Recent Work

fall container plantingsThough we were focused on finishing a landscape project last week, we did manage to get some of our fall container plantings done. Though I have said it before, I will say it again. A celebration of the season at hand in containers is an opportunity to make an expression of the garden that is no only personal, it is immediate. The daffodils I planted yesterday are months away from their spring flowering. The trees I planted a month ago will take 10 years to get hefty. The vision I have for my landscape may be many years away from that perfect moment. I can be patient. But I can be road ready, too. Fall container plantings are a delight the minute they get finished.  They do not need to much in the way of water or deadheading.

fall container plantingThey celebrate the materials of the harvest. My trip to my local farmer’s market this morning was an education in what is available for containers for fall.  Chrysanthemums, asters, and grasses seeding were abundant.  Ornamental cabbage and kale-they are so beautiful right now. Cut broom corn, millet and sorghum-how I love how our history of agriculture informs and enriches the garden. Rob’s pumpkin collection on display at the shop right now is a delight to the eye. George is 2 hours away from us. But his breeding for tall and thin pumpkins with beautiful stems is a look we admire. The summation of  Rob’s relationship with George is a collection of pumpkins that speaks to any gardener’s love of anything garden.  Rob’s collection of pumpkins and gourds-don’t miss it.Tomorrow is the second day of our pumpkin fest.  If you are a gardener who delights in the garden, come if you can.


We have had a very hot and very dry summer. The watering was endless. The coming of the fall, with cooler temperatures and torrential rains is a relief. Planting seasonal containers is a lesson about how the seasons change, and that joy that is all about a gardener’s participation. I would encourage every gardener to participate in the seasons.  I do. That seasonal work enriches my gardening life.


fall containers with broom corn and cabbage

fall-container-deborah-silverfall container with a centerpiece, purple cabbage, and creeping jenny

2016-fall-containers-3fall containers

2016-fall-containers-2fall pot with a hydrangea on standard, white ornamental cabbage and creeping jenny

fall container arrangement
fall container with dried ladder branches, preserved eucalyptus and peacock kale

Detroit Garden Worksfall container in front of Detroit Garden Works that includes an elegant feather grass at the center

fall planting Deborah Silverfall in the round


fall container

2016-fall-containers-1fall container arrangement

fall containersdeck pot planted for fall


The fall season in Michigan – sublime.





  1. I am, as usual, gasping in quiet delight at your splendid handling of containers for fall.
    Thanks for the inspiration that stays in my memory banks.

    • Deborah Silver says

      Dear Diane, no other season has materials available quite like the fall. Lucky for that! thanks, Deborah

  2. Michaele Anderson says

    Oh, my gosh, all of these are just so darned gorgeous…crazy gorgeous!

    • Deborah Silver says

      Dear Michaele, you and I share a point of view about what constitutes gorgeous. all the best, Deborah

  3. Juliet Barash says

    Wow! These are wonderful designs! Thank you for your generous spirit and sharing your talents. I am inspired – if not this fall, definitely has made an impact for future events and projects. Gorgeous plants and pairings – yes – immediate and no maintenance..what’s not to love?

    • Deborah Silver says

      Dear Juliet, our cool fall temperatures means that containers retain their moisture for a longer time than they do in the summer. Those cool temperatures also means that the plants do not grow as fast-so we choose plants that are of a fairly mature size. thanks for writing, Deborah

  4. Just fabulous!
    Your outdoor containers grow more beautiful every year.

  5. Tiffany Simmons says

    Wow. Your blog always inspires, Deborah. Thank you.

    • Deborah Silver says

      Dear Tiffany,happy to hear from you. The real inspiration here is nature. So many materials to choose from. all the best, Deborah

  6. Starr Foster says

    It has been a beautiful fall, and so are all your unique arrangements. Thanks for sharing Deborah, it’s a pleasure to see each one.

    • Deborah Silver says

      Dear Starr, anyone would be hard pressed to go wrong with the materials that are available for fall. In a way. fall containers arrangements are a thank you for what nature makes possible. best, Deborah

  7. Joni Holland says

    I’ve said it before and will continue to shout it…NOBODY does better container work than you and your crew!

    • Deborah Silver says

      Thanks, Joni. I do have a talented and hard working group. It is my pleasure to be associated with them. all the best, Deborah

  8. Ooolala. Beautiful! Thank you.

  9. Ruth Wolery says

    These container plantings are devine. I am jealous.

    • Deborah Silver says

      Dear Ruth, thanks for your kind letter. The colors, textures and sheer abundance of the harvest makes the Michigan fall season dazzling. We are so fortunate to have four distinctly different seasons. all the best, Deborah

  10. Sigh. I love your plantings. I wish you lived close to me! One of the photos shows a line of slender arborvitae. Do you know if they are sheared emerald or de groot’s spire?

  11. Cathy Bragg says

    Simply stunning! Elegant and rustic at the same time! Any pictures of the tall thin pumpkins you mentioned?

    • Deborah Silver says

      Dear Cathy, if you look at the Detroit Garden Works facebook page, you will see pictures of the tall pumpkins. best, Deborah

  12. Dear Deborah,

    I always look forward to your blog and photos and this was delightful to view and read today, particularly as I look out my window at SNOW. One thing I note in your photos and in others I see on pinterest is that the cabbages/kale all manage to tilt forward over the edge of the pots. How do people do this w/o having part of the roots exposed above soil level? Will you share the trick?

    • Deborah Silver says

      Dear Barbara, the heads of the cabbage are so wide compared to the root balls that even a slight tilt will send the lower leaves over the edge. That said, if the back of the root ball is a little than the surrounding soil, it does not necessarily affect the performance of the plant. Some cabbages actually fall over as they grow. They are really very easy to handle. all the best in that snow! Deborah

  13. Your use of cabbages and kale is stunning and spectacular for Fall. Tomorrow I am going to recreate your cabbages in the large round dish on the blue stone walkway. I have both the large dish and a blue stone walkway. Until your post, I did not know what to do with this walkway. Currently I have a few mums grouped, this looks pretty but just ordinary. Thank you for the design inspiration.

  14. Since I discovered your blog, you’ve given me so many wonderful container ideas. Usually I just plunk pumpkins into my planters after my summer arrangements are exhausted, and then by late November I move on to my winter arrangements of evergreens and birch branches. Your fall plantings are stunning. I love your work!

  15. Kathy Cyriacks says

    Any chance you have the botanical name for the elegant feather grass? I have been told it’s called dog fennel, and also eupatorium, but I can’t find it anywhere. A botanical name would certainly help. Thanks!

  16. Will that creeping Jenny stay all winter in your zone? I am in SC and it dies all the way back to the ground, although someone told me that Angelina sedum would last thru the winter!?

  17. Also what is the hydrangea cultivar?

  18. Nicole Scolari says

    Hello Deborah!
    When I have traveled in Michigan, I have always wondered what those trees are that are evergreen, with an upright habit, but weeping style foliage. There are two pictured in the photo labeled “deck pot planted up for fall”, second from the bottom. Thanks for helping me out! It is a question that has been bugging me for years.

    • Deborah Silver says

      Dear Nicole, the weeping stems you see are multiple layers of cut branches of broomcorn, Not at all an evergreen. Hope this helps! all the best, Deborah

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