Here’s a quick and easy way to extend the life of your planters throughout the season:

Typically there will be that one plant in your container that fizzles out before the rest – rather than toss the whole bunch or stare at a dead plant (or a gaping hole), simply replace the fading plant with something fresh – preferably one of a similar shape and size. Here’s how I did just that for one of my terra cotta pots:

I usually don’t plant bulbs in pots – they take up too much space and are so fleetingly in-bloom. But I couldn’t resist these mini daffodils, nor could I pass up the grape hyacinths right next to them:

The pots looked great for several weeks and then the bulbs started to decline.

But the ranunculus, pansies, dusty millers and violas still had lots of life left in them so I decided to just replace the bulbs – I saw these lovely cheddar pink dianthus and liked how they had a similar ‘grassy” foliage to the daffodils, as well as lots of buds.

I’ve not yet found a replacement for the grape hyacinths so I have an empty pot serving as a “place holder” till I get to the nursery.

In case you’re wondering what I did with the bulbs, I separated them into smaller clumps and planted them amongst my tulips – they look kind of straggly now but next spring they’ll be a colorful addition to this little border!


  1. Chondra on April 30, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    Beautiful plants! I need help with a hanging fern that I’m in the process of killing! Lol. Great blog, btw. I saw you on the Nate Berkus show!

    Be Blessed!

    • sheri silver on April 30, 2011 at 3:53 pm

      Thank you so much! Glad you’re enjoying my blog – and you have NO IDEA how many ferns I’ve killed in my lifetime!!!

  2. Virginia on April 30, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    Great tips, Sheri! Your container planting workshop is great. I don’t know how you fit so much useful and beginner/user friendly advice into one hour, but you did. The samples you brought were stunning and watching you take an old wooden box and turn it into a beautiful lush planter really gave everyone so many ideas to take home. There is no substitute for watching an expert at work. Thanks for so generously sharing your knowledge and creative ideas. Can’t wait for this week’s class and planting our own! Virginia

    • sheri silver on April 30, 2011 at 3:52 pm

      Thank you so much – it was a fun class – great, engaged group which made it even more fun – looking forward to “part 2”!!

  3. Barbara @ Modern Comfort Food on May 2, 2011 at 11:34 am

    Such good tips here, Sheri. I’m jealous of the pretty temperate zone bulbs and perennials you’ve used here. So many of them either don’t grow at all or poop out after the first year in our Florida heat!

    • sheri silver on May 2, 2011 at 7:18 pm

      Thanks Barbara – I’M jealous of your warm weather – it’s May and I”m still wearing long sleeves and jackets up here in NY!!! I’ve been dreaming more and more about moving to a warmer climate!

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