A co-worker, many years ago, who knew that I love plants, asked me what she should plant in a very large blue glazed pot that she had just bought.
At the time, all I could imagine was a central cluster of three dwarf okra (like ‘Cajun Jewel’), surrounded by bush beans and bright orange ‘Tangerine’ marigolds. Even now, that still seems like it would be just about perfect in a large blue pot.
There are plenty of people locally, though, who would hesitate to plant such a mix, even if it appealed to their own sense of aesthetics, because many Homeowner Associations (HOAs) prohibit the planting of edibles where they can be seen by the public.
However, there are also gardeners who are untroubled by such rules but who want to maintain a formal style while including more edibles in their yards. These gardeners might consider mixing herbs and leafy greens in with their cool-season flowers.
On a recent trip to Calloway Gardens and Hills & Dales Estate (both are about an hour’s drive South of Atlanta), the cool-season container plantings included parsley, red veined sorrel (at Calloway), Swiss chard (Hills & Dales), and several kinds of kale. These herbs and leafy greens either accented the floral display, or, in a few instances, they were the main feature.
All of the containers plantings were beautiful, and they did not look out of place, even among the clipped boxwood hedges, stone columns, and statuary.
I will be curious to find out how the plantings change for summer. Parsley works the whole year here in the South, but other herbs and greens will need to be switched for plants that can take a lot more heat. Maybe it will all be changed to okra, marigolds, and bush beans!
If you were putting together planters for a formal setting, that had to stand up to a Southern summer, what edibles would you include?