Spring containers – colour combinations

Now that the weather has warmed a little and the bulbs in the containers are starting to flower it is interesting to see how the colour combinations have worked out. Sometimes surprises are due to bulbs not being true to name but sometimes it was desperation or lack of imagination or even lack of taste at planting times. In particular there are some hanging baskets and when I saw the hyacinths flowering I stood at them and couldn’t help wondering what on earth I was thinking when I planted them!

UPDATE – (1/4/2014) I suddenly realised why I did this – the hyacinths are ‘Apricot Passion’ – allegedly!

Pink and orange? What was I thinking!

Pink and orange? What was I thinking!

I put a bronze heucheralla in the centre of the basket and yellow, white and orange pansies around the edge but the  ‘Apricot Passion’ pink hyacinths are too pink for my tastes. The ‘Chopin’ tulips seem the perfect colour but the hyacinths really bothered me. Until yesterday. It was not a great day and the sun was not making much of an effort to warm the air or me and I walked past the baskets and thought – ‘actually’ you don’t look too bad!’ I think I need to be more tolerant of colour combinations! I still won’t ever like pink and yellow (I hope) but this is close but somehow ok, I think because the colours are pastel. It may not be an excuse but I will still enjoy these while they last.

Purple and blue - a safer combination for me

Purple and blue – a safer combination for me

The other baskets are much simpler. Purple heuchera, with rich blue pansies, white daffs (not yet out) and some blue muscari – just starting to bloom.

All the reds!

All the reds!

Some pots were planted rather rapidly at the end of last year and the red pansies seemed the right background for a combination of ‘Heart’s Delight’ tulips and ‘Purple Sensation’ hyacinths.

Attractive all winter

Attractive all winter

Other pots were planted with a ‘winter-friendly’ combination of Heucherella ‘Brass Lantern’ (one of my favourites) brightly variegated cordyline, nandina and lingonberry and underplanted with tulip ‘Winnipeg’. The tulips looks better in sun when the red stripes inside can be seen better.

Simple but effective

Simple but effective

Other pots have a simpler combination of winter=flowering heathers and ‘Fondant’ hyacinths. In fact there are some forget-me-nots in there too but they are only just starting to make much growth and will take over from the hyacinths.

container 28:3 5Perhaps the nicest combination is this one, of hyacinths, muscari and blue pansies under a mini-standard Viburnum tinus. And it is an idea that could be transferred to the garden too.



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3 Comments on “Spring containers – colour combinations”

  1. joy
    March 30, 2014 at 8:03 pm #

    I like all the reds best

  2. Lisa
    April 3, 2014 at 9:46 pm #

    Yes, the hyacinths are definitely a strange shade of apricot!

    • thebikinggardener
      April 5, 2014 at 9:32 am #

      It is not that unusual for plants to have fanciful names when it comes to colour. One of the best is calendula ‘Pink Surprise’ which is only a surprise because it is not pink at all! But because there are hyacinths in orange-ish shades I thought this might be a bit more apricot than it was. It is still nice enough though.

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