A pot of plants at the front door makes a great welcome. But a really BIG arrangement of plants and sticks and stuff that towers over your head registers high octane on the Howdy Meter. Here are some ideas for easy, budget-friendly containers inspired by front entrance whoppers I found on recent garden tours in Cabbagetown and Hog’s Hollow–both very, very stylish Toronto communities. Scroll over the photos for the full story.
No need to have the patience or budget to pull off the ball of succulents. Any compact, mounding plant would work well here, too, or try a sphere made of woven willow branches (available at most craft and garden centres). Birch branches and curly willow twigs spray up while potato vine and ornamental grasses spray out and down. Any dead branches you’ve found in your garden that you like the look of can be used to add height and drama.
Here’s the same ball and twigs idea taken to the extreme. This minimalist approach is even easier to replicate. Instead of lengths of bamboo, use long branches. Nestle an ornamental sphere in the centre of your branch arrangement. Voila! Tres amusant, no?
Press your houseplants into service. The bromeliad in the centre of this arrangement, with it’s eye-catching pink bloom, makes a great centrepiece. Just add a small trellis covered in a blooming vine (you can buy a small clematis or a Black-Eyed Susan Vine (Thunbergia) already covering a trellis at any well-stocked garden center) and finish with trailing variegated ivy.
Replicating this arrangement takes some serious gardening know-how but you can get the feel of this look without the towering banana palm. The darker-leaved Elephant Ear (Colocasia esculenta) is easy to grow and readily available at garden centres). Add contrasting-coloured succulents and golden Creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia) to make an equally dramatic arrangement that’s easy to plant and maintain.
If one ginormous container planting is good, two are fabulous. This matching pair of arrangements feature one enormous palm each, underplanted with Rex Begonias (bright leaves) and ivy. If palms are out of your price range, a spray of interestingly-shaped branches can once again serve the purpose of adding height and eye-catching drama.