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Lustrous Silver Container-Challenge Results

Hi ho, silver! Our reader-submitted photos show what can be done in containers with this striking color

silver containers

Silver is stunning! Such a fun idea, and wow, such fantastic containers!

Sheila Shultz and Tim Vojt came up with this challenge idea after discussing some containers Tim found online and viewing a GPOD submission that had some great silver heucheras. We thought it would be fun for everyone to give a container with a silver plant a shot and then share on the blog for fun and inspiration. The challenge was to create a fantastic container starting with a plant with silver in the foliage, then complement with black and green plants. Full sun, full shade, succulent, tropical, perennial, annual—anything goes! No judges. No prizes. Just fun and inspiration for and from your fellow GPODers.

Nancy Bellaire 1

container with silver foliage and purple flowers

Plants in this pot


Nancy Bellaire 2

Plants in this pot


Jeff Calton

container with light and dark foliage plants

Plants in this pot

  • Caladium ‘Frog in a Blender’
  • Brake fern
  • Ajuga ‘Chocolate Chip’
  • Heuchera ‘Black Out’
  • Podocarpus nivall


Patricia Clark

Plants in this pot

  • Juniperus chinensis ‘Daub’s Frosted’
  • Begonia ‘Frosty’
  • Ipomoea batatas ‘Sweet Carolina Bewitched’
  • Lamium ‘White Nancy’


Cherry Ong 1

container with light and dark foliage and silver branches

Plants in this pot

  • Sedum ‘Betram Anderson’
  • Stachys byzantina
  • Silver bush (Leucophyta or Calocephalus brownii) in foreground


Cherry Ong 2

container with small japanese maple and colorful foliage

Plants in this pot


Eddi Reid 1

container with funky foliage and flowers in a metal "bike" containers

Plants in this pot


Eddi Reid 2

container with delicate foliage and bold flowers

Plants in this pot

  • Impatiens hawkeri ‘Petticoat Pink’
  • Acorus gramineus ‘Oborozuki’
  • Myrtus communis subsp. tarentina ‘Microphylla Variegata’
  • Helichrysum italicum subsp. microphylum ‘Dwarf Curry Plan’
  • Petunia ‘Stained Glass’


Eddi Reid 3

container with silver foliage and pink flowers

Plants in this pot


Sheila Schultz

bowl container with various silver foliage plants

Plants in this pot

  • Artemesia ‘Seafoam’
  • Artemesia ‘Silver Brocade’
  • Ajuga reptans ‘Black Scallop’
  • Ajuga reptans ‘Burgandy Glow’
  • Rhipsalis (var. unknown)


Tim Vojt 1

red container with silver succulents

Plants in this pot

  • Capsicum annuum ‘Black Pearl’
  • Crassula falcata
  • Kalanchoe pumila
  • Artemesia versicolor ‘Sea Foam’
  • Agave macroacantha
  • Leucophyta brownii
  • Senecio scarposus


Tim Vojt 2

container with dark silver foliage and tiny pink flowers

Plants in this pot


Have a garden you’d like to share?

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To submit, send 5-10 photos to [email protected] along with some information about the plants in the pictures and where you took the photos. We’d love to hear where you are located, how long you’ve been gardening, successes you are proud of, failures you learned from, hopes for the future, favorite plants, or funny stories from your garden.

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Previous: A Variety of Interesting Plants Give These Pots an Extra Punch Next: Shelley’s Container Designs
View Comments


  1. Cenepk10 08/17/2015

    Dang. You people are so talented!!!!

  2. Cenepk10 08/17/2015

    Tim Vojt- what is the one with coral flower ?

    1. User avater
      Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 08/17/2015

      It's Crassula falcata. Amazingly cool plant that's new to me. I bought it because the long, almost sharp-edged leaves grow like open scissors. You can't really see the leaves well in this photo, but do a google search and you'll see what I mean. I didn't know about the bloom or bloom color when I bought it and put it in the red pot. Serendipity!

      1. sheila_schultz 08/17/2015

        I have the same Crassula, Tim. Now, I can't wait for it to flower... I love orange!

        1. User avater
          Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 08/17/2015

          The flower is a bit more red than in the photo, but each flower has 5 perfect yellow pollen dots in it.

