SummerMan
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Looking to Plant Some Modern Plants

I have 6 CB2 rail box planters and I'm looking for some cool modern plants (or seeds) to plant in them.

I'm not really looking for a lot of flowers or anything, especially if they are going to be pink or purple (I'm male). A little bit of light color won't hurt though. They don't really have anything that interest me at home depot of you know what I mean. The succulents are modern but they really don't tickle my fancy and they look like rubber to me.

So I'm looking for some cool modern grassy plants to grow about a foot tall in the planters, and then something to go with it that will grow fast and long out the planters and down the side of the rails and walls.

They will be in the hot sun for about 6 hours per day as I live in Los Angeles so they will need to hold up to that.

Any websites with ideas or your own personal ides would be appreciated.

This is what the planters look like

Image

Image

I saw these up in the hills last week but im not really sure what they are. Not so bad.

Image

Image

imafan26
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Re: Looking to Plant Some Modern Plants

Welcome to the forum. It would help if you included your zone and location in your profile.

You said you like grassy plants?

What other kinds of plants do you like and what colors. What is the color of the planter and the house.
To make a planting more aesthetic it should also compliment the style and color of the house.

Do you want all the plants to grow up or do you want something that cascades down or both?
Do you want the window box full of the same thing or a mixed planting?
How much sun and wind does the location get and how are you going to water them?
How deep is the window box, a plant that gets a foot tall needs a good depth for the roots.
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SummerMan
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Re: Looking to Plant Some Modern Plants

imafan26 wrote:Welcome to the forum. It would help if you included your zone and location in your profile.

You said you like grassy plants?

Yes

What other kinds of plants do you like and what colors. What is the color of the planter and the house. the planters are pictured above. I'm not sure of what I do like but I'm very certain of what I don't like. Grannies floral garden is not my style. I'm more CB2, DWR, etc.

To make a planting more aesthetic it should also compliment the style and color of the house.

its a tan color apt so any green will do

Do you want all the plants to grow up or do you want something that cascades down or both?

something that cascades like the photos above

Do you want the window box full of the same thing or a mixed planting?

mixed as stated above

How much sun and wind does the location get and how are you going to water them? about 6 hours of hardcore sun as stated above

How deep is the window box, a plant that gets a foot tall needs a good depth for the roots.

the planter is pictured above - the longer metal rail planters

imafan26
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Re: Looking to Plant Some Modern Plants

What is in the pictures are prostrate rosemary, lavender with the lavender flowers, and what looks like bromeliads.

There are a few grasses that would work well
Liriope comes in a few colors, green, variegated and a deep purple. It is also called lily turf
Fiberoptic grass( Isolepis cernua) has modern but unusual look like a bunch of green fiberoptic cables. It is a tender perennial but may be an annual where there is snow. It is a good container plant and has a cascading habit

There are some dwarf fountain grass that may also work. I had one that was called bunny tails.

You could also grow some of the dwarf bamboo in pots.

Many of the herbs will work in pots. Rosemary comes in a prostrate cascading form as well as an upright form and it is a culinary herb. Lavender has gray green leaves and depending on the cultivar blooms in early summer.
Some of the sages may also work.

I usually don't do much mixed plantings in small containers so someone else may have suggestions for combinations.
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applestar
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Re: Looking to Plant Some Modern Plants

These planters look kind of smallish.... You may be limited to miniature plants and shallow rooted drought tolerant plants -- like cactus and succulents.

There are so many choices -- Burro's tail, Hindu Rope plant.... What about a Pencil cactus? (Hmm... I have some cuttings growing but they have been very slow to grow -- a big surprise since the plant at the dentists office where I begged the cuttings from was about a foot across and 2 feet tall -- but it might do better in your location.)

I like to grow edibles -- I'm thinking herbs like thyme would cascade over the side and in your location, you could grow all the varieties that are somewhat less winter hardy, including the variegated ones like cream edged and white edged ones. Lemon thyme has lemony scent. Thyme will bloom tiny flowers in pink, purple or white depending on the variety.

