We’re almost into the spring months, meaning it’s time to freshen up your entryways with depth and color!
A beautiful annual display has three main components: dynamic material, multiple foliage types, and bloom patterns, otherwise known as thriller, filler, and spiller.
Landscape Component #1: Thriller
A thriller is also known as a centerpiece plant. These showstoppers are planted in a larger size and limited quantity to bring height and structure to your Atlanta commercial landscape design. The thriller can be any height, depending on the necessary visibility (sign lettering, pertinent information, or an intersection).
In the Atlanta area, two thrillers outperform the rest.
Elephant Ears: These tropical plants are available in varying sizes — up to 6 feet tall — and lend a fun look to your design. They also range in varieties available in multiple colors from black to chartreuse green to a mix.
Ornamental grasses: A drought-tolerant option, ornamental grasses come in many varieties to suit your design vision and will “wow” any passerby. They range in height from one to five feet tall, making them great for annual beds or dramatic container plantings.
Landscape Component #2: Filler
Flowering plants are usually your design’s “filler.” These flowers should be an ever-blooming variety that adds a pop of color to the area. Fillers anchor the space that ties the spiller and the thriller together to make a unified design. Of course, any variety can be a filler, but here are a few of my favorites that thrive in Atlanta’s climate in a commercial property landscape.
Lantana: This flower comes in many colors, but the yellow, multicolored and reddish varieties are the best performers. Lantana thrives in extreme conditions: drought and intense, full sun are no match for its sunny colors! While it does not cover entirely with blooms, it makes up for it in the tufts of flowers throughout the season.
Salvia: This plant also thrives in areas with little irrigation and full sun. Salvia has an upright growth habit and comes in purple, white, red, and blue. The blue variety can add a high-impact pop to properties since it is a color usually saved for fall plants —rarely seen in spring.
Begonia: They bloom all season and thrive in various sun and watering conditions. Begonias need a bit more irrigation to thrive than lantana and salvia, but they’re an excellent choice for irrigated beds. Begonia adds variety with bronze and green leaves, offering foliage and flower contrast. Their blooms can be red, rose, pink, or white. Begonias are prolific bloomers that create a great base to build on — they can even be the bulk of your plant material, as long as you create an engaging, high-contrast layout.
Coleus: This plant offers beautiful height and foliage interest. Coleus doesn’t flower, but its foliage comes in various exciting colors, shapes, and designs. Coleus creates a backdrop for other thrillers in areas where more height can be used without obstructing a sign or view. In addition, coleus creates interest with its unique look and all-season consistency.
Caladium: Like coleus, this is a foliage-only plant. Caladium doesn’t flower, but its impact on a design is undeniable. This plant is very tropical and mirrors Elephant Ear’s leaf shape, but with a 26-inch height.
Petunia: This classic annual flower has graceful flowers and soft foliage. Petunias are low-growing and add a massive splash of color to your annual beds. Petunias commonly come in deep purple, white, rose, and pink. This is a great plant to use in a bed when increasing the height as a medium-level plant.
Landscape Component #3: Spiller
The “spiller” is the design element that finishes it off and gives it a polished look. The spiller can either be a cascading plant or something that stays tight and compact to make the bed look and feel like a finished product. The spiller is crucial to any seasonal color design.
Sweet potato vine: My favorite spiller for pots is ipomoea, a sweet potato vine that cascades over the edge of pots and planters. It softens the edge of the container and makes it look even fuller and more dramatic. This plant most frequently is grown as a chartreuse green or a deep purple color. The two colors can be mixed in large planters.
Duranta: This is the perfect spiller for bed plantings. Duranta is a chartreuse-green color that complements turf, sidewalks, straw, and flowering plants. Duranta creates a blanket of bright green that automatically draws the eye to it. In addition, this plant stays compact and tight and makes the bed look full and uniform.
How Will You Design Your Atlanta Commercial Landscape?
Creating a high-impact landscape on your Atlanta commercial property requires a solid design that incorporates plants from all three of these categories. If you’re looking for a knowledgeable landscape designer to help you put your inspiration to work, we’d love to help.
Call us at 678-298-0550 or use our simple contact form for a free consultation. And for more helpful landscape tips, don’t forget to subscribe to our blog.Last modified: February 9, 2022