          1. User avater
            meander_michaele 08/17/2015

            What a fabulous flower in color, texture and form! I was struggling a little trying tho conjure up how the leaves gave an open scissors look so off I went to look up Crassula falcata.

            Here's a picture that shows its very fascinating foliage. This will be a plant that you will overwinter indoors, right, Tim?

          2. User avater
            Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 08/17/2015

            That's a great photo of the foliage. Thanks for searching and posting. I will definitely attempt to over-winter the entire container (sans peppers) to see how it does.

          3. Cenepk10 08/18/2015

            So cool

          4. Cenepk10 08/17/2015

            Tilt your head sideways and see if this is the same thing, please sir… Don't understand why my pics load sideways… Use a Mac

          5. User avater
            Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 08/17/2015

            That is a great Echeveria, a great succulent, but not related. I love those flowers. They are like wax candies to me. In fact, I love all the plants that I see in your photo. What's the spotty thing in the upper right (well, upper left in this orientation).
            I use a Mac and an iPhone and I don't have problems with sideways uploading, although occasionally pictures I take are inexplicably sideways.

          6. Cenepk10 08/18/2015

            The spotty thing was a gift about 9 years ago. She said it was an african violet of some sort. It just gets bigger & bigger. It has spiky purple blooms that are very pitiful- but a great foliage plant i sit in the garage all winter then bring out in the spring.

          7. User avater
            Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 08/18/2015

            Love it. I've not seen an image of one so enormous. Ledebouria socialis, also goes by Scilla violacea, which is probably why she told you it was a violet. Common name: silver squill or violet squill. One of those plants that, even if you don't love the flowers, the foliage makes it a keeper! Thanks for the extra photo! The references I found say it is almost hardy: which makes it a tempting target for experimentation in my garden.........

          8. Cenepk10 08/18/2015

            Your plant knowledge blows me away ! Yes ! I looked it up. The google images show these tiny plants. It multiplies with these little tuber type thingys - mine is huge ! But its old. Seems to thrive with neglect, shade - not too much water. Ive repotted it once. May need to again later this season. Thank you so much for once again helping me identify the plants ! You are an amazing headful of facts !!!!!

          9. User avater
            Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 08/18/2015

            Well, I'm also good with internet search engines................

          10. sheila_schultz 08/18/2015

            Love the foliage and leaf shape!

          11. eddireid 08/17/2015

            Absolutely stunning.

  3. User avater
    meander_michaele 08/17/2015

    Sigh... such stupendous, stellar, sumptuous silver themed submissions ribbons, gold medals and sincerest accolades for all! Seriously, guys, they are all truly fabulous and each one so interesting and unique. I'm sure everyone is relieved to be off the hook for judging...instead we can just relax, enjoy and be awash in inspiration. OK, I'm off now to scroll back up and down...and up and down...thanks to you all.

  4. User avater
    HelloFromMD 08/17/2015

    Wow, Tim yours are so elegant and well designed. Love the color echo in container 1 between the flower and the pot. Eddi great assortment of plants and is the first container a wheel barrow? Just wonderful. I would love to sit on Cherry's porch and have her tell me about silver bush. That's what I love about horticulture, always a new plant to learn about and admire. The container with the Japenese maple is so sophisticated Jeff your container is so artistic and I love that brake fern. Patricia your Juniper standard is so timeless. You are inspiring me to try my hand at a design using a standard.Fun morning.

    1. eddireid 08/17/2015

      Yes,it's a little wire wheelbarrow which I spotted in a local small nursery and couldn't live without!

  5. NCYarden 08/17/2015

    Lovin' these. A feast for the eyes.

  6. Quiltingmamma 08/17/2015

    Gotta say, Tim's succulents are just made for this little 'challenge'. Lovely...all of them. I must have been hiding behind a bush when the challenge call went out, but it is really fun to see the results.

    1. Meelianthus 08/17/2015

      I too never heard a word about this event but have enjoyed it immensely!

      1. User avater
        Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 08/17/2015

        So sorry, friends. It was posted on the blog only twice and there was a little bit of discussion in some comments now and again. The blog is so much work for those putting it together at Fine Gardening that it was impractical to regularly remind people about the challenge in the blog heading. Keep your eyes peeled for future challenges. Not that there are any in the works, but if folks have ideas, I'm game!