In the sunniest ones, you might be able to grow tricolor variegated sage. Is the box with bromeliads in it bigger? if so, you may be able to grow some of the more colorful oregano varieties.

This won't cascade, but Spicy Globe Basil with the tiny leaves might work in the small planter too, and you can clip them into any shape as you harvest the leaves.

*IF* you wanted showy colorful flowers, portulaca is always a good choice.
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Re: Looking to Plant Some Modern Plants

Interesting challenge. A lot of what I would think of as "modern" plants - striking "architectural" forms and colorful foliage - I know as houseplants. They mostly turn out to be tropical that like heat, but not drought and full sun.

Agaves love those conditions. They are typically thought of as huge, but there are mini varieties as well, such as A bloodspot, A.pelona, A. utahensis, which would work in your containers and are very striking forms.

Stenotaphrum, variegated buffalo grass, is a very tough hardy trailer with interesting leaf forms.

Purple love grass is one of those ornamental grassy things you were thinking about, that is colorful and smallish (but not small - it would take up all of one of your planters by itself).

Russian sage is an interesting plant that makes a nice airy backdrop. The common ones are very big, but there are dwarf versions of it also.

Sedum firecracker is a small red-leafed sedum.

But I really like applestar's suggestion of herbs. Many of the culinary herbs are Mediterranean plants and thrive in hot and dry, including thyme, sage, rosemary, lavender, oregano. Thyme and oregano would be trailers, some rosemary is prostrate. Sage comes in a variety of sizes and some variegations. Lavender is also available in a variety of sizes. Speaking of sage, along with the culinary sage (salvia officinialis), there are a variety of flowering salvias, mostly in brilliant reds, in a variety of sizes, that would also do well in your conditions.

Have fun looking things up and deciding... Welcome to the Forum!
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Re: Looking to Plant Some Modern Plants

Welcome to the forum, SummerMan!

I only grow edibles, and your mention of grasses made me think of something I grow every year - lemongrass. My mom actually thought I was growing ornamentals the first year she saw it! While the regular lemongrass is much larger than you say you want, the lemongrass grown from seed is much smaller - the reason I only grew it once. They may be perennials in your area - zone 10 and up - though I didn't see your zone.
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Re: Looking to Plant Some Modern Plants

Thanks for the suggestion for the herbs, but I have a metal shelf outside that I plan to put all of my herbs on.

I have 6 of the long rectangle metal planters and yes they are small however I think they are big enough to grow what I want. They look small in the photo but they are bigger in person.

I also forgot to mention that I have a small 4 year old so any type of cactus or pointy succulent or even agave is out of the picture. Im from the east coast so I like more lively plants anyways.

I'm going through all of your helpful suggestions now to see if I can find a few winners. Appreciate your help :)

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Re: Looking to Plant Some Modern Plants

Oh, if you have a 4-year old, then my recommendation would be STRAWBERRIES. :D
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Re: Looking to Plant Some Modern Plants

i love straberries but they give him a rash on his bum :(

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Re: Looking to Plant Some Modern Plants

Kid friendly plants. I would go with some of the dwarf fountain grass. They are mostly non toxic and can take some pulling on.

Other kid friendly plants although, I would not call them modern are Lamb's ears. The leaves are soft like a lamb's ears so it is a good sensory garden planting. Other good plantings for kids would be miniature sunflowers (they would be annuals). There is a perennial Mexican sunflower (tithonia) there are dwarf varieties it will be a small shrub in a large enough container.

An interesting grass would be quaking grass, there are many different kinds, but they shake in the wind and are attractive to butterflies too.

You could also grow geraniums. The ornamental geraniums bloom and some have variegated foliage but there are scented geraniums like rose, peppermint, lemon, pineapple,cinnamon, lime, and nutmeg to name a few. The leaves smell and taste like the scent it is named for . The flowers of the scented geraniums are pink and seasonal.

I am partial to lavender. I live in zone 12a so I grow l. mutifeda which blooms nearly all year for me. The other lavender foliage have stronger scents but are seasonal bloomers.

Another good plant for scent is the curry plant, helichryssum italicum. It does smell like curry spice.

