top of page





In this project, we will plant the Crescendo Urn, with guest June Spanier of June of All Trades. June will demonstrate the Thrills-Fills-Spills method of varying your plant selections for a variety of height and textures, as well as planning for how the plants will grow throughout the season.


- Crescendo urn

- one "thriller" plant

- five "filler" plants

- one "spiller" plant

- planting soil

- watering can and water

- garden gloves

- small trowel, optional

For this project, we are using one thriller (Canna Lily, Cannanova Orange Bronze 6.5" pot size), five filler plants (two Coleus, two Geraniums and one Diamond Frost) and one spiller (Lysimachia congestiflora).




First, you need to start with a container.  This is a TierraVerde Crescendo urn. It is lightweight, and is made from recycled materials. 

TierraVerde planters each have an incorporated water reservoir.  The reservoir will hold approximately 1.5" of water, and is used for two reasons:  1)  to minimize root rot, and 2) to maintain some moisture in the soil between waterings.


For outdoor use, it is a good idea to remove the drain plug at the base of the container.  This will allow excess water to drain from the urn during a rainfall, for example. 



Remember to use a good outdoor potting soil in your containers, to allow roots to spread and provide rich nourishment for the plant over the length of the entire seaon.



Begin planting, by using the Thriller-Filler-Spiller method. 


Start with your thriller.  A "triller" plant is the wow-factor of your arrangement, it will have some spectacular eye-catching thrill about it, whether it is shape or color, or both.  It will definitely have height.  


I like to tickle the roots a little bit before I put it in the container. 
This enables the root ball to open up, slightly, giving the roots room to grow as well as access to the fresh soil. 


Put the plant in the centre of the container. 
Place soil around the root ball.



Next is my filler. 


I add this in three layers of height, with contrasting leaf textures and colors.   I will be layering from back to front, in decreasing height of filler plants, as well.


First layer of filler plants


Identify which part of the planter will be the focal point (front of the arrangement).  In this case, I am planting the Coleus in the back of the arrangement.


This is a really pretty coleus plant, approximately 12" tall, but 3-6" shorter than your thriller.   Plant one 6"pot Coleus plant on either side of the thriller, in what will become the backside of the arrangement.


Second layer of filler plants

Continue on with the filler.  

At the front of the planter, plant two 6"pot Geraniums on either side of the thriller.  I want each side to mirror each other, to create overall symmetry in the design.  

Always remember that important step of tickling open the root ball, when transplanting the plant from their nursery container to your urn.




Third layer of filler plants


Continue with the third layer of filler. 
I am adding Diamond Frost, right in the centre of the front of the arrangement.  Again, tickle the roots.  This will look gorgeous, the white contrasts with the bright red of the thriller flower and the geraniums.



And now, my spiller, the Lysimachia!

Add this flowering plant at the front, next to the Diamond Frost. It will grow longer throughout the season, so allow the stems to spill over the lip of the Crescendo Urn.  

Later in the season, this part of the arrangement will have the most notable change, spilling long down onto the ground.  The beautiful contrast of the bright green potato vine against the black urn creates a stunning visual!



Complete the urn by filling in with good outdoor potting soil.
Water liberally, and enjoy!

bottom of page