Never has some spring colour meant so much to these winter weary eyes, its been a dark winter, with lots of mild overcast days. As I write this article, the sun is shining, the skies are blue and there is a dusting of snow on the ground. Yesterday was plus 14 Celsius, today minus 8. But that’s spring in Ontario. A real roller coaster ride in the spring. There are some plants that will survive cooler temps but not this kind of temperature swing, so be careful when you are shopping at your local garden center for your spring outdoor planters. If they have plants outside day and night, you know that you will be ok to have these materials outside as well. Spring blooming perennials are popular, because you can transplant them into your garden when you change your arrangement for summer. Potted bulbs are another option, but blooms in general do not last that long, so plan on changing them out more often. Don’t discard the bulbs, you can plant them in your border for blooms again next spring. There is amazing artificial foliage available now, that looks very realistic. Check to make sure it is UV stabilized, so that it doesn’t bleach out in the rain and sun. This is a really good time to get out some accessories to help fill up your container. Pussy willow, fantail willow, curly willow, birch poles, yellow and red dogwood, forsythia,kerria, all add height. Use your imagination and scour the garage, basement, garden shed for other items that can add interest, like solar lights, lanterns, smaller sculptures, decorative bird houses, moss balls, ribbon and wire.
Here are a few ideas for spring outdoor planters that i have installed for clients in the past. Everything is artificial except pansies, birch and willow. No worries about what the weather will do!!
After a long cold winter, get outside and refresh your front facade, it will be some time yet before you can plant out your annuals safely. Containers do a great job of providing a little drama ahead of a garden just waking up.