Pansies, violas and nasturtiums are cool season plants but since the flowers are edible they would be fairly non-toxic. Nasturtiums will cascade down.

I also like pineapple sage but may be too small for your planter in the long term. It becomes a shrub and has a slight pineapple flavor in the leaves and flowers. The flowers are usually used to decorate punch or tea and the leaves are good with fruit salad.

Strawberries are a great idea as long as no one has allergies. But that goes for any plant. I actually like peanut, it has a yellow flower and grows like a ground cover, but many people are allergic so maybe not.
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Re: Looking to Plant Some Modern Plants

I read once before that white strawberries often can be tolerated by people with strawberry allergies. I just did a quick search and this site mentions it, too.
One of the primary ripening proteins is called Fra a1. Strawberries containing this protein redden into the familiar appearance as they reach full ripeness signaling their readiness to be consumed. Most white strawberries are either deficient or completely lacking this protein. So, even when they are ripe, they remain white instead of turning red. Their strawberry genetics don't allow them to become red. So, the reason white strawberries are white is simply because they lack the ability to turn red.

White Strawberry Allergy?
The protein related to ripening (Fra a1) is more completely known as Fragaria allergen A1. This protein is thought to be the one primarily responsible for strawberry allergies. Consequently, it may be possible for an individual with a strawberry allergy to consume white strawberries without negative side effects or allergic reactions. Of course, if you have such an allergy, only try eating a white strawberry under medical supervision.
https://strawberryplants.org/2011/03/white-strawberries/

I'm going to try growing this variety from seeds this winter. https://www.superseeds.com/white-soul-strawberry.html but Pinetree is in the northeast -- if you are interested, I'm sure there are sources on the west coast that you could source seeds or plants from.

I think there's a thread about Alpine strawberries and the white (and yellow) varieties somewhere, but I'm unable to locate it ATM .... :?

My daughter doesn't have allergies, but when she was around 5 or 6, I picked a colander full of wild and cultivated strawberries from the garden, and she tried to eat *A LOT* of it... and ended up with a rash around her mouth. :roll: I promptly froze the rest and she had to stay away from strawberries for a whole week, then only small amounts thereafter. I told her we had to do this so she would not DEVELOP allergies to strawberries, and she tearfully agreed.... :) Thanfully, it worked.
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SummerMan
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Re: Looking to Plant Some Modern Plants

Unfortunately my search for some cool plants has yielded no good results. I've been really busy so not much has happened. My planters are still just full of dirt. I did realize that I love the look of wheatgrass and that would be perfect for my more modern looking patio, but I heard that it dies after awhile. Are there any plants that look like wheatgrass that don't die after a few weeks? For the cylinder planter at the bottom, I think I might do a lush fern, however there isn't much shade on my patio.

Image

Image

Image

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Re: Looking to Plant Some Modern Plants

Most of the grasses are invasive. While they might not be on your deck, the seeds may travel and sprout in other places.
There are a few that are less unruly but still need to be managed.


Blue Fescue, Black Fountaingrass "Moudry", purple fountain grass, and Bowles Golden Sedge.

Horsetails will work in a planter, but likes to be very wet and is invasive so needs to be managed.
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Re: Looking to Plant Some Modern Plants

Im thinking the grass ting might not work so I'm also looking at hummingbird mint in various colors. That will be cool to feed the birds and then i could also find a cool weeping plant to creep down the sides.

I do like the blue fescue but I think its a bit thin for the look I want.

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Re: Looking to Plant Some Modern Plants

I saw these tonight on a walk, not bad

Image

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Re: Looking to Plant Some Modern Plants

Why not the lemongrass? Even though imafan says hers grow to 8 FEET in Hawaii, they will be stunted when grown in small containers and like all grass,can be trimmed/mowed as needed.

They generate lemony scent when brushed against and wind stirred against objects (which may help to repel bugs -- I crush and rub on my arms and legs during the summer), and trimmings can be used in teas and infuse unscented shampoos and liquid soaps. I actually throw a bunch of clippings on the patio as strewing herbs along with mint.

