Category Archives: Containers

Bring the Colors of Summer to Your Container Gardens

Get a jump on summer with abundant flowers in your containers!Summer Container closeup

Unlike the limited palette of early spring, the long summer season offers a huge array of bloom and foliage colors. Let us customize your containers to your color preference, style flair and property conditions.

We are scheduling summer container installations between May 29 through June 9. Let us know if we can make one for you! If you want to be included on our summer container schedule, please email Tim, Container Gardens Manager, by May 22nd.

Summer Containers on patioSummer Containers in fountain

Falling for Containers

Contributed by Tim Wholey

Reflecting on this past summer, one word jumps out – RAIN – or more specifically, the lack of it.  It was one of the hottest and driest on record. We added “deep watering” to our garden maintenance regime this past summer and let many hoses trickle on plants at our clients’ homes during this severe drought. Even with hoses and an irrigation system, the lack of rain has been hard on gardens. The poor plants just looked hot and brown!

This brings me to my passion: outdoor containers. I love that containers are easy to water, require very little water overall – and it doesn’t take much time! Quite different than large gardens!

With our fall container season starting this week, I have to say that I’m looking forward to it this year more than ever. I’ve just started replacing summer blooms with flowers reflecting all the colors of the new season:  golds, yellows, reds, oranges and purples. It has been a welcome change for all of us.

Consider the ease and beauty burst of a container for this fall at your house – I’d love to work with you!

Winter Survival Tactics

Contributed by Lynn Hutchinski

Isnake plant with snow in background don’t know about you, but about this time of year I start to get a little stir-crazy.  The holidays are over – the fun and energy and bright colors are gone – and it’s cold and snowy out there and no way will I be heading to my garden to play any time soon.

One of the things I turn to every winter season to keep me sane is my houseplants. We have just missed “Houseplant Appreciation Day” which falls on January 10th. Some people give their houseplants names – I haven’t gone that far yet – and some people talk to their plants, but most of us appreciate them for the many benefits they provide to us in this dreary New England winter season:

  • Through pores on the surface of their leaves, houseplants absorb many of those nasty volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that pollute our indoor air, such as benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene and xylene (found in some plastics, detergents, fabrics and building materials).
  • Plants help to maintain indoor humidity levels, which can alleviate the problem of breathing dry air causing respiratory ailments such as asthma, bronchitis, and over all dehydration.
  • Negative ions, such as those produced by air purifiers, are created when plants breathe out. These negative ions attach themselves to dust particles, mold spores, bacteria and more and they fall to the floor, where they can be vacuumed up.
  • And, of course, plants drink in carbon dioxide and pour out oxygen to refresh us from our winter doldrums.3 window plants - rosemary

There are many easy-to-grow houseplants that will improve your indoor air quality, but some of the best according to a 1989 NASA Clean Air Study are Areca palm (Chrysalidocarpus lutescens), Lady Palm (Rhapis excelsa), Weeping Fig (Ficus benjamina), Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum), Golden Pothos (Epipremnum aureum),  Dracaena reflexa, Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata) and even the simple Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum).

Finally, if houseplants don’t provide enough greenery to see you through to spring, then try a field trip to one of the outstanding greenhouses in the Greater Boston area. Here are two I recommend – one at Wellesley College:

http://www.wellesley.edu/wcbg/our_gardens/margaret_c._ferguson_greenhouses

And another in Waltham at the Lyman Estate:

http://www.historicnewengland.org/historic-properties/homes/lyman-estate-greenhouses

Spruce up your entryway! Or Pine, or Cedar, or …

2015-11-19 winter container tall pixSubmitted by Tim Wholey

It seems like just last week we were discussing changing out our summer containers, but that was over two months ago now! People are already starting to ask when we will be making the switch over to our winter arrangements. I am still trying to experience the fall we are having. It is hard to picture a scene of drifting snow and barren trees while we still have such a colorful display all around us. Perhaps this is where the challenge lies between the two seasons: in one we are competing with the exuberance of nature’s own palette and in the other we are adding color to where there is almost none.

