Each level of the fountain was packed with soil and then planted with an eye-popping orange, purple, and green color palette. The biggest impact came from wide rings of purple ornamental sweet potato vine that vigorously trailed over the edge of each section of the fountain. An inner circle of Persian shield (Strobilanthes dyerianus) added a layer of shimmering purple that blended beautifully with the bright green fronds of Boston fern. To create the illusion of falling water, clumps of chartreuse creeping Jenny were scattered throughout the fountain. A shower of golden, confetti-like leaves from nearby trees were an added bonus.
Because we were visiting near Halloween, bright orange pumpkins were added for seasonal color. In spring and summer you could easily add pots of blooming azalea, daffodil, gerbera, dahlia, marigold, or petunia before pumpkin season rolls around.
If you don’t happen to have a giant vintage fountain hanging around your backyard, you can get the same effect by stacking different sized pots on top of each other. And, if you want to reverse the color combination use chartreuse varieties of ornamental sweet potato instead of purple. You can also replace the Persian shield with a gold-leafed coleus variety (such as Wasabi) and the creeping Jenny with Purple Heart tradescantia, trailing blue verbena, or blue scaevola. The Boston ferns work well with any color scheme you come up with.
Written by Doug Jimerson