“Nothing beats the brightness of a chrysanthemum on the coolest days of the year”
There is something so special, even nostalgic about the sunny but chilly days of the Autumn. All around you nature is putting on a final display before settling down for its Winter rest. The air smells different and the world feels crisp and bright. Emerson Wild celebrates the beauty of nature of all four seasons here in Canada, but dare we say there’s nothing quite like the autumn palette? This season is filled with abundant textures, a luscious but delicate feast for the eyes perfected with some of our favourite flowers and foliage. And it all comes together in our Fall Container Garden: Seasoned Warmth. The perfect porch decor and every front door’s friend. Creating your very own container garden is both rewarding and fulfilling; a perfect activity for when there’s a shift to slowing down.
Creating and Curating the Combination
One of the things that helps make container gardening so friendly to all levels is a basic formula. In each garden you can identify thrillers, fillers and spillers. The amount of each can vary, and not all gardens will have all three, but their purpose remains consistent. The role of each is fairly easy to determine from their names. Thrillers are showpieces, there to “thrill”; adding height, drama and visual complexity. Fillers create depth and “fill” spaces with rich colours and textures while spillers bring a luxury of abundance by “spilling” over pots. For a visual balance that embraces the harvest festival, meet the 2023 Emerson Wild Fall Container Garden.
ORNAMENTAL MILLET (Pennisetum glaucum)
Grasses are one of the most exciting plant groups to work with (really!). And for this CG (container garden) we look to Ornamental Millet for our main thriller. In this millet we find bright green, purple and bronze foliage and a full, lush plume that will mature and change colour from gold to purple. The foliage is impressive, from its height to delicate veins where the colour changing is most evident.
Optional – SWISS CHARD (Beta vulgaris subsp. vulgaris)
A type of beet that doesn’t actually produce an edible modified root. Instead, the plants energy goes into producing foliage that brings the colour to the party. The leaves are large, thick and glossy while the stems (in their various colours) produce that visual pop.
GARDEN MUMS (Genus Chrysanthemum)
Without a doubt we adore chrysanthemums (garden mums). In fact we consider them the Queen of Fall Flowers and always have a place for them in our Fall container gardens. With consistent watering and at least 6+ hours of sunlight a day, these low maintenance floral beauties are easy to keep happy. For this container garden we are look for the rich auburns, golden yellows and and bronzed oranges.
ORNAMENTAL CABBAGE/KALE (Brassica oleracea)
Fringed and varigated leaves in beautiful rosettes that align effortlessly with the themes of abundance. Ornamental cabbage and kale (which are actually the same plant) are a delightful fillers that will change colouration as the temperatures drop.
ORNAMENTAL PEPPERS (Capsicum annum)
When we see an ‘ornamental’ variety of any plant, it simply means that certain visual traits have been selected for, creating the most beautiful plants albeit not necessarily functional ones. An ornamental pepper for example, will be shiny, bright and eye-catching, but will be barely edible. Not poisonous, but either uncomfortably spicy or completely bland. Look for colourful ornamental varieties that bloom or interest throughout the Fall.
DUSTY MILLER (Jacobaea maritima)
Otherwise known as Silver Ragwort, did you know that this silver beauty originates from the Mediterranean? We can appreciate its use as a filler not only for its softness and architectural charm but additionally for it’s shining colour that compliments the brighter colours of other additions and really helps them stand out.
GARDEN PANSIES (Viola × wittrockiana)
Low maintenance and available in so many varieties, the garden pansies are essential to any Fall container garden! Names like Pumpkin Pie, Autumn Blaze and Colossus Fire should conjure the ultimate Fall feelings. Available in many sizes, we particularly like blotch face pansies to create a cohesive look throughout.
Emerson Wild’s 2023 Fall Container Garden
- 16 x 16 container with at least 15 x 15 plantable space
- Potting soil from summer plantings: remove summer plants and any remaining roots. Top off with fresh potting mix.
- Ornamental Millet – 6” or 10” (We love working with a larger plant with a compact growth habit like the Jade Princess or Purple Jester)
- Garden mums – 4 or 6” pots – 2 complementary colours – golden yellow (2) + rich orange (2)
- Ornamental Cabbage/Kale – 4 or 6” pot X 2 we love the lush, leafy Osaka White front and centered, acting like a “bow”. The trick is to plant the cabbage in a diagonal instead of straight down the pot.
- Swiss Chard – 4” x 2
- Ornamental Peppers – 4 or 6” X 2
- Dusty Miller – 4” X 2
- Pansies – 4” pots X 4-6 mixed
May your Autumns be abundant and your Fall Container Gardens lush and beautiful. Enjoy the season of plenty! If you’re looking for inspirational reading material during the season of cozy, check out The Wild Blog, for more on all things garden and lifestyle. Lastly, we’d love to connect, be sure to follow us on Instagram and Pinterest!