        1. Meelianthus 08/17/2015

          Thanks Tim. I really enjoyed seeing all of the pots. What fun!

      2. sheila_schultz 08/17/2015

        If I remember correctly, the day it was announced the GPOD site was down until late afternoon/evening so a lot of GPOD'ers never saw it unless they went through the backdoor on the FG main website. We did try to make a few comments from time to time, though.

        1. Meelianthus 08/17/2015

          Thanks Sheila and I really enjoyed all of your pots. Fun!

  7. user-4691082 08/17/2015

    Oh, what a treat to click on today's post. I am also going to go back over and over to relish these beautiful containers. Kudos to all!

    1. sheila_schultz 08/17/2015

      Thanks Rhonda... aren't these containers fun?

  8. user-3565112 08/17/2015

    I have been following this site for about a year & am always impressed with the creativity & skill shown every by you folks.. All of the containers blow away anything I have seen in garden centers. Einstein said make things as simple as possible & no simpler. Today's topic proves his point.

    1. sheila_schultz 08/18/2015

      Love the Einstein quote, Joe!

  9. User avater
    Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 08/17/2015

    Thanks for taking all the time to post this Susan! I know it was a lot to get into the blog format!
    This was a lot of fun.
    A shout-out to Granny May for introducing me to Kalanchoe pumila through this blog. Gorgeous plant!

    1. GrannyMay 08/17/2015

      Tim, I'm so glad to have introduced you to this Kalanchoe - you've given it a beautiful place to show off. Great compostion and wonderful colours! If were were picking winners, I would have to give my vote(s) to Sheila and yourself and Eddi and Cherry and Patricia and Jeff and Nancy....

      1. sheila_schultz 08/17/2015

        I don't know about you, May, but I'm making notes for my 2016 containers!!!

        1. eddireid 08/17/2015

          Me too.

        2. GrannyMay 08/17/2015

          Sheila I have so many notes and wonderful ideas from GPOD and the gardeners that I'll need to buy a nursery! And 5 acres of land.

          1. sheila_schultz 08/17/2015

            May, I could use a greenhouse, too... along with 5 acres and a winning lottery ticket! Hahaha

          2. GrannyMay 08/18/2015

            Since we are dreaming, I just thought of a wonderful retirement community for "aged" gardening addicts (I know of a few), where each person would have 1/ a private home surrounded by gardens 2/ unlimited access to free plants, containers and accessories 3/ a big greenhouse 4/ free staff to help as much as wanted 4/ perfect gardening weather year-round 5/ a community centre in which to meet with all the other addicts. Have I forgotten anything?

          3. sheila_schultz 08/18/2015

            The sign-up list? I think it might fill up pretty quickly, May, I want to get on that list right away!

          4. User avater
            meander_michaele 08/18/2015

            Great idea, May, although I would be willing to compromise on the year round perfect gardening weather. My joints don't mind a few months off. Ahh, but then again, you did mention free staff.

    2. foxnataliecleopatra 07/23/2017

      That is not a Pumila, a Pumila is also known as Silver Dust, belonging to the Kalanchloe family.

  10. VikkiVA 08/17/2015

    I love each and every one of these containers. What a treat it is to open my e-mail each day and see such talent and beauty. What a group of exceptional gardeners we have that share their creativity. Ironic that Shelia's picture was missing the ingredients. If I had to choose one that reflected "silver" the most I would have chosen hers. When is the next challenge? Vikki in VA.

    1. User avater
      Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 08/17/2015

      You're right about Sheila's container. She wins, hands down! No wait, there wasn't supposed to be a winner! :)

    2. sheila_schultz 08/17/2015

      Thanks Tim and Vikki, I'm glad you like the container. The photo was taken right after it was planted, it's matured very nicely over the last few weeks and my gardens will have some new plants the end of the container season! I do love artemesia's!

      1. User avater
        Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 08/17/2015

        Take an updated photo and upload it in a comment! Please?

        1. sheila_schultz 08/17/2015

          Amazing what a difference a month can make!