Yes, we were all pretty fed up with the perpetual mountains of snow of last winter, but I have to admit there is nothing prettier at that time of year than a backdrop of fresh fallen snow against a colorful display of evergreen cuttings of Pine, Spruce, Blue Atlas Cedar, Arborvitae and red-berried Holly.   Then of course there is that smell you get from freshly cut evergreens! It’s a lovely way to be greeted upon arriving home on a frigid evening, just before going inside to sit by the fireplace with a hot cup of tea. Keep color and texture in your life – let us spruce up your winter containers at home.2015-11-19 wint cont pine cropped

Please email us and we will send you our container questionnaire that helps us customize your arrangement.

Adding Autumn Splash to Your Home

Contributed by Tim Wholey

2015-8-26 Tim gardenglove fall-containers-45-300x187Every year around this time we send kids back to school, dodge increased traffic and get the feel of shorter days, cooler nights, and hints of the crisp scents of autumn. Our gardens and seasonal containers also start showing their age but that’s no reason to despair. Fall offers a whole other season to enjoy some of our favorite fall flowers and plants in our beds or spicing up containers. We can steer toward the traditional seasonal choices of golds, reds, yellows and oranges that are sure to warm us up, or cooler colors in blues, whites & purples too if that is our thing.

Some favorite annuals include, as you’d expect, asters, mums, pansies & marigolds. But don’t stop with flowering plants. Adding ornamental grasses, peppers, kale, cabbage & millet adds texture and seasonal interest. Vegetables are not just for cooking anymore! We can also use perennials in containers that do double duty – just pop them into the ground before the first major frost and enjoy them next spring and summer. Heuchera, Euphorbia x martini, Sedums, Lavender and Sage are some great choices. We like the multitude of unusual gourds, colorful pumpkins and Indian corn that becomes available as well!

2015-8-26 Turbaned-Squashes-rd1So just like you buy the kids their school clothes, consider sprucing up your seasonal containers. We have 3 months of Fall ahead of us. Give us a call or email: Containers@christiedustman.com

Can I come play at your house really soon?

11-11-14 container - neuvouMy annuals are fading and my hosta is mushy.  The cold predicted for the end of this week will certainly kill anything freezeable.  Bye bye to summer and fall.

But instead of being sad, I am excited.  In a couple weeks I get to do one of my favorite things:  make Winter and Holiday containers.  Why do I love decorating containers?  Perhaps because it is so immediate and tangible.  Instead of laboring over measurements, making sure I have plants that bloom in spring, summer and fall and look good in winter or is the patio big enough, I get to bring a truck of greens, twigs, pinecones, ribbons, berries and good ‘ol stuff and whip up some magic right then and there.  Filling a container with plant remnants without any worries about sun, shade, water, soil, bunnies or ongoing care is a relief.   Just make it beautiful, for now.  Beautiful with textures and greens for a non-Christmas look – or doing Christmas with ribbons or as I did last year, adding cast off skis for a winter smile.

11-11-14 container - vertical white closeupAct now and get on our calendar for beautiful outdoor winter and holiday decorations.  We do everything to order and with a conversation with you.  Let us put some cheer in your winter season. Check out these photos.

THE DETAILS:

  • We will add all the decoration materials to your existing pots by the front door or bring pots to festoon.
  • We will start on December 1st, the Monday after Thanksgiving.
  • A pair of average outdoor pots (18”) on your front porch = $245 for one pot or $425 for 2 pots.  Let’s discuss window boxes or rope garland.
  • We can hang lights up to 15’ high.
  • I am making a few decorated Wreaths – price point about 200.  Let me know if you want one.  They are very unique.

NEXT STEP:  Email me and I will send you an order form – or talk to you on the phone.

Christie@christiedustman.com

DEADLINE:  Monday November 24th – please let me know by then.

11-11-14 container square container - moss wave 11-11-14 container - vertical white 11-11-14 container - trad Christmas - clay pot11-11-14 container - trad Christmas