Garden Photo of the Day

READER PHOTOS! Sheila’s container gardens in Colorado

Today’s photos are from Sheila Schultz in Denver, Colorado. Sheila’s a bit of a celebrity here at FG (and she’s a darned awesome person and a frequent commenter here). She’s won the Fine Gardening Container Design Challenge not once, but twice. She’s go some serious talent, and these photos of her container gardens from last year prove it once again. Sheila’s big on succulents, which are perfect for her climate. Have a look and enjoy.

Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Sheila Schultz
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Sheila Schultz
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Sheila Schultz
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Sheila Schultz
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Sheila Schultz
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Sheila Schultz
Photo/Illustration: Courtesy of Sheila Schultz

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  1. gottagarden 03/23/2012

    love the face planter next to the sofa.

  2. Steepdrive 03/23/2012

    Lovely combinations. I wonder if Sheila can tell me how she winters over her succulents in the pots? I left mine out here in MD but up against the house for extra warmth. Some are looking fine but not sure about others.

  3. chrisob 03/23/2012

    Beautiful! Is that a bamboo fence in the background?

  4. User avater
    meander_michaele 03/23/2012

    Sheila's plant compositions, either per individual container or in the groupings of containers, are thoroughly delightful. They are an inspiring reminder not to just think in terms of flowers when putting together the elements for a colorful grouping.

  5. pattyspencer 03/23/2012

    Those are awesome! I have a blue fescue that needs a lot of tlc - maybe I should dig it up and plant it in a pot and if I do then my question is what do I do with it in the winter? Leave it in the pot or plant it back into the ground? Sheila sure has a good eye when putting these together.

  6. tractor1 03/23/2012

    It's easy to see why Sheila is a winner, her composition and sense of perspective is awesome, not to mention wonderfully crisp photos. Thank you, Sheila.

  7. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 03/23/2012


  8. n2hostas 03/23/2012

    Beautiful containers, really nice groupings. I too would like to know how you over winter some of them. What zone is Denver?

  9. schatzi 03/23/2012

    Wow! I like succulents too,but Sheila has an original and unique way of displaying them. I especially like the plant "waterfall" from the bench to the deck. Never would have thought of that. Gorgeous.

  10. greengrowler 03/23/2012

    Sheila, I am DROOLING AND GASPING at the sight of your stunning containers!! Love that foliage takes center stage; your pots must look great all season long. You are a master at composition and harmony! I LOVE the sofa - did you get it locally? It would be worth the short drive to Denver to haul one back to the Springs.....

  11. sheilaschultz 03/23/2012

    Thanks everyone, I'm so pleased that you like my containers. I do love putting them together. I fell in love with succulents when we moved to Denver from the Chicago area about 7 years ago. We're zone 5 so they all have to come in for the winter. We are empty nester's so 2 bedrooms become the 'nursery' for about 7 months a year. I close the heat vents to keep the rooms cool, raise the blinds to get as much sunlight as possible, and we drop 2-arm lightbulb contraptions from the ceiling 'cans' adding more light 12 hours a day. Chrisob, it is a bamboo fence...hiding the ugly utility boxes on the back wall of our house!Pattyspencer, whenever I use perennials in a container, I plant them in my gardens at the end of the season. And tractor1, I'm honored that you like my photos... I've struggled to improve my skills!

  12. sheilaschultz 03/23/2012

    GreenGrowler... My gardens and containers are going to be part of the Garden Conservancy Open Days program this summer on Aug. 18. You've got to stop by, we're less than an hour away. I'd love to see your gardens, too! We got the patio furniture in Boulder a couple of years ago after our 25 yr. old willow furniture dried to nothing in the dry Denver air.

  13. greengrowler 03/23/2012

    Sheila, I am putting Aug 18th on my calendar right now! Looking forward to seeing your garden/containers and meeting you in person! I'm afraid my little patch is hardly worthy of a garden "tour" especially after seeing the magnificent photos posted here.

  14. pattyspencer 03/23/2012

    Well Sheila you've inspired me - I've just come in from digging out my fescue (which was getting crowded out by a tall green tree/bush thing that overhung the fescue) and transplanted part of it into a container - the other part of the (older part - apparently it was trying to come towards the light)I just plopped into the top of my strawberry pot (that has hens/chickens coming out of the sides). I haven't planted it in yet as I don't know if that's where I want it to remain. Thanks Sheila!!

  15. lizmeg 03/23/2012

    This is just an opinion but I think that it would be helpful to identify the plants that are in the photos so if we wanted to try to duplicate or use a certain plant and do not know what it is, it would be identified.

  16. sheilaschultz 03/23/2012

    Lizmeg, I'll try to get a few names listed by the end of the day, hope it will help! Pattyspencer... have fun digging and GreenGrowler, see you in Aug. if not before!

  17. GardenWhimsy 03/23/2012

    Sheila: One of your wonderful pots has a "face"...could you share where you found this pot and does the manufacturer make it commercially ? Thanks.

  18. terieLR 03/23/2012

    Hi Sheila, for an added treat I just visited your post from
    July, 2010. Lovely changes. Bravo for hosting an Open Days Garden Walk this summer! (but so far away...) You're an inspiration to us all. I will be heading to the shed shortly to pot up an ornimental grass into a favorite container. ;)

  19. sheilaschultz 03/23/2012

    GardenWhimsy, the face pot comes from Campania International

    Ok lizmeg, you asked for it! I'll go across each row, keep in mind that many containers are surrounded by others, and I may be wrong with some of my ID's...
    1. Agave desmetiana'Variegata'& Calibrachoa 'MiniFamous Compact Safran'
    2. Red banana, sweet potato vine & Coleus 'Freckles'
    3. top row... asst'd succulents and cacti, including 2-Agave 'Kissho Kan'
    deck...Flowering Kale, Alternanthera 'Little Ruby',Coleus Stained Glassworks 'Witch', ornamental pepper 'Black Pearl'& Dichondra 'Silver Falls'
    note... the deck pot is the mature version of the pic on this comment!
    4. This combo of pots include a Cane Yucca w/sweet potato vine at it's base, a Golden Barrel Cactus, the 1st container and one filled with multi-colors of Calibrochoa
    5. Elijah Blue Fescue
    6. Aloe dorotheae 'Sunset', Crassula orata 'Hummel's Sunset' & a Rhipsalis (backed by SPV from another pot)
    7. Helichrysum 'Icicles' & Bacopa Scopia Golden Leaves White
    8. Euphorbia tirucalli 'Sticks on Fire', Aeonium canariense ?,variegated Hoya, Kalanchoe thyrsiflora,Aeonium 'Kiwi'or 'Sunburst'?, Senecio vitalis 'Blue Chalk Fingers'
    Happy Potting everyone!Have fun & thanks again for all your kind words.

  20. Cay442 03/23/2012

    These are the best! I'm so glad I subscribe...

  21. perenniallycrazy 03/23/2012

    Interesting compositions Sheila! Always have been a fan of yours. I'd love it if the container on your profile picture can be featured as well... and a plant list would surely be appreciated. Thank you for inspiring all of us.

  22. sheilaschultz 03/24/2012

    PerenniallyCrazy... check out the deck plant list for #3. The profile pic was the initial photo of that container. I'm pleased you enjoy the work that I love.

  23. Luvfall 03/26/2012

    Garden Whimsy, the face container is made by Campania. They have a web site with a 'find a retailer' feature.

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