardens that were undoubtedly the pride of their owners now left to die.
I can’t help but wonder why the people who delight in designing their summer containers don’t keep the beauty going into fall. After all, fall windowboxes are not difficult to create. The key is planting “pockets”.
Start by planting evergreens in the container to act as the “bones” of the design. Boxwood and dwarf arborvitae are great choices for bones. In between the evergreens, the “pockets”, plant seasonal material. Even if you choose to plant only in summer your evergreen “bones” mean you have a decent looking container during the other three seasons. You can make a great looking fall windowbox without planting a thing, just add simple embellishments. For instance, gather some interesting gourds or seed heads and use branches for height. Just make sure you NEVER use bittersweet vine as it is highly invasive. A simple combination for your fall container could incorporate an ornamental grass, a cabbage or kale, and some pansies. Even though the days are colder don’t forget to water your container. Until the soil freezes the plants still require moisture.
If you are not planting anything in your winter boxes remove fall material before it becomes frozen in place. Cutting off plant material at soil level is a good option if Jack Frost catches you unawares and helps you avoid the “ghosts of containers past” syndrome.
Fall in New England is a beautiful season with spectacular colors and interesting details. It’s the perfect opportunity to plant something in your containers that will take your breath away – before winter does.
This article was originally written for Pine Straw, an apparel and home goods store in Wellesley, MA.