Combining Kale and Coleus in a Stacked Tower Container Garden

Garden — By on April 15, 2013 6:13 am

Lacinto Kale Coleus and Stacked Containers

Vegetables are amazing in containers and far under used as a decorative element. One of my favorite ornamental vegetables is Lacinto Kale from Bonnie Plants. Here I have used it as a centerpiece for a full shade container collage in my back shade vegetable garden. My goal was to creatively stack containers and play the blue of the vegetable off the chartreuse, yellow, and burgundy from the Lacinto Kale and Hort Couture Coleuscoleus and see what happened in full shade. Surprise – it worked!

Stacking containers is easy and I have done this design idea several times before. In this case I kept the stack lower and more focused on the plants. You can see in the photo to the right how the plantings looked when they were first planted.

I threw in a few leftover impatiens I found to fill in a few holes and have no idea the variety I used. However, all the coleus in this planting came from Hort Couture’s very bold and brFTC Disclaimeright Under the Sea line which includes Coleus ‘Lime Shrimp’, Coleus ‘Langostino’, Coleus ‘Molten Coral’, Coleus ‘Hermit Crab’, Coleus ‘Gold Anemone’, Coleus ‘Red Coral’, and Coleus ‘Bone Fish’.

Special Note – Because the FTC requires it, I am letting you know that the plants were supplied by Hort Couture  and Bonnie Plants. I have used their products because I WOULD even if they had not given the products to me and they have produced great success. I donate a large portion of the vegetables I grow in my soil-improved garden to the local food pantry when harvested. My own opinions are expressed as loudly as my plant combination tastes in this and every post I write.

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  1. dena says:

    Love your ideas! I use anything and everything to plant in! As good as I can grow some things I have little luck with strawberries! Can you share your ideas? Thank you honey.

    • Shawna says:

      Strawberries are full sun lovers. They like to be watered regularly and their soil enriched. So adding rotted manure to the planting beds might help.

      Good luck!


  2. Suzanne Lucero says:

    I hadn’t thought of stacking the containers that plants grow in. What a great idea.

    I just planted some lettuce, peas, radishes, spinach and green onions in my little organically amended 8′x4′ garden in the back yard. (I’m starting small.) I want to do succession planting throughout the year, with the next veggies I plant returning the nutrients to the soil that the previous veggies removed. I’m going to plant squash where the peas are now (any suggestions which variety would be best?) but I have no idea what to plant after the other veggies are harvested. I could really use your know-how. Please, do you have any suggestions?

    • Shawna says:

      It’s difficult to say without photos and a better idea of your plot location, how much sun it gets, etc.

      My first thought is you could have half your garden on the old pea side as zucchini. They are not climbers and get quite bushy, so just a couple plants will take up at least half of your space.

      I’d build a little teepee climbing trellis on the other side of the garden and plant climbing green beans. Delicious and a great succession planter.

      Next to the been teepee you could plant a couple squares filled with Bright Lights Swiss Chard. Be sure to cut the flower tops off of those and keep the plant “bushy” and not leggy as it grows.

      Then, after this season, it will be time to renew some garden soil. I’d add rotted bagged manure that you can pick up at any retail garden center to replace your spent soil.

      GOOD LUCK!


      • Shawna says:

        I meant “bean teepee”. Obviously I need a cup of coffee!

        • Suzanne says:

          *headslap* I hadn’t thought about adding the bagged, rotted manure as a way to enrich the garden. Thanks, Shawna. As a newbie gardener myself (my mother has been gardening for years but she’s in Utah and I’m in Maryland) all I really know is I don’t want to use fertilizers/pest- & herbicides in it. I’ve read I can plant marigolds to deter pests and attract beneficial insects so I’m going squeeze in a couple of plants here and there. Also, I have a trellis ready to hold the tomato plant I’ll put in after Mother’s day, and I think I’ll put Basil around it. I follow you on Twitter so if you DM me your email address I can send you a scan of the garden plans.

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