GGW Photo Contest: Plants in Pots

Gardening Gone Wild has invited us all to another photo contest. The subject is containers this time, and I just can't resist showing off some of my container natives that I've planted. Here's the photo I'd like to submit to the contest:

A blue pot with Epipactis gigantea (stream orchid), a blooming Heuchera (coral bells), a few leaves of Aquilegia (columbine) and Sedum spurium (stone crop) 'Dragons blood'.

It was a tough decision to make. I wanted some variety, so I'm not entering this photo of Gilia tricolor (bird's-eye gilia) in a pot. I do like the lighting, though, and the Gilia have been a wonderful addition to the spring garden.

I also have a set of black pots, and I was thinking of entering them in the competition. I lusted after these clay pots, which have a slightly irridescent but not very shiny finish for quite a while before I allowed myself to spend the money. And I really do think they're very classy and perfect with the shade plants I'm growing in them.

Above a set of three pots. On the left Ceanothus 'Diamond Heights' with Polystichum munitum (Western sword fern). Toward a back, a fern that came with the house and that I dug up with Heuchera 'Limelight'. And in the small pot in the front, Polemonium californicum (Jacob's ladder). Alas, the photo background, with the edge of the benches making a line through the picture, does not qualify this photo for the competition (great plants, though!).

This second black pot in the other corner is one of my favorites, with Heuchera 'Limelight', some Asarum caudatum (wild ginger), and Dryopteris arguta (Wood fern). I actually spent about an hour on this picture, but the background is, again, the problem. Nice plants, but who wants to see the fence?

And now for a non-native that I couldn't resist. I have two small Japanese maples, one lime green and one that starts red and moves over green to an orange fall color. Here she is in her spring outfit:

A beautiful plant, and I love the pot, which I bought from Mountain Maples. Again I'm not sure the background works, though I do think the morning light looks good, and I like the angle (I spent much of that morning either climbing onto something or lying on the ground, enjoying how things might look from a butterfly's or a beetle's point of view).

Making the photos has been great fun. Looking at their competition potential has been a bit humbling, but I just enjoy participating. I'm looking forward to having a look at pots around the country (oh wait, we're calling them containers), and hearing what the expert has to say.


Cynthia said…
I love the black pots full of shade plants! It is very pretty and soothing. Great combination. Seeing that picture makes me long for a little more shade in my garden. Your pick for the contest is very pretty as well. The shade pots just jumped out at me. :)
Love the Japanese maple! I'm doing veggies in raised pots this year as I have a groundhog. Not sure how it will go--I mean I know they'd grow fine, I just don't know how ingenious the groundhog is, and I'm pretty sure: very!
Michelle said…
I do love the combination of the lime-green foliage and the black pots. Reminds of the lime-green and "black" foliage combos that were popular a few years back - I still love that look.
susan morrison said…
I'm with cynthia and michelle. I love the cool colored foliage with the black pots. Great texture mix! Tons of visual interest with very little color variation.

FYI, I've started putting my tweets on my blog - sent a little link love to you mice earlier today!
Town Mouse said…
Ah, well, but it's not a container competition. It's a photo competition. I wish I'm managed better photos of the black pots, but as it is, they're really not competition worthy.
Tweets, eh? I can barely keep up with my emails ;->
Nice plantings! I tend not to mix plants in a pot, preferring to play with arrangements of pots of different things. But I really like the mix you've come up with in that first photo.

Personally I'm not disturbed by the photo with the railing. I suppose you could drape a sheet behind it or something. There's a Korean photographer who specializes in conceptual photos of trees in the wilds, but instead of the woods behind the trees, he brings in huge (as in 40 x 50 foot) sheets of fabric to provide neutral backgrounds for the trees.
Tatyana said…
All the combinations are so lovely! The first one is my favorite.
donna said…
Your Heuchera 'Limelight' caught my eye and I've added it to my list of future purchases. Planted a Heuchera 'Caramel' this spring. Had to laugh a little about pots vs containers. Flowers go in pots, leftover go in containers.
Teresa said…
You have so many great container plants, I can see why you couldn't decide which one. I thought they were all great. I never think to put shade perrenials in pots where I have no sun. Great idea! I will be trying that myself. These contests are great for putting a different eye on your garden. Makes me look at things a bit differently.