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Endres fills his home garden with more than 60 planted containers (he has another 80 at his restaurant and nursery). Here are his foolproof strategies for creating pots that dazzle and delight. (Customize your own potting-soil blend.)
Impressive plants, or thrillers, like the tropical ‘Lime Zinger’ elephant’s ear, command attention and serve as a focal point. A large pot and the extra volume of soil allow the container to be underplanted, as it is here with the spiller Pilea microphylla ‘Variegata’ and the filler Begonia ‘Black Velvet.’
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Commit to a Color Scheme
Endres suggests “creating an ensemble of complementary hues that work together.” Here, he paired plant colors that lie on opposite sides of the color wheel, mixing shades of purple—‘Black Coral’ elephant’s ear, Alternanthera ‘Black Knight,’ and Persian shield (Strobilanthes dyerianus)—with ‘Rustic Orange’ coleus and yellow-flowering Petunia ‘Lime Green.’
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Contrasting textures—bold with fine, for example—is an easy way to produce eye-catching plant combinations. Here, big and dramatic Alocasia porteii ‘Malaysian Monster’ mixes with feathery Pennisetum ‘Sky Rocket.’ The spillers Duranta repens ‘Gold Edge’ and Lantana ‘Pina Colada’ present a soothing middle ground between the extremes.
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Introduce the Unexpected
The bronzy-leafed banana tree Musa ‘Siam Ruby’ stands out amid the delicate foliage of trailing wire vine (Muehlenbeckia axillaris) and Alternanthera ficoidea ‘Burgundy Threadleaf,’ while the blooming Mandevilla ‘Red Riding Hood’ surprises onlookers with its bright pop of red.