Thrillers, Fillers and Spillers! Picking the Perfect Plants for Pots

The nurseries here in Oklahoma are filling up by the day. I am so excited! I can spend hours visiting nurseries and picking out the perfect plants to plant. Or I can just go to a nursery and buy nothing. Something about plant nurseries just turn me on! I especially love the impact that pots make to the overall visual interest of landscapes.

Have you heard of the expression “Thrillers, Fillers and Spillers“? It is the way to plant  pots that produce the “wow” factor.  The “thriller” is your tallest plant in the pot, the “filler” is the plant is what takes up the horizontal movement of the pot and the “spiller” is self explanatory……….it falls over the edge of the  pot. Using the method is very pleasing to the eye!!

The pampas grass is the “thriller”, the coleus is the “filler” and the sweet potato vine is the “spiller”. This would be an easy pot to duplicate. Also, what is pleasing to the arrangement is the color choices as they all are in contrast with each other which makes more of an impact.

Oh!! I love this arrangement. Petunias, sweet potato vine and money wort.  That urn is not bad either!!

 I love to see caladiums anywhere – especially in this urn they are special with the angel wing begonias.



This is a beautiful urn with pampas grass, purple lantana, and sweet potato vine with its lime green contrasting color.


 Source: Pinterest

 Source: Houzz

 Source: Houzz

Source: Houzz

Oh me! How I love Angel Trumpets. If you have never had one, you need to! We had some in Houston that were in the ground and they became enomrous! The come in white, pale pink and yellow. As the name implies the flower is a long trumpet. I have not had one in my yard for 2 years now – think I will get one for here in Tulsa and put it in a pot because sadly it will not winter here.

 Yellows and purples are great for landscaping. Anything opposite on the color wheel has a big impact in the garden



 source: Proven Winner

I hope these photos have got you excited.  Your pampas grass and cannas look to be great thrillers. The petunias, coleus and impatients your fillers. While either your money wort or sweet potato vine your spiller. Sweet potato vine can be pinched off and can be easily rooted in water. Also, one thing to consider when buying your plants for container they need to have similar water needs.

Loving Fall!

I love everything about fall! It is the most therapeutic season there is for me, especially after our hot summer with almost 33 days in a row of over 100! We had days where it reached 114 degree here in Tulsa, Oklahoma! It was grossly hot. Our water bill would make my eyeballs pop when I would open the envelope – and then their was the electrical bill! But that all is in the past – now we focus on fall and all it’s glory.  

Now that we have more reasonable temperatures our plants are coming back alive. My lavender plants finally bloomed and they are gorgeous and the smell is breathtaking! The hydrangeas got out of their droopy stage. Oh are they not beautiful???

Our Rose of Sharon Tree  finally shows her glory. I love their bloom and look at those precious little buds.


This is our Blue Butterfly Bush – and it’s name says it all! Butterflies feast on it all day! I was lucky enough to capture this beautiful blue and black butterfly. This plant or shrub will die back in the winter and come back in the spring – but in late summer it starts showing off big time with its lavender plumes of color.

Our May Night Salvias even decided to bloom again in the cooler temps. The yellow flowers are Gailardias – I was not able to plant them when we lived in Houston but here in Tulsa I am going to give them a try. They are a perennial plant which  I try to plant most of the time. They cost you more when you buy them but they pay you back year after year!!

Not everything is blue in our garden – even our angel wing begonias stressed during the heat but came back alive with the cooler temps.

This is Autumn Joy Sedum which I have planted in a pot – it totally dies back in the winter – comes back during the summer but its flower appears late summer. Right now all sorts of creatures are enjoying the smorgasbord of delight!! It is worth planting this sedum just to watch all the visitors it gets during the day.

The leaves from our Japanese maple are the most gorgeous red!

and when they fall in the green fescue lawn with leaves from other trees it is a beautiful arrangement of fall!!

or when it finally rains and their beautiful red color is such an accent on our wet deck.

Of course I love the pansies, mums and oh my gosh – the pumkins!! Are they not wonderful? Isn’t it a shame we can only display them just a little over 2 months??

I wish I could say these next pictures were part of our Fall display at our  house ………….but it is at the Bellagio in Vegas!! Over the top but I love all of it!! But it hard to capture good pictures because of all the people who are also enjoying their gardens. Every season is an incredible display at the Bellagio.