A Recipe for Success: Late Summer Refresh

Have you been itching to update your Spring Summer Planters? I know, me too! It was only until the summer blooms started to fade that I allowed myself to even entertain the idea of refreshing my planters.

In this blog post I am going to give you A Recipe for Success on how to tastefully refresh your summer planters. I chose this colour palate because I thought it would translate well for late summer - not being the typical oranges and yellows of Fall but also not the pinks and reds of Summer.

Another stunning colour combination would be a white Chrysanthemum, Orange/Red pansies, lacy leafed Ornamental Kale and instead of the Tradescantia, a variegated ivy.


  • 1 Gallon pot Chrysanthemum (We have purple, burgundy, white, yellow and orange)

  • 2 4" pot Ornamental Cabbage or Kale

  • 1 6" pot Dracaena (I used one left from my previous planting) or perennial grass like 'Bronze Grass' Carex comans

  • 1 Fibre pack of Pansies (I went with White, but white and purple would look just as lovely)

  • 1 4" pot Tradescantia zebrina 'Wandering Dudes'

  • 1 Large Planter - we have an excellent selection of plastic, frost proof ceramic and terracotta

  • 1 bag of MySoil Container Mix


Step 1.

So this is what I was starting with. A slightly sunburned planter arrangement with crispy Lobelia & Ipomoea and faded Zinnias. The only survivor was the Lantana who would soon be dying off when the temperatures begin to drop. My Dracaena was still going quite strong, so I decided to keep it for height. If you are starting from scratch, I recommend Bronze Grass for height and texture.

I carefully removed all the annuals around the Dracaena and composted the remains. I then took fresh Mysoil Container Mix and added back what I had removed. If you are starting from scratch with an empty pot, simply fill the pot with fresh MySoil and start with Step 2.

Step 2.

Once my pot was ready, I unpotted the Mum carefully to avoid breaking off its flowers and placed it slightly beside and in front of the Dracaena. Using handfuls of MySoil I filled the gaps between the Mums root ball and the pot sides.

Step 3.

Next I unpotted one Ornamental Cabbage and placed it in front of the Mum and then placed the Tradescantia in front of the Dracaena. I did this because I loved how the purple in the Tradescantia brought out a more purple hue in the Dracaena and will gracefully trail over the edge of the pot.

Step 4.

Next I filled the space between the Ornamental Cabbage and the Tradescantia with 3 Pansies and the remaining Cabbage. I placed the Ornamental Cabbage directly beside the Tradescantia and then using the 3 Pansies, I filled the gap between both Ornamental Cabbages. I thought the white of the pansies would provide a nice contrast to the silver purple foliage of the Ornamental Cabbages.

Step 5.

Now take handfuls of your MySoil and carefully go through and fill all the gaps you may have between plants. We aren't quite out of the heat of the summer, so adding extra soil will prevent your arrangement from drying out. Water thoroughly and you are done!

As you can see, I did two matching planters with the exception that one has Ornamental Cabbage vs Kale. I think they make a smart pair for my front porch.