The Finish

All that work early last week in preparation for the installation of a group of pots planted for fall came to the following. I hope you enjoy them.

Our fall container season will pick up steam from this point on, as will the fall landscape and garden. Looking forward to it.


  1. GORGEOUS…..and some eatable it looks like if wanted…..

  2. Sandy Boylston says

    Soooo pretty! Wish I could have one of each. Thank you for sharing. I always look forward to receiving updates to your blog. Have a wonderful fall!

  3. Beautiful & inspirational as always. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Lisa at Greenbow says

    Gorgeous! The scale of these planters is so large. I love seeing them all crammed with handsome foliage.

  5. Stunning! I love each and every one of them.
    Thank you for sharing.

  6. Loved them all Deborah! You and your staff are so talented. One question…..
    Do you put soil all the way to the bottom of the big planters or use a filler of something at the bottom?
    I’ve always wondered about that.

    I enjoy everything you post and look forward to them always. You are so generous with all your information and I learn many tips from them.
    Thanks and Happy Fall!

    • Deborah Silver says

      Dear Karen, we use 1/2-2/3rs drainage material, and 1/2 to 1/3 soil, depending. best, Deborah

      • Drainage material being ??
        I have put used plastic milk bottles, big chunks of cement (mainly for weight at the bottom)! Don’t know if that is good or bad?
        I’ve gone back to read all your posts from the start. You are a wonderful story teller! You should publish a book as I found it very interesting reading.

        • Deborah Silver says

          Dear Karen, we sometimes use natural cypress bark mulch, as it does not seem stain hard surfaces. We have to replace that mulch every so often, as it decomposes. We sometimes use large scale gravel, for weight. The main issue is to keep the drain hole in the bottom of the pot free of debris, so water can drain away. This is more of an issue for us in the winter than the summer. Water that freezes expands, and that process can break terra cotta on one end, and cast iron on the other. There are those garden people who maintain that water cannot breach the divide between the soil and the drainage material, and that drainage material actually helps to keep water in the soil. This has not been my observation or experience. As for telling stories, I think it is the stories that enable people to communicate with one another. The story of the garden is much older than I am, but I am pleased to be part of it. best regards, Deborah

  7. Rolanda Hairston says

    So artistic and unique. The cabbage varieties are fantastic!

    • Deborah Silver says

      Dear Rolanda, those varieties will only become more dramatic in color as the temperatures drop. But what I admire the most is my grower, who does a terrific job of growing them on to the point when I plant them in pots. His work is superb. He makes my job easy. best regards, Deborah

  8. Jennifer in KS says

    Wow! These are truly stunning!

    I’ve not seen this design idea expressed anywhere else. Many pot planting ideas have gotten a bit long in the tooth – thanks for providing such great ideas. Sometimes we all just need a push out of our rut.

  9. Are those cabbages or kale really BLUE?
    If so I have never seen them that attractive in Massachusetts. Are they a special variety ? I would love to know.
    Your work is so amazingly inspirational!
    I have learned so much from you Deborah. Keep it coming!

    • Deborah Silver says

      Dear Elvira, the Ruby Queen cabbage is an iridescent turquoise-yes.I have never seen a leaf color quite like it. all the best, Deborah

  10. Each container is a work of art. I, too, like the way you use cabbages. They really do add to the Fall color. If I remember correctly, last year some of your cabbages turned lovely shades of plum and purple. Interesting about the drainage. I have probably replaced more cracked pots than most. Typically I have used 3 inches of small gravel for drainage in the bottom of the pot. I will try larger rocks and cypress mulch.

    • Deborah Silver says

      Dear Susan, how much drainage material we use depends on the size of the pot. Most seasonal plants do not make that big a root system. The only pots we leave out over the winter are made from frost proof materials-wood, metal, stone, and stoneware. But even a frost proof container can break if the drain hole is plugged. We use a layer of landscape fabric between the drainage material and the soil, so no soil works its way down to the bottom of the pot. best, Deborah

  11. Gorgeous. But can you tell us more about the topiary elephant and giraffes in the background of one photo? I have one small corgi topiary, and it takes a lot of moss to restuff it every year. I can’t imagine what it takes to stuff a giraffe! Thank you.

  12. Michaele Anderson says

    Those cabbages are positively Rubenesque in their glorious fullness. Love all the arrangements.

  13. I’m a new subscriber, but have been reading this blog for years and it’s so inspiring and your talent, skills and knowledge is amazing! I work for a large retail nursery in the Toronto area and we do custom planters for upscale clients in this area. Nothing as fabulous as these though! Very high quality product and creativity. Deborah I do have a question, and I realize you are very,very busy and may not have time to answer but have been inundated with customers wanting to plant emerald cedars and all sorts of sun-loving evergreens under huge trees. Mainly Noway Maples. So hard to convince them this won’t work and it is so frustrating. I know from my own experience, no plant will thrive….maybe at best survive. Any advice would be so much appreciated.

    • Deborah Silver says

      Dear Lindy, I would have nothing to add to what you have said. Arbs, boxwood, yews and hemlocks are somewhat shade tolerant,but there is a limit to what they will take. Norway maples are not team players. best, Deborah

  14. Deborah, these all look amazing.
    I have been so happy by how well my own version of fall plantings have evolved, but the first rule still holds true; good materials provide the oppprtunity for a good finished product. DGW has such a great variety of materials, and all of the plants are so well grown it has been a huge leg-up, thank you!

  15. Each pot is unique and very interesting. Love the variety. Do you maintain these pots for your clients? What type of pot is the best to use? How do you prevent pots from cracking?
    I always enjoy your posts. They are so interesting and informative. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with your readers. Wish I lived closer….

  16. Jennifer Taylor says

    Such beautiful, unique and artistic pots! They are museum quality, if there was a museum for artistic gardens. The cabbages especially are incredible. Thanks for sharing Deborah!

  17. Lisa Swanson says

    Love the giant ornamental cabbage plants! Your containers are always so beautiful.

  18. So beautiful Deborah! Will the cabbages look good into the winter here in Michigan? I am wondering if you could take out the center sections and replace with a more Christmas type of arrangement and have it look good till late winter??? Oh, please, please, please, let it be so!

    • Deborah Silver says

      Dear Christine, I can only recall one winter that was mild enough that the cabbages would have lived over. But I think having cabbages in pots in January might look a little out of season! best, Deborah

  19. When I looked at these pictures I gasped and then my jaw dropped! The pots are incredible!
    Bravo! I love reading your posts and looking at your amazing work.

  20. Magnificent! What is the name of the silvery cabbage in the first photo? Thanks, Lynn.

  21. Outstanding! I love all the texture’s created in each design. The blue cabbage is stunning as well as the leaf size. Thank you for non stop inspiration,education and stunning pictures.

  22. Jill Banfield says

    simply amazing as always Deborah! Always fresh, always spectacular. Love to see your pots and get inspiration!

  23. Where do you find such huge, beautiful kale & cabbage that are not all eaten on?
    Your containers are amazing!

    • Deborah Silver says

      Dear Jill, all of our cabbage and kale are custom grown for us-and he does a brilliant job of it. all the best, Deborah

  24. Maria Letizia says

    I live in Ottawa Canada, are you able to recommend a floral designer in my area that can replicate some of your designs? They are absolutely beautiful!

    • Deborah Silver says

      Dear Maria, I would not know anyone in your area, sorry. But I am sure there are talented designers there. best, Deborah

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