Years ago, as a high school/college student, I worked in the summers at a garden nursery. I loved being outdoors all day, got a great tan (though some of it was probably just dirt) and learned a lot about plants. By the end, I was pretty knowledgeable about the flowers we sold, but a little less so about the trees and shrubs. One of the interesting things I learned is that there are trends in flowers and planting layouts just like clothing and graphic design.
At the time, the trend was something large (like a spike or geranium) in the middle surrounded by something medium height (like petunias or pansies), and then something low (like lobelia or alyssum). And then you needed a trailer of some kind, like a vinca vine.
Now, as I walk by planters around town, I keep noticing a new trend which is perhaps more natural. No symmetry, no rows, no placement by height. At first, it felt a little hodge-podge to me, but the more I see it, the more I like it.
I didn’t quite go all the way in my own large planter this year, but this is my step in that direction. I pushed my tallest flower to one side, did an area of petunias, an area of alyssum and found a fun vine with flowers (because I love a trailing plant!). Every year I get the urge to try new annual plants, but I force myself to include petunias. They just never disappoint with hardiness and constant bright blooms.
I wish I’d photographed it earlier in the season because the osteospermum has stopped blooming (grr). Overall, I’m thrilled with this beautiful pot welcoming people to our house.
(Here are a few more of my flowerbed, which is a work in progress and needs some attention to weeds and overly hardy plants!)
My designer takeaway: Pay attention to new trends in other fields. You never know how the influence might help your day job.