You can thin the clumps as needed as they fill the containers, and use the stalks in Southeast Asian dishes (as mentioned in the lemongrass thread in the Herb Forum)

As imafan also mentioned in the lemongrass thread,they CAN give you a nasty paper cut, so that's another reason to keep them clipped and upright, not trailing within reach of your toddler, though I doubt you'd let the child on the balcony alone.
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Re: Looking to Plant Some Modern Plants

Realize that in pots and especially small containers, most plants will need to be either repotted, divided, or outgrow the container and need to be potted up, or they will die.

Plants are living things, they don't stay the same, they will get bigger, they will lean, they will need water, fertilizer, root space, and eventually all of them will die.

If you like the wheat grass, just plant the wheat grass. Annuals in small containers are probably a good choice.
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Re: Looking to Plant Some Modern Plants

thanks guys. Im looking into the lemon grass. You say wheatgrass is annual. What exactly does that mean?

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Re: Looking to Plant Some Modern Plants

That means it has a genetically programmed in life cycle - grow, bloom, set seed, die - all within one growing season. If you keep it trimmed and don't let it bloom or set seed, it will last longer, but it still gets pretty tired after awhile.
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Re: Looking to Plant Some Modern Plants

So I planted some wheatgrass, it looked cool for the first two weeks and then it just started going all over the place and looked overly messy. Now its spring again and I'm looking for something to grow in the 6 planters I have. I was thinking of doing succulents but after seeing the pricing I think I'll stay away for now. It would cost hundreds of dollars to fill up 6 containers even though they are somewhat small. I was researching full sun ferns but I didn't see any varieties that made me jump. Planting manly plants is difficult. I'm now researching the macho fern ... LOL.

Also, the metal planters (seen above) don't have any drain holes in the bottom. Should I drill 2 or three medium holes on the bottom so that the water can drain?

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Re: Looking to Plant Some Modern Plants

You have to have drainage. Two choices, drill the holes as you suggested. Or leave the planters as is, but empty the soil out of them. Put down a good layer of pebbles in the bottom, then put regular flower pots inside them and plant in to those, using your planters just as cache pots.

It would actually make it easier to achieve that regularly spaced look I think you are going for. That's what's been done here:

Image
https://st.houzz.com/simgs/c4b1dfae004ee ... anters.jpg

and here:

Image
https://www.indoorflowerpots.com/product ... _83459.jpg

incidentally, I think that one contains snake plant, which might be what you are looking for - not expensive, very low maintenance, comes in different shades and variegations:

Image
https://blogs.mydevstaging.com/blogs/eve ... ePlant.jpg

this planter is also being used with cache pots.
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Re: Looking to Plant Some Modern Plants

You might try this link. www.greatplantpicks.org They are interesting and have been trialed carefully. Also, go on line and look at seed and flower catalogs - they will put 'new' or 'rare' by the name. Find stuff that you do not see in neighbor gardens but be sure to do your homework and check your growing zone - I suggest using the Sunset chart because it divides the zones much more specifically than the USA general zone charts. Have fun with your garden and please post photos of the stuff that you did decide to plant.

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Re: Looking to Plant Some Modern Plants

hmmm .... just went back and looked at the first page of this, which I hadn't seen for a long time. At that point you were talking about wanting a mixed planting with cascading stuff. That doesn't quite fit to me with the idea of modern, "macho," architectural stuff, but they are your planters. :)

Anyway that means I went off on the wrong tangent. Anyway the snake plant, while perennial and easy care, is not at all cold tolerant and would have to be brought in for the winter.

I still think the using them as cache pots with smaller flower pots inside may help you achieve the look you want as well as dealing with the drainage issue.

Did you ever tell us where you are? I saw "east coast" but that covers a lot of territory. What cold hardiness zone are you in?
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Re: Looking to Plant Some Modern Plants

I'm in Los Angeles. I think drilling holes might be the best option, since they are hanging onto the side of a rail I don't wont to weigh them down too much with rocks. I will look into your suggestions. I know a want more of a modern look but at this point I just want to get something green in them as my place is on a busy road and they have been without plants for months now.

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Re: Looking to Plant Some Modern Plants

These are kinda cool

Image

I like this arraignment because it has a few succulents but it also has a creeping/cascading plant, is that rosemary?

