The best way to bring fall color and interest into your garden is through your planting containers. New York City landscapes are all about the container garden. Containers come in hundreds of different materials, colors, finishes ,and textures. Selecting the right plants for the right container to match the right setting can be overwhelming (check back for an upcoming article on rules of thumb for planter selection). This past week, I observed two different planters. One is located in Midtown Manhattan, and the second is located in Manhattan’s Financial District.
The Midtown planter lacks fall interest. Observe the Begonias, Sweet Potato Vine, and Boxwood thrown together without attention to the season. The color scheme is better for Valentine’s day, and though I am a believer of color blocking, the red and pink flowers are a cheap shot at creating a colorful planter. The plant combination of the lower Manhattan planters are much more interesting. The texture of the Red Fountain Grass mixed with the Variegated Geranium and Coleus provide a more understated effect. The yellow Coreopsis flowers provide just enough color to punch up the planter. Remember, for Fall, use less flowers and focus on varying textures of plants through the foliage. Do not limit yourself to Chrysanthemums and Cyclamen, there are plenty of other options out there. The Jeffrey Erb favorite failproof fall planting includes: Autumn Fern (Dryopteris erythrosora, Muhlenbergia (take your pick of species), and American Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens).