By Karen Chapman, Le jardinet

One of the secrets to creating summer containers that look full and abundant from the day they are planted until the first frost hits, is to build a framework of interesting foliage before layering in long-blooming annuals. Selecting a few plants that offers both colorful leaves and seasonal flowers is a bonus. For this deer-resistant design both a variegated spurge (Euphorbia x martinii ‘Ascot Rainbow’) and a compact false indigo (Decadence® ‘Cherries Jubilee’) filled that unique role. 

Restricting the color palette to just two or three colors plus green, while varying the shade of each, helps to create a cohesive design. Here yellow and burgundy partner with the green false indigo foliage while the bold, silver, felted leaves of an Angel Wings senecio establishes a focal point and just enough contrast to transform the combination from predictable to exceptional.

Finally, choose flowering annuals that you can rely on such as Superbena Royale® Romance and Diamond Frost®. The former was never without color although the flowering came in waves over many months and the Diamond Frost® produced a never-ending confetti-like spritz of tiny white flowers from May through October.