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Re: Looking to Plant Some Modern Plants

They do look like Rosemary.

BTW -- Succulents are easy to propagate from "cuttings" -- leaves, branch pieces, pups•offshoots, etc.

See if there are any plant sales in your area. I usually see at least one table of wide variety of succulents -- mostly just rooted tiny plants, and they are sometimes slow growing, but you can always group them until they need more space. I even saw an interesting one at the dentists office and asked for a few cuttings. It's taken a couple of years for this particular, unusual variety -- but they are growing well now.
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Re: Looking to Plant Some Modern Plants

I saw some blue fescue at the Home Depot yesterday and it looked really cool in person. It also meets a lot of my requirements. It can take full sun, its not sharp so my 4 year old wont get his eye poked out and it doesnt take much water. If I can find a deal on it some where then I will go with it. The ones at home depot were $8 each so 3 of those per planter times 6 equals $144. Not going to happen.

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Re: Looking to Plant Some Modern Plants

It is not rosemary in the planter. The leaves are too far apart and it is too fleshy. It is probably some other kind of succulent. Prostrate rosemary would work as a substitute. It would be thicker and darker green with small blue flowers in summer.
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Re: Looking to Plant Some Modern Plants

SummerMan,

I am trying to follow this post and I have a few questions.

What does 'CB2' mean?

What does 'DWR' mean?

I searched this forum and pretty much all sources link back to you. If you could, please define your acronyms.

What exactly do you mean by a 'Modern' plant? Are we talking GMOs (Genetically Modified Organism), or has god released something new I haven't heard of yet or do you mean something that your neighbors don't have yet?

Also, did you know purple is the color of royalty, both Kings and Queens?

Just asking.

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Re: Looking to Plant Some Modern Plants

meshmouse, this is a three page thread. If you go back to page 1, it will say more about what "modern" means in this usage. Also this thread: https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/vi ... re#p345175
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Re: Looking to Plant Some Modern Plants

rbg -

Yes, I had read the thread from the start. As you suggested, I re-examined page one.

The most relevant statement I found was your line - 'A lot of what I would think of as "modern" plants - striking "architectural" forms and colorful foliage - I know as houseplants. They mostly turn out to be tropical that like heat...' Doesn't tell me what SummerMan thinks 'Modern' is, but it'll do.

OK, so we're talking 'Modern Usage' here, not anything in itself truly 'Modern'. Got it. I will slink away. No, wait a minute, maybe I won't.

SummerMan says - 'I'm not really looking for a lot of flowers or anything, especially if they are going to be pink or purple (I'm male).' I'm fine that he 'doesn't want a lot of flowers'. I'm fine that he doesn't like 'pink or purple'. But just what exactly does him being 'male' have to do with it?

I shoulda kept my mouth shut, but I've never been very good at that.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Looking to Plant Some Modern Plants

come on.... We may not like the stereotypes, but no one can argue that they don't exist. Go look in the "girls" toy aisle in a big store, where everything is pink and/or or purple and then look in the "boys" toy aisle where pink and purple don't exist. In our culture pink and purple are considered girly colors.

SummerMan was looking for landscaping with a strong, masculine effect.
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Re: Looking to Plant Some Modern Plants

OK rbg -

I understand. I actually like the look SummerMan's going for.

I think I was a little tired and cranky when I first read the post and I was hoping to learn something about 'modern' plants and was dissapointed. Sorry.

I don't like promoting stereotypes or intolerences either (altho I occasionally find myself guilty).

Regardless, pink for girls I understand, but purple? Really? Never knew or heard of that.

I've always known purple to be the sign of royalty. Isn't that why the artist formerly known as Prince is known for wearing purple garb? Did you know that purple is the color of royalty because it was so difficult to achieve (scrapping up all those little irridescent purple spots inside sea shells) Well, or so I've been told.

Anyway, peace and love.

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rainbowgardener
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Re: Looking to Plant Some Modern Plants

Well, the purple that is "girly" isn't usually royal purple. It's pastel purple like lavender or pinky-purple like fuschia or magenta, red violet, thistle, orchid....
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Re: Looking to Plant Some Modern Plants

I do think there are ways to discuss different styles without bringing in gender or age-based stereotypes. It could have been left as "I'm not personally a fan of pinks or purples." I love the look of cottage gardens and I'm 27... certainly not granny status. Often it comes down to personal taste outside of any association with age or gender. At least that's my opinion, and I do think it's something worth pointing out because that's the only way to promote change and end perpetuating stereotypes.

But back to the point...

What about mexican feather grass or fiber optic grass in the center with trailing sedums on either side? Sedums come in such a variety of textures and colors that you could have some fun with it... maybe doing a planter with a gray/blue sedum and the next planter with a lime green or red hughed sedum and then alternating (blue box, green box, blue box, green box). I think by keeping it fairly simple and flowerless the look is contemporary without being as boring as a row of grasses. Just a thought?
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Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2012 9:22 pm
Location: Shoreline wa

Re: Looking to Plant Some Modern Plants

Check out various bamboo plants. Not the huge timber ones of course but some of the variegated dwarf clumping kinds. I have several that are low maintenance, low water requirements and evergreen. One per container but with a personality will look great together. One tall, one med and wide and one with small leaves for a texture look. Very simple and yet very striking. You will have to do some research and they are not cheap - but will be a knockout in a very short time. There are hundreds to chose from and I am sure there are some nurseries that specialize in boos in the LA area. I am sure you have found some plants since this thread started some time back but consider trying one to get the appreciation. If you would like I could take some pics of three containers of boos that I have and post them.

Shirley Pinchev
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Posts: 50
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2012 9:22 pm
Location: Shoreline wa

Re: Looking to Plant Some Modern Plants

AA9_0214 boo planter.jpg
AA9_0214 boo planter.jpg (49.7 KiB) Viewed 2324 times
AA9_0296 boo in container closeup.jpg
There are some beautiful small bamboo that will work. Here is a photo of one planter in our garden. They are water thrifty, evergreen and very low maintenance. Boos come in many colors, heights and even shapes. One of ours has an almost round leaf. The one in the photo gets half day sun and only needs to be trimmed every couple of years or when it gets raggedy. This one has been transplanted several times, was moved from CA to Seattle and is very happy. I is not bothered by cold - we are Sunset zone 8b and get some freezes and snow. Sorry, don't know the name but should be easy to find in LA. If they are in containers you don't have to worry about their spreading - they do not bloom very often and if they do, the seed heads can be removed. Some people say that they will die after blooming but most growers will tell you not to worry. If you are interested in the others we have, I could post more pics.

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ElizabethB
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Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2012 5:53 am
Location: Lafayette, LA

Re: Looking to Plant Some Modern Plants

Hello all,

I do not know how I missed this thread.

I do not know if I should laugh or cry.

SummerMan - if you have not found enough suggestions to satisfy you then shame on you. :eek: Sorry but you are beyond picky.

Your containers are limited in size so that limits you selection.

This thread is too long for me to read every post so forgive me if this question has been answered. Do your containers have good drainage? I am not talking about rock in the bottom of the container. I am talking about holes in the sides and bottom. If you do not have good drainage then plant fake plants. Real plants will not survive.

DITTO Applestar and RBG. Incorporate culinary herbs and vegetables.

I did not read all of the posts but I did see some comments about Royal Purple. Purple is neither masculine or feminine. True Royal Purple is called Royal Purple because it is the most costly color to create. In times past only Royalty could afford Royal Purple. Hence the name "Royal Purple."

The color referred to as Purple in our time is actually Auborgine. A lovely color but not quiet the depth of color of Royal Purple.

SummerMan I apologies for sounding strident.

I would love to see your finished product.
Elizabeth - or Your Majesty

Living and growing in Lafayette, La.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

Darius Hawkins
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Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Aug 28, 2016 5:26 am

Re: Looking to Plant Some Modern Plants

Garden decoration ideas are different when you have kids, why not trying some creative ideas like these beautiful & contemporary garden ideas for kids which will make your garden look luxury and your kids will love it too. ♥

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