Posts Tagged ‘spillers’

Rosemary, Begonia and Pelargonium Window Boxes at Hotel Delmano

There’s a lot to swoon over at Hotel Delmano in Williamsburg, Brooklyn: the cocktails, the yuppie snacks, and the steampunk smashed with speakeasy style of the place. Me? My favorite part was their window boxes.

They serve a drink here called the Granny Polite – white port mixed with fresh lemon and tonic.  Pelargonium and begonias, usually thought of as polite granny plants, are mixed up with mint and thyme for a fresh look. Skinny silvery rosemary leans out of the boxes, kind of like the hipster dudes walking past the sidewalk bar. (I haven’t seen a local Brooklyn source for Perlargonium geraniums; I might order some of these geraniums from Logee’s next year. Read more about scented geraniums on design*sponge.)

These creative plantings do an amazing job of echoing the mood of the bar. I’d like to ask the garden why they also included dalhias in these boxes. They stood out as the one off note to me.

Creating a Full-Sun Hanging Basket for Our Brooklyn Roof Garden

The hanging basket on our roof garden faces some big challenges. The hanging basket has to be able to withstand strong gusts of wind and direct, drying sunlight for most of the day. Last summer we went through three different hanging baskets. The lantana performed the best, so we knew we’d make lantna the center of this summer’s hanging basket.

I ordered the three plants from White Flower Farm for our hanging basket last night, working from the thriller, filler, spiller model.

For the thriller I chose Phlox intensia in white. We try to put white flowers in almost every pot, since white flowers are visible late into the night, when we often visit our roof garden. “Even when the heat made other plants start to flag, this Phlox performed admirably. Lovely in window boxes against a dark background,” say the pros at White Flower Farm.

I don’t think the Lantana is precisely a filler; last summer our Lantana was thrilling with the flowers blazing, unwilling in the sun and wind while attracting butterflies. Still, I am counting on the Lantan to fill up this pot all summer long; so let’s call it a filler. I’ve usually seen yellow Lantana, often called “ham and eggs”, sold locally. I decided to try something a bit less common – this purple and white Lantana montevidensis Lavender Swirl. Lantna is one of the best roof garden plants we’ve tried.

Finally, the spiller. Our hanging basket is hung high up on an air vent pole, so I wanted a spiller that would thrive in full sun and grow Rapunzel style to hide the ugly pole. I picked Dichondra argentea Silver Falls because it grows fast and it “[e]njoys sun and drought. Unique.” I don’t think portulaca would trail this long.

We’re planting this in a self-watering hanging basket.

What do you think? Will this hanging basket survive the summer on our roof?

Images: White Flower Farm

A Pink And Green Container Garden


We put together this pink pot from plants on sale at the Greenmarket yesterday.

The Anisodontea can grow as high as three feet. We’ll see about that. We like how the vine coordinates with the Slightly Strawberry (silly name!) flowers. We plant white flowers in every pot we can for night vision.

More about Thriller, Filler, Spiller design concept here . . .

Help Us Pick Plants: One More Rooftop Perennial Container


Hey, so we’re adding one more container to our roof garden … and we really need your help.  We’re hoping to put bold flowers and lush-looking plants that will be able to handle  rooftop conditions .

I’m just about ready to push the buy button on this cart from White Flower Farm, but I’d like your advice on my choices first. How did I do?

  • We already have a red salvia that’s going gangbusters on the roof, so I thought adding a purple salvia would be smart.
  • Heuchera is my new favorite plant and I’d like to try one in our garden. Heuchera Obsidian can tolerate full sun and the near black leaves look exciting and low maintenance.
  • The Ganzania kerbasiana Tanager has bright flowers with dark centers that would set off the heuchera. But it might clash with the purple salvia?

I want to place the order tomorrow, so we can hopefully pot them this weekend. What do you think? The salvia would be a thriller, the heuchera a filler . . . but I don’t think the Tanager is really a “spiller.” I could try Creeping Jenny, or can you suggest another spiller?

The Sedum Mr. Goodbud would live in a different container, under more dry condditions. Mr. Goodbud should look good in the late fall, after most other things have died back.

It feels like we’ve already spent a small fortune on plants and keep saying we’re going to stop buying plants . . . then we keep going back for “just one more.” Is this a sensible purchase or are there some better options for us? Thanks for any help!

Spillers for My Thrillers


I didn’t learn the Thriller, Filler, and Spiller design concept for container gardens until I read about it in Fine Gardening. Of course, I read these instructions *after* we planted our containers.

Tonight I’m going to add some jazzy spiller plants to live with our thrillers. I’m adding these white low-growing petunias and some white and green ivy. I chose white flowers because they show up the best at night, when we’re usually up on the roof. I hope they will be able to endure the wind and summer heat.

This yarrow wasn’t doing well and looked super ugly so I had to pull it out. First casulty of the season. Maybe it couldn’t take all the rain?

Thrillers, Spillers, and Fillers make me think of the first album I ever owned: