Fall Pots

fall container planting

Yesterday’s post was much about construction details.  Any arrangement that is not solidly put together, or any planting that is not planted properly, will always have that hasty look.  I am a fan of any big and serious effort.  Lucio and Angie put these centerpieces together.  They have a gift for proportion.  Their construction is stellar.  The centerpieces are individual-as in made by hand.  But they closely match in height and width.     

fall planting

The centerpiece was just the beginning of these fall pots.  I like using cabbages and kales, as they represent the harvest season with great enthusiasm.  But the placement to create a harmonious overall look takes some doing.  Be advised that ornamental cabbages and kales can be set below or above soil level.  They don’t mind a rootball that is tilted out, such that the backside of their rootball  is out of the ground.  They are amiable and forgiving of your design.

These containers have their tallest element-the redbor kales-planted in the corners of the boxes.  This may be a counter intuitive placement, but a tall centerpiece asks for width at the bottom.  This plant placement is about balance, and proportion.  Our fall season may be short.  This means I like the fall pots to have a sumptuous look from the start.  The black eucalyptus and black plastic grasses at the corners-a dramatic detail.

Not all fall pots need to be so involved.  This ornamental kale set in a pot full of thyme celebrates color, texture, and form.  Both of these plants shrug off the fall cold.  I plant seasonal pots for my own pleasure.  Every season shines in its own way.  I like the idea of gardening all year round, in spite of the weather.    

Nothing looks more forlorn than pots or boxes at the front door, full of summer annuals that are fading.  Even worse, empty pots at the door.  Containers at the front door should always welcome family and friends.  Containers at the front door is a gift to the community that is a neighborhood. Plant these pots, year round.

Every fall Rob orders up fresh cut bittersweet stems from one of our suppliers.  Though I would not want to grow this plant in my own yard, those cut stems add graceful element to fall pots.  The cabbages and kales are rather stodgy-they benefit from the sparkly color and naturally curving forms of these cut vines.

Simple fall pots-charming.  Bleached stick stacks, white pansies, and variegated ivy go well together.  The addition of a bunch of lavender preserved eucalyptus adds an element of color that is welcome, and visually striking.

Big doorways ask for big pots.  Big pots ask for an equally big planting.  The street is fully 45 feet away from this front door.  A big planting makes an adequate statement from that distance.  The doorway has company from this generous fall planting that creates a frame.  Truly, a beautiful landscape frames a home, a property, a point of view. The landscape includes the pots.

The fall may be long.  Into December.  The fall may be short-I have seen the ground freeze solid in mid November.  I am not so good at predicting.  But I do know that I treasure every moment a season has to offer.  Should you plant some pots in celebration of the fall season-oh yes.


  1. Hi. ‘Came across your site through a photo on pinterest this a.m. I have marked it in my favorites and have promised myself I will read your blog every day to catch up on the past and keep up with the future entries. It’s a lovely visually and mentally stimulating site. Hope your gardening day brings you may delights! KAT

  2. Hi,
    You’re absolutely right about tired planters at the front door. Do you know where I might find ornamental kale plants this time of year.?


    • Deborah Silver says

      Dear Karen, where do you live? Our local farmer’s markets have loads of fall plants-including ornamental kale and cabbages. Every garden center is stocking plants for fall right now. Those fall plants are out there-if you are nearby, I could make some suggestions. Thanks, Deborah

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