Date: June 1, 2022 | Story: Tiffany Adams | Photography: Rett Peek | Styling: Lauren Cerrato |
As the owner of Botanica Gardens and Plantopia, Chris H. Olsen has no shortage of ideas for flowering plants that will thrive during an Arkansas summer. Here, he offers three ideas for wow-factor container gardens
“Our notion is to think of evergreens and topiaries when we think traditional,” Chris says. To this point, he grounded this classic container garden with a ‘Green Mountain’ boxwood in the center and globe arborvitae and ‘Wintergreen’ boxwoods in the outer layers. Never one to shy away from color, Chris mixed in an abundance of heat-tolerant Supertunias, ‘Green Lantern’ sun coleus, and scaevola. Terracotta pots and an iron obelisk speak back to the intended formality.
“Agave reminds me of a sculpture installation,” Chris says of the heat-loving succulent. Planted in its own separate container, he takes the plant indoors during the winter months and then nestles it inside a larger pot for outdoor enjoyment in the spring and summer. Bright pink Supertunias soften its statement without overpowering it.
“Succulents are so readily available, easy to grow, and very heat tolerant—making them great choices for an Arkansas summer,” Chris says. Here, pencil cactus, blue jade plant, and what is commonly referred to as mother-in-law’s tongue surround a corkscrew pine that gives height to the grouping. Gold bidens, Supertunias, and sedum help fill in the containers and introduce more color and texture. Chris notes that while this planting loves heat, it can thrive in either sun or shade. “This grouping is a great option for entry doors where one side gets sun and the other is mostly shaded,” he says.