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Environment & Outdoors
Gardening tips for Duluth's Northern climate, hosted by Master Gardener Tom Kasper.

Tips for Hardy Gardeners: Thrill, Fill, and Spill

Daryl Mitchell [via Flickr, commercial use allowed]

Tom Kasper offers this idea for making our plant containers look their best. In terms of contents, start with the simple rule, "Thrill, fill, and spill."

  • Thrill - A plant that is the centerpiece or goes in the back of the container, perhapw a tall flower, or ornamental grass.
  • Fill - What surrounds the "thriller," perhaps geraniums, petunias, snapdragons, or osteospermum.
  • Spill - the perimeter plants that can spill over the side of the container, often a vine.

Watering is important, Tom reminds us, but so is regular feeding; as a contained ecosystem, these plants need our help to receive nutrients. Deadheading old flowers can further make room for and direct growing energy toward new blooms.