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Leaf-only container ideas for your summer garden

These long-lasting plants are easy to care for and add richness and consistency to your patio garden.

Want to add a lusher feel to your patio, porch, or window garden? A container garden with a foliage front can add beauty to an empty space and create a lovely leafy complement to your summer pots. Many houseplants, such as boxwoods, dwarf conifers, Japanese maples, cactuses, and more can live happily in containers for years, adding consistency to your garden without having to be potted. It is best to plant your plants in pots before temperatures soar as we move into summer.

For inspiration, take a look at these ideas for free-standing houseplants and rich combinations of plants with different leaf colors, shapes and textures.

Patio oasis

Layers of planters and inviting outdoor seating transform this backyard patio in Buffalo NY USA, into a lush tropical retreat. Three varieties of New Zealand flax potted at different heights add upper and mid-level interest to the design. Smaller pots contain rosettes of cactus and succulents, including silver-blue parry agave, golden barrel cactus, delicate maidenhair fern, and Japanese paint fern.

Tip: Keep pot ferns and cactus in separate containers as they have different water requirements.

Water requirements: Cactus, succulents, and flax all require less water. Maidenhair and Japan paint ferns require consistently moist, well-drained soil.

Lighting requirements: Partial to full sun.

Fruit pebbles

Placed by RDKLandscaping in Buffalo NY USA, these concrete urns feature a fun mix of lime and pink coral bells and hen and chick succulents.

Like many succulents, hens and chicks turn pinker and redder when exposed to brighter sunlight, colder temperatures, or periods of drought. In this case, the pink tip connects beautifully with the underside of the coral bellflower.

Water requirements: Low to moderate

Lighting requirements: Partial to full sun; avoid direct sunlight in hot inland areas.

Tropical Trio

The dramatic oversized leaves of elephant ear are the vivid star of RDK Landscaping container artwork next to the front door of a home in (Add Place Name). The designer added variation to the foliage by using other plants as supplementary plants, including boxwood, purple heart, and a variety of flax lily.

Water requirements: Elephant ears require consistently moist, well-drained soil. The other plants indicated require moderate watering.

Lighting requirements: Bright, indirect lighting; elephant ears grow best in light shade and may
burn in direct sunlight. Other plants shown can be grown in full sun.

Elegant courtyard

Espaliered trees, creeping jasmine, clipped boxwood and lowland woodland-style plantings of ferns and coral bells add welcome greenery to the courtyard outside a Buffalo NY USA townhouse.

Espaliering, a technique used to train tree branches along lateral structures, controls size and allows trees to grow in smaller areas where they would not grow as quickly. Trees well trained in this way include bay, hornbeam, linden, and holly, as well as fruit trees such as apple, pear, cherry, and apricot.

Water requirements: Moderate to high

Lighting requirements: Partial to full sun; plants like corals and ferns thrive in bright, indirect light. In hot climates, plant for more shade.

Colorful coleus

If you’re looking for colorful foliage, coleus like the one in this arrangement from RDKLandscaping will stand out in your summer container arrangements. From vibrant magenta and electric lime green to inky purple and deep bronze, there’s a coleus hybrid to suit your every desire. Coleus is susceptible to frost. Plant it as an annual or place it in a greenhouse or windowsill over the winter.

Water requirements: Keep soil consistently moist.

Lighting requirements: Partial shade.

Silver Falls

Bring drama to your patio or decorate your driveway entryway with an eye-catching combination of bold agave and ‘Silver Falls’ dichondra. In this arrangement from RDKLandscaping, traditional potted plants appear at home outside a grand villa. Combining monochromatic plants in simple, modern containers can look sophisticated and modern. Both plants grow well with a little water and care.

Water requirement: Low

Lighting requirements: Full sun

Magenta fireworks

Brightly colored, sticky New Zealand flax leaves stand out like celebratory fireworks in this low- water garden by RDKLAndscaping in the Buffalo NY USA. Evergreen plants require little water or maintenance and add color to your garden all year long. Many New Zealand flax plants are produced in large sizes, they usually grow more slowly in containers. For smaller dwarf varieties, consider coral ‘Jester’, bronze ‘Jack Spratt’ or red-bronze Sweet Mist.

Water requirement: Low

Lighting requirements: Full sun 

Grass and vines

This rooftop terrace, designed by RDKLandscaping, is dotted with dozens of potted plants, but the combination of dwarf maiden grass and exotic sweet potato vine sets it apart for its beauty and beauty. The simplicity is impressive. Planting in tall containers increases the height of the lawn, transforming it into a shimmering canopy and giving sweet potato vines plenty of room to roll up the sides with their lush foliage.

Water requirements: Moderate to high.

Lighting requirements: Partial to full sun.

Japanese maple tree

Keep it simple by planting your specimen tree in an elegant pot large enough for the tree to grow for several years. Make sure your pot has drainage holes. This container from RDKLandscaping features bronze-leaf Japanese maple grown alongside maidenhair vine in a coastal garden in the Buffalo NY USA.

Water requirements: Moderate to high

Lighting requirements: Partial sun; in dry, hot climates, look for a location with more shade to prevent leaf scorch.

Shady corner

The bright chartreuse leaves of ferns and sweet potato vines brighten a shady corner next to the entrance garden of RDKLandscaping’s Buffalo NY USA home. Sweet potato vine grows best in partial sun or light shade, while many ferns thrive in darkness.

Water requirements: Moderate to high.

Lighting requirements: Partial shade.

Your turn: Does your garden have a container that holds all your houseplants, or do you have a container that holds most of your houseplants? Please show it in the comments.

Get In Touch:

Contact us about your project ideas and our team will be in touch with you within 24 hours! We are in the business for over 5+ years and Buffalo’s Top Rated.

RDK Landscaping – For more inspiration, visit our site. 

Experts in tree removal, stump  demolition, stump removal, tree trimming, tree mulching, tree pruning and emergency tree removal  in Buffalo, NY

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360' MoTo
360' MoTo
Great work! Highly recommended+++
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Hunter Vasanth
Well serives
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anne gorman
I highly recommend RDK landscaping!
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Elisabeth Sageev
Roy and Jay did a super job fixing up a very overgrown yard. They were fast, friendly, and responsive. Thank you!
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Nila Kutty
Great work 🔥🔥🔥 Thank you guys

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