          1. User avater
            Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 08/17/2015

            Wowee-zowee! It's beautiful! I thought I loved it before, but this is grand. That pine backdrop isn't too shabby, either. Now scootch the container over a skosh, add in a tall, artful rock from the yellow mountains in China and you've got yourself a meditation zone!

          2. sheila_schultz 08/17/2015

            You crack me up, Tim ;)

          3. User avater
            meander_michaele 08/17/2015

            You, Mz Sheila, are a master/mistress of understatement..." it's matured very nicely " thinks it has matured grandly and gorgeously or, as Tim so expressively exclaimed, "Wowee-zowee"..yeah, that's what I say, too.

          4. sheila_schultz 08/17/2015

            Okay, now I'm blushing Michaele, thank you! It's always fun when a plan comes together ;)

          5. eddireid 08/18/2015

            It seems to have matured very gracefully and in beautiful balance too. Nothing at all similar to anything I so hopefully plant. Green with envy. Congratulations again.

          6. sheila_schultz 08/18/2015

            Thanks Eddi!

  11. sheila_schultz 08/17/2015

    Good morning everyone! Isn't it excellent how a couple of colors can lead to such diverse container gardens? That was the idea Tim and I were tossing around back in the late winter after Tim forwarded a photo of a drop-dead gorgeous container with silver and black/burgundy as the lead colors. The GPOD gardeners are passionate and crazy talented, so we figured a challenge would be fun and inspirational for everyone... and we were definitely right! All you have to do is to look at the results ;) These are all fab!!!

    Thanks, Tim, for filling in the blanks for my entry. I did find the name for the Rhipsalis, and it is so appropriate... Jeff, you're gonna love it, Rhipsalis baccifera horrida ;) Actually, when I was contemplating plants I wanted to use, the leucophyta brownii Cherry and Tim used was tops on my list... I love that little silver colored, stick-like plant, but it was no where to be found in Denver this year. (Plant shopping in a smaller market can be very challenging!)

    I echo Tim's 'thank-you' to Susan for doing this post and to all of you that entered or thought about entering. I also want to personally Thank Tim for doing ALL the legwork on this project... he's the best! This has been fun!

  12. GrannyCC 08/17/2015

    Great job everyone! it is a feast for the eyes this morning. Glad we didn't have to pick a winner.

  13. schatzi 08/17/2015

    WOW!! Such a glorious display of creativity and beauty! One would be hard pressed to pick the winner because they are all winners. I especially love Tim's and Cherry's combinations but they are all gorgeous.

  14. eddireid 08/17/2015

    This has been so much fun. Tim and Sheila your guidelines were the perfect jumping off point and I for one had a most enjoyable time planning and potting and looking forward to seeing everyone's contributions. It was worth the wait. I'll bet we have more participants next time! There will be a next time, won't there? Please say Yes and let lots more people join in.
    As is usual fromGPOD I learned at least a dozen or more lessons.
    Thank you everyone, including editor Susan.

  15. user-7007774 08/18/2015

    Wow! Sheila that container was the perfect choice for the combo you went with. Tim was the Crassula falcata blooming when you planted it in the matching container or was that just pure luck? I love both of your submissions!

    1. User avater
      Tim_Zone_Denial_Vojt 08/18/2015

      Pure luck on the red container/Crassula bloom. Had no idea.
      Saw that you had a quite a turn out Saturday. I started to get nervous for you and was glad that there was only one mishap, and extra glad that 'your people' found you!

      1. user-7007774 08/18/2015

        I am still blown away by the real plant nerds that showed up, it was wonderful! As for the mishap thankfully my husband was working the crowd when that happened and zipped right over to clean it up. I didn't have to go near it.

    2. sheila_schultz 08/18/2015

      Thanks Loree! I told Tim that I knew I wanted to use one of my fave plants, Seafoam Artemesia, for the challenge, and once I saw that pot everything else fell into place. Glad you like the finished product!

      1. user-7007774 08/18/2015

        Had I not tracked down several Seafoam Artemesia earlier this summer I would be extremely jealous. Love that plant.

        1. sheila_schultz 08/18/2015

          I figured you would be a fan of Seafoam... it's a natural with spikes and succulents. Heck, I personally think it's wonderful with most plants worth planting, in containers or in the ground. It's also super hardy.

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