This was billed as the secret formula for designing a gorgeous container garden, but even when it was written in 2012 the “secret formula” was well known. It is, of course, the “thriller, spiller and filler” principle which has been preached for many years and is still the best advice today. So if you are looking for some inspiration or new ideas for your planters this article by Margie Grace which I found on the Houzz website has ten great examples.
I thought I was pretty clever when I came up with a successful formula for a plant combination in a pot. I?d make my plant selections using an ?uppy,? a ?downy? and a ?bulky.? The uppy for height. The downy to cascade over the rim of the container. And the bulky to fill up the rest of the space (usually something inexpensive and fast growing to keep the cost down). Well, as it turns out, I?m not as clever as I once thought myself to be. I recently ran across my formula ? and with a catchier catch phrase to boot! Sheesh.
Here?s the refined, original-to-someone-else formula for creating great plant combos in containers: Select a thriller, a spiller and a filler. The thriller (aka the uppy) is the focal point, soaring toward the heavens; the spiller (aka the downy) grounds the plantings in the pot, softening its hard edges and drawing the eye downward; and the filler (aka the bulky) allows the eye to rest in between points of interest (that is to say, the uppy and the downy). Consider the qualities each component brings as you?re formulating your composition ? beyond color, plants can bring textural interest, contrast in form, movement and more.Airy thrillers, a densely matted spiller and fillers that read as calligraphic brushstrokes make this a stunning arrangement. Placing this masterpiece in front of a backdrop that makes it pop? much like art hung on the gallery wall ? plus the strong color of the container really kicks it up a notch.up a notch.Note the constrast of foliage texture and color, in additon to the composition in general. To get a similar look, try:
Thriller: Cape Rush (Chondropetalum elephantinum)
Spiller: Fish Hooks (Senecio ‘Fish Hooks’)
Filler: Blue Chalk Sticks (Senecio mandraliscae)