“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.”
– Audrey Hepburn
To garden in Jackson, the hope for summer springs eternal, even though locals know the April showers—May flowers paradigm doesn’t quite relate to the Tetons with blooms biding their time until June and July. To kickstart summer gardening, we turn to planters as (relatively) foolproof forms for early flowers. Even if freezing temps continue to cloak our nights, most container gardens can withstand some flux with flying colors.
Because we are in the object business, we always begin by choosing our planters. When considering a vessel, think about the site conditions: clay, plaster or terracotta containers can break with consistent freezing and thawing, though they should last through a wily Jackson summer. Concrete or cast iron are more durable, capable of being left outside in all sorts of weather, though they weigh more and therefore planting should happen in the precise spot where you’d like the planter to live. At Twenty Two Home, we carry a coterie of one-of-a-kind antique planters that we individually source from France ranging from: A pair of 1920s cast iron vessels, each one a palimpsest of paint from a green layer to beige and white flecks; a show-stopping set of square plaster planters with sculpted handles by the incomparable Willy Guhl; a 1960s tapered plaster piece with side indentations as hand holds; and a green-rimmed plaster gem perfect for a petite sculptural planting.
We love the impact of a planter brimming with a single species—think rosemary, lavender or a variegated ornamental grass. That said, we always applaud collaging textures. With mixing in mind, we turn to the Good Housekeeping adage of including “a thriller, a spiller and a filler,” which translates into a focal-point plant (coleus or geraniums) paired with several varieties that spill over the edge of the planter (petunias or creeping zinnias), and finally, fillers—plants with smaller leaves or buds that creep into the crevices of your arrangement (salvias, verbenas or herbs like parsley). We swoon the notion of melding form and function by blending flowering plants with edible herbs to enliven eyes and appetites. For a fourth dimension, explore height with a fountain grass or a trellis to support a vine. All told, Good Housekeeping recommends five to six plants per 18-to-24-inch container.
Front entrances are one of our favorite spots for planters, whether arranged in a pair on the threshold of a front porch, flanking the front door or one-per-stair. Decks and terraces are also excellent locations for planter placement, underscoring the meteorological invitation to migrate outside for all meals. Asymmetrical clusters add visual intrigue and variety. As Oscar de la Renta once said, “Gardening is how I relax. It’s another form of creating and playing with colors.” We couldn’t agree more, so thus inspired, go forth and color play!