High Praise for Summer Urns

One of my favourite jobs at the very first flower shop I worked at was planting customers urns.  It was a joy to go into the garden centre, wandering around and round, getting inspiration for their new scheme. But once it was planted up, I usually never saw it again, at least never in its glory. Sometimes after a frost, the customer would call us and have us plant them up for autumn, but those times were few and far between.

But last week, I got to see the summer urns at the Toronto Botanical Gardens at the peak of their summer beauty. We have not had any cold weather yet, so they are still full and fresh, and I mean very full…

These were my favourite, they were on either side of the front door.

Love the pink and red combination.

I have a Tigers Eye sumac, and they are supposed to sucker (although mine has not so far), when it does, I will do this,

or maybe this,

Another great pair of urns, either side of the doors to the Courtyard,

These two are beside the greenhouses.

I liked this one better last year,

And for all you urban gardeners,

Veggies can be very ornamental.

I am glad that I visited the TBG when I did, summer is over, and there are some cold nights to come, perhaps next time I visit, the urns will be in their Autumn wardrobe. If you are interested in seeing the 2009 urns, you can here.

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36 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    gardeningasylum said,

    Morning Deborah, Those are lovely, inventive combinations! I love the way an urn lifts the plants up to eye level or above, allowing room for plants below if placed in the garden, as well as giving verticality and structure.

  2. 3

    Paul said,

    Wow. Now I have pot envy. This weekend is going to see some changes in the pot garden.

  3. 5

    The planters look great. i especially like the one with the impatients. Gives me some great ideas. 🙂

  4. 7

    catmint said,

    How wonderful deborah. Like putting flowers in a vase but these will last. I particularly love the informal assymetical ones. What a great creative job you have.

  5. 9

    ellada said,

    Hello,
    I love all those combinations, for some you need very big pot. I like very much the last one.

  6. 11

    One said,

    Very nice ideas here. Thank you for sharing. I usually have more than one plant in a planter for eg. Thai Jasmine with white flowers and White Japanese Roses at the bottom. But the effect is not as nice as these.

  7. 13

    Lynne said,

    These are absolutely gorgeous and I, too, have pot envy. What I want to know is:

    How do you look after them so they stay looking so beautiful and lush?

    I have a dismal history with pots, except for the ones I have crammed under my protected porch. But any that I put out in the open just bake in summer, despite diligent watering.

    • 14

      Lynne, I don’t know what your how high your temperatures get up to. In Toronto, 25-33C is a summer high. I think, the bigger the pot, the slower they are to dry out, and look for tropicals, ie: plants that would grow in those conditions naturally, ie: bougainvillea’s.

  8. 15

    Edith Hope said,

    Dearest D, These planted containers are indeed splendid. I love the drama of them all and the wonderful sense of scale. So often, containers are planted rather meanly and that, for me, gives a rather dpressed look to a garden. Far better to be big and bold as these burgeoning specimens.

    • 16

      Edith, when I first started gardening, I used to have all these mingy little pots on my steps. They dried out constantly, and never looked great. Large containers have so much more impact, and lots of time, whole hanging baskets are used, giving an instant full look. Go big, or go hoime, as the expression goes!

  9. 17

    Your containers are lovely. Very nice combination of plants and placement. I do like the one with the impatiens and canna. Since we share the same weather, I just pulled all the annuals in the pots. Not so much for last weeks chill, but they were getting so root bound. I could not even pull out the individual annuals, they came out in one huge clump. I imagine you have the same problem.

  10. 19

    banner6 said,

    Why can’t I get containers to look like that? Any secrets to divulge?

    • 20

      Big containers equals more soil for roots to grow in and they do not dry out as quickly. Weekly (but diluted) fertilizing, and plant them up with hanging baskets, you get instant impact.
      Hope that helps.

  11. 21

    The urns are inspirational. Thanks for sharing.

  12. 23

    Missy said,

    I love the red and green combinations. They just demand attention. Think a trip to the pot shop is in order to see what I can create. They do say that imitation is the best form of compliment, but I doubt I’ll ever get mine to look as good.

  13. 25

    barry said,

    Hi Deborah,

    It has been a great year for container plants, especially since so many of them are tender plants that enjoy the hot humid weather we’ve had this summer. The potato vine has been spectacular and also the castor bean plant. Have you seen the containers at Toronto City hall? They are well worth taking the trip to see them and to take in the new green roof also.

  14. 27

    Valerie said,

    I am going down to here Helen Dillon from Ireland tomorrow. Will take the camera. So much inspiration there. Paul Zammit and crew do a fabulous job.

  15. 29

    Liz said,

    I love all of these, they are gorgeous and inventive.

  16. 31

    Grace said,

    Every single urn is fabulous, dripping with inspiration. Thanks for sharing.

  17. 33

    Anna said,

    How stupendous ~ your favourite is mine too ~ do you know the name of the tall green umbrella like plant in that top photo Deborah?

  18. 35

    Thanks for sharing these. I particularly like the focus on foliage and height. I used the King Tut grass in one of my urns this year and loved it.

    These are great!


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