An Afternoon in the Sun / Partial Shade

Today I thought I would share an April project that we finished at the store – the Spring cleaning of our street frontage planters.

Our store has a run of 4 windows onto the street and an old brick planter.  It gets a mix of sun and shade. The original plantings featured  impatience, tropical shrubs and browning ferns. Once full and lush, the display had seen better days and I thought it was time to spruce it up with a simple design that anyone without a green thumb (and I am firmly in that category) could do. We had one condition – to save the “large green plants” which I am guessing are philodendron (but maybe somebody can enlighten me on the real name) which still looked fairly healthy, and came back to life after a 20% cut back.

So I grabbed one of my work colleagues (thanks, Alex!) and we headed out to the garden center with a budget of $150 in hand.

Simple Spring-Planters

Starting with a couple of bags of fertilized soil to protect and encourage our new finds we searched high and low – literally and figuratively. We planned to reposition the ‘large green plants” in front of the window dividers, thereby keeping the highest plant out of the central window display area. Then we decided to fill in with a mid-height flower and some low ground cover.

With the idea of switching out the ‘floral’ element every season, we choose a white Kalanchoe to give a fresh Spring look. It said it needed full sun (as did most of the floral options) but the almost waxy texture of this flowering succulent gave me confidence that it would thrive in our partially sunny space and so far (one month later) it still looks great. When it came to ground cover we wanted to create contrast with the other green foliage and it was love at first sight with this vibrant green Scotch Moss (the name alone did it for me) that loves shade.

Back at the store, we removed all the old plants before refreshing the soil. Then we repositioned the “large green plants” and planted our row of florals, evenly spaced between them – observing the suggested planting distance of approx. 12 inches. The final decorative touch was to add the moss which we did with style in mind – cutting up the trays of moss into approx. 3 x 3 inch squares – placing them about 6 inches apart in a symmetrical 3-2-3 pattern between each Kalanchoe.

The result?  A simple clean, fresh Springtime planter that only needs to be watered a couple of times a week and came in at $125. We plan to switch the Kalanchoe late-Fall when their flowering time is done.

We have had lot’s of “beautiful” and “lovely” comments from our customers which is super rewarding for an afternoon’s work. What do you think?

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