Containers to Welcome Spring

With the weather slowly improving as we enter April, small buds on trees and signs of greening on the ground are beginning to appear around us as a signal that spring is on its way. Here at fleurdetroit we prepare for spring by gathering tulips, hyacinths, pansies and pussy willow to welcome life back into containers—and your home or business—after the long winter.

Devise the Design

When designing a spring planter, three elements come to mind—height, color and longevity. In terms of height, spring offers us pussy willow and curly willow as great options. The silver catkins on pussy willow brighten up an entry way, and curly willow can add a sense of life through its sinuous movement. When picking spring colors, you can pick from personal preference, or you can choose based on what would complement the architecture or décor around your containers. When I design containers, I try to keep both in mind order to achieve a unique ambiance for our client’s home or business.

Though spring is often thought of as sunny days and warmer weather, the reality of spring means fluctuating temperatures over a period of about two months. We use sticks, tulips, hyacinths, pansies, and faux elements to ensure a fresh and lively look as the bulbs fade, then pansies and architectural elements—sticks and faux grass—take over until it’s time to refresh for summer.

Window Boxes

In a window box we use shorter elements to be mindful of the view from the window. In this example we started with pink tulips per the client’s request for the main height feature. Next, we added white hyacinths in front of the tulips. Hyacinths bloom a little later than early tulips, and a little shorter, so the hyacinths serve as both a mid-height feature and as color after the tulips fade. The most important and long-lasting element is pansies, which we added along the edge of the window box so they can spill out while they grow through April. Finally, I went through and added faux grass between some of the tulips so height would remain behind the pansies after the bulbs finish blooming. The grass also adds texture to the planting as a whole.

Porch Pots

For these porch pots our client requested curly willow. I chose the appropriate height by referencing the bottom of the porch light. In other circumstances we usually make the height of the sticks the same height as the pot itself. Because April weather can be windy, make sure you plant the sticks low and pack the soil around them, so they don’t blow over. I then added the tulips, hyacinths, and pansies in the same pattern as the window boxes to coordinate with one another. While the window boxes were complete after this step, in spring containers we always line the edge with moss to hide any visible soil. Not only does it fill in the gaps while the plants grow, it makes the planter look fresh as if the bulbs had just bloomed all season long.

Even though the winter months can seem endless, the first few signs of spring are here. Planting containers for spring not only enlivens our living spaces but it also reminds us that days of sunshine and happiness are on the way.