At A Glance: Great In The Shade

English trough

Aug1dgw 014

shade pots

shade box 2

Keywell 2006 (7)

shade container 2014


July 8 2014 (43)


july 31a 020

shade box

Sept 15, 2013 (57)

JTaubman (7)



Aug1dgwa 011

Aug1dgw 077

Sept 4 2013 (11)

Lobsinger 7-07 (3)

July25 039


July25aa 013

June 30a 2012 012So many choices.


  1. Marguerite says

    What a pleasure it would be to live with any one of these artfully collaged plants at one’s side on a shady patio, book in hand, the birds singing. Some ,especially the green and whites are as cooling as a Trane unit…. and oh, the containers themselves,… esp. that verdigris one.But that glazed egg shaped dark green one with the crazy antenae leaves…. that one seems to be saying “Human, take me to your leader!!!” . Thank you D, anyone who is lucky enough to get those…they’ve got it made in the shade~

  2. Wow. Just wow.

  3. LOVE them! How did you get that Coleus in the 3rd photo to grow like that? Some kind of support?

  4. Mike Haynes says

    So many choices indeed!
    Have you ever thought about putting together a coffee table type book of Container Garden Photos? I truly enjoy sitting and studying, not only your plant choices, but the containers as well. Maybe something to do during your free time. lol

  5. Patricia says

    The brilliant greens really light up the space. My favorite is still pic 13; the massive green pot that looks as though it were deposited by a dinosaur. Where does the sea green chair (pic 17) come from? I’d love to see a feature on garden furniture that can take both scorching sun and sprinkler water. So wish you had a West Coast shop!

  6. Thank you for sharing wonderful pictures of the ways you use plants with color and variety. I love them all.

  7. Cynthia Corhan-Aitken says

    A picture is worth a thousand words…

  8. Some lovely combinations here. Inspirational! Thank you.

  9. I used several of your “planter recipes” this spring and summer Deborah. And I am a very happy gardener. Every time I walk by them it causes me to stop and stare and ponder and say thanks to you for sharing.

  10. Wow! LOVE THE SHADE!!! Great ideas and can you tell me what the name of the lime green plant that is dripping over the pots and out of the window boxes…looks like creeping jenny but don’t know as it is…beautiful color!

    Thank you always for the inspiration!

  11. Cara Kazanowski says

    All inspiring, as usual, but I especially love how the reds and purples “pop” thanks to the lime green and whitish leaves. The patterns of light and shadow are arresting, too!

  12. Pat Torney says

    Do all the beautiful ceramic pots have drainage holes? If not, how do you keep the plants from getting overwatered? I just bought beautiful teal colored pots and just realized there are no drainage holes!

  13. In the run up to the Hampton Court Flower Show, the BBC has aired a full hour’s coverage for each of the three nights preceding. Looking at your lovely photos reminded me of a waspish comment by one of the presenters who pointed out the hostas planted alongside lavender in one of the award winning gardens – something that would never happen in real life. Well, your containers are not just beautiful, they also ‘work in real life,’ which is a quality not to be disregarded….thank you again!

  14. I really, really, really love your work. Your containers remind me of Saipua’s flower arrangements.

  15. Stunning! I have a wonderfully shaded yard, so am truly delighted to see all of your shade containers. What is the large-leaved plant shooting out the top of the big glazed green pot? Maybe a type of elephant ear? With the skirt of creeping jenny, it is a gorgeous container. Thanks.

    • Deborah Silver says

      Dear Marjorie, I am embarrassed to say that I do not know what that large leaved plant is-tropical plants are not my forte. It is a pretty commonly available tropical though. Tropical plants that tolerate conditions inside the house are great in shady places outdoors-in this case, under a big beech tree. Thanks, Deborah

  16. Nancy H. Kraft says

    I am pretty pleased with how my garden and pots look, then I view you sight, stunning as always. I thank you for sharing as I do learn so much from your photos nd blog.

  17. I love your planters! I see you use a lot of nicotiana. Do you not have problems with aphids? I tried using N. sylvestris last year and they were like sticky fly paper for the aphids – regardless of whether they were in sun or shade containers. Anyone else have this issue?

    • Deborah Silver says

      Dear Barbara, I never plant n. sylvestris for exactly that reason-they invariably become infested with aphids. The other varieties don’t have that problem-for me anyway. Deborah

  18. Heather Burkhardt says

    I adore the puple oxails. What a color. Lovely collection.

  19. Susan Roubal says

    Wow! I should pay you for a Dr. visit, Deborah! I’ve been so under the weather, but the #13 green pot with creeping charlie and the taller leaves made me smile and helped me feel alive! Thank you! I love Marguerite’s comment: Some are as cooling as a trane unit. Splendid!

  20. You are breathtakingly talented. Thank you for all of the gorgeous images. I adore the green pot with the tone-on-tone plant material. So pretty. xo, N.G.

  21. I’m sure you get this a lot, but could you please id the plants in the 12the pic from the top, the one with all the oranges? I think it is stunning and my husband would love it – he is a warm color person and I am a cool color person. Sometimes we find combinations that we both love and this is one of them. Thank you.

    • Deborah Silver says

      Dear Karen, the solenia apricot begonias are accompanied by 2 kinds of “finger” leaved coleus-I do not know the names. Hope this helps, Deborah

  22. Christina N says

    I’ve also enjoyed planting annuals coleus and caladium in my shade planters in the spring where they look great — until fall (here in Nashville, TN – zone 7), when the coleus get leggy and scraggly and the caladium flop over. Then what do you replace them with during winter?

    • Deborah Silver says

      Christina, my winters are very different than yours.You can search this blog for what we do for winter pots, but probably you have other options. best, Deborah

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