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Fri, 06/08/2012 - 15:16 — Sarah Martinez
The making of a Color Creation
One of our resident experts has this to say about container gardening
When it comes to container gardening, few can rival the designs of Dana May at the North Arlington store. Her Color Creations are sought after for their “natural” look and stunning color combinations. These prodigious pots of color have even been displayed at the Great Big Texas Home Show at Cowboys Stadium.
Color is often the prime inspiration for Dana’s creations.
“A lot of times I just see a plant with a certain color and think, ‘Wouldn’t that be pretty with another color?’” she says. “And I’ll keep going and find other plants that look good with it.”
Sometimes it’s the plant’s growth habit that inspires Dana: The way a vine trails out of a pot, for example. Or how an exotic tropical towers over its neighbors. The design rule that calls for a “thriller, filler and spiller” influences Dana’s work as well. But for the best Color Creations that’s merely a starting point.
“If you put in three clumps of flowers it’s going to look just like that: Three clumps of flowers,” Dana quips. “Additional touches make it more natural. Like adding Asparagus Fern and making it come up through a bunch of Pentas. That makes the plants look like they’ve been growing that way, naturally, for weeks or months.”
Dana is always keeping an eye out for new trends to incorporate in designs.
“It seems to me that a lot of white is being used now,” she says. “We’ll add a just a pop of white with a bunch of other colors. It’s kind of like the trend in home décor where you’ll add just a bit of black so the surrounding accents really pop.”
Cool colors (blues, greens, violets) are also trendy lately, Dana says. Especially during the summer when folks need respite from the heat. Using permanent or semi-permanent plants in Color Creation is on the rise, too. Dana will sometimes mix perennials, groundcovers or even small shrubs with seasonal annuals.
A good example is a Color Creation she has at her home. Dana made a unique two-tier container by taking a large blue pot, anchoring a small plant stand in the soil, and adding a smaller pot on top. Right now, it’s overflowing with Liriope (often used as a groundcover) and Pinto Geraniums. When the Geraniums have flowered-out, Dana will replace those spots of color with something else—leaving the Liriope behind!
When she sends customers home with one of her Color Creations, Dana assures them that container gardens are relatively low maintenance and forgiving, too.
“If one of the plants just isn’t giving the look you want, pull it out the rest will take over to fill in the hole!” she says. “And it will still be beautiful.”
See how the Asparagus Fern is woven between the other flowers? This is one way Dana achieves a "natural" look with her Color Creations.
Dana's designs typically include a "Thriller, Filler, Spiller"...and a little bit more!
Different colors, textures and heights combine to make a beautiful display.