King Tut & Friends Container 2012

by Patrick Muir on October 19, 2012

I apologize for the lateness of this post. Been very sick the last two months but still wanted to share some of my best work. The freshness is most appreciated the winter weather is coming or has already arrived in your area.

I have always loved the Kinsman line of baskets and planters. Heavy steel construction with an extraordinarily  thick soft plastic coating, they are stunning, simply stunning when compared to any competitor’s line. But I’m terrible at projecting sizes, so a 2′ wide basket at the time, sounded quite reasonable. But indeed It was not, though. I never got around to using at the old house.

When I came to Trinity I assumed I’d hang them off the pair of 30+ year old pin oaks that grace the front entrance. But I didn’t bother to ask after I put my thinking cap on and thought they would be a huge liability with a heavy wind. So I asked my buddy carpenter Dan to design something for the with no idea he would craft something so beautiful. Don’t you wish you had but one?

I’m quite pleased with the King Tut & Friends container combo. Because of all my spring hospital visits this spring, it wasn’t planted until early June and these pix were taken in mid-August. These images beg the question what would this look like after growing a full season??? You may not recognize the whispey Ruellia augustfolia elongated by Miralc-Gro in the soil mix.Fun to see it dancing with the best Egyptian export ever. But the unusual thing, it is still flowering and not just a mass of long leaves. I think it’s an inspired combination but even P A Smith couldn’t replicate it. Met PAS in August at a PBS fundraiser. Forgot to ask about this P business with his name. Hated is Dad Paul? Will have to ask at next presentation.

Never grown Dichondra ‘Silver Falls’ and will have to use in whatever combo i dream up next spring just to see a curtain covering the stand.The ruellia self sowed all over my grandmother’s front yard in her garden at the edge of the Outback. Don’t recall if we called it Mexican petunia, though?  (horticulture sarcasm???) With having Nan’s provenance, the container is very personal to me. Thanks, Nan.

And ornamental peppers have always been a fav after I first saw them at a garden tour in her home town, Narrabri (Aboriginal  for river with many snakes, I believe.) The variety ‘Calico’ has been quite fun as the red peppers explode under the striking variegated leaves. The growth obviously is a testament to the youth of the container.Have you tried ‘KingTut’ in containers? He’s a beast. Same in Egypt. Better view, though. Let me  know, please?

At the front entrance I used a pairing of these planters with Coleus ‘Wizard Sun’ and a charming fuchsia ‘Koralle and a chunky variegated ivy. I also had Super Elfin White but iit’s a testament that imp But I was thrilled with its performance considering the late planting and excessive heat of the summer. I will be sure to use next spring.

So I’m looking forward to many winter months drooling over possible combinations for my sexy planters (Once again I’m looking like a guy in a nursing home who hasn’t seen in action in a long, long time when I’m calling a planter sexy. Am I right Dee, or am I right?


Patrick's Garden

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Jason October 25, 2012 at 6:49 pm

Really striking container combo. I like the Ruellia. I grow the native Ruellia humilis and you can see they’re related but yours is more dramatic with deeper color.


Patrick November 15, 2012 at 6:09 am

Thanks for the kudos. Yes I love that deep blue. Gotta grow again.


PlantPostings November 15, 2012 at 10:09 am

Hi Patrick: Those planters are truly stunning! You have a keen eye for combining plants–no doubt about it. Sorry I haven’t stopped by for a while: I’ve gotten into the habit of visiting blogs through, and I can’t seem to find yours there. In any case, I’m going to have to stray from that practice, because your blog is one of my favorites!


Patrick November 16, 2012 at 1:24 am

Thanks for the high praise. Does mean a lot. Will check into Blotanical issue because I can find myself in Kansas.


Patrick November 24, 2012 at 12:37 pm

There’s so many spots around my blog on Blotaniical, it’s hard to find find me. Amy suggestion


Patrick November 24, 2012 at 12:37 pm

There’s so many spots around my blog on Blotaniical, it’s hard to find find me. Amy suggestions.


Diana of Elephant's Eye November 25, 2012 at 3:43 am
You need to apply to join Blotanical, then one of the many Blotanical friends I see on your comments will mentor you thru.

I’ve been feeling hard done by about leaving a large garden for a small garden – but once again garden blogs put things into perspective. Yours is going to be an interesting fresh pair of eyes to look at gardening with me.


Patrick November 26, 2012 at 8:11 am

Joined Blotanical last night and hopefully pay off with subscribers and comments. Glad to learn the post is so held to you.

Layanee November 16, 2012 at 1:52 am

So, insomnia? Me too. Love these containers and the papyrus is genius. Hope you are feeling better.


Patrick November 18, 2012 at 12:25 pm

Thanks so much for the comments. I like to think of myself as an artist. One of my favorite quotes “Gardening is the slowest of the performing arts.”


Donna November 17, 2012 at 5:21 pm

Your containers are beautiful with really good plant companions. You have a very artistic eye I might add.


Patrick November 18, 2012 at 12:26 pm

I appreciate the kudos.


Kimberley November 19, 2012 at 7:26 am

Nice containers, and nice holders for the baskets. You’re lucky to have such a talented carpenter friend! I don’t think to use ornamental grasses much, but after reading so many raves about them in the various blogs, I think I’ll have to add some to my repertoire next summer!


Patrick November 21, 2012 at 9:44 pm

Thanks, babe. Yes it’s great to have Dan in my life. His wife was the teacher for both my boys in kindergarden.Yes give the grasses ago besides the cliche purple fountain grass.


Alistair November 21, 2012 at 10:45 am

Great planter Patrick, 14″ baskets are a decent size I can hardly imagine 2ft ones in my humble abode. Like plantpostings I am off to try and find you on blotanical.


Patrick November 21, 2012 at 2:50 pm

Thanks, Aliistair. Means a lot coming from you, my friend. You’ll find me in Kansas on Blotanical.


Patrick November 21, 2012 at 9:49 pm

Thanks for the kudos, my dear friend.The good thing about the established grasses in your garden, you can divide a small section to use in containers with no cash out of your pockets. Very nice don’t you think?


Gardener on Sherlock Street November 21, 2012 at 4:13 pm

That is one nice sturdy lookin container.
This was my first year growing ‘Silver Falls’ too. Love it. It still looks good out there on our patio. Already thinking of which containers will be best for it next year. It really gets long!
I do not have good luck with fuchsias. The wind just does them in. Your ‘lemon-lime’ coleus is such a bright spot in that container. I tend to lean toward the purple coleus. I need to try this one.
Late planting didn’t keep you from getting some nice displays!

Take care!


Patrick November 21, 2012 at 10:05 pm

You must try this fuchsia. Was in a wind prone location out in front of the building and seem to thrive in the heat of this hot summer. This is no shrinking violet like most fuchsias. Yes this sun coleus was in the shade and looked that beautiful until end of the season. I think you’ll be most please with its performance in sun or shade.


MrBrownThumb November 23, 2012 at 2:37 pm

That’s a really nice container garden combo. I know papyrus is popular among landscapers, designers, and garden geeks, but I wish more average gardeners knew of it because it is such an awesome plant.


Patrick November 23, 2012 at 3:54 pm

I’m so glad you loved the combo. I agree with your thoughts about the King Tut. They’re easy to grow and so vigorous,


Shirley November 24, 2012 at 8:45 am

Very pretty container combos. The stands are nice and a great way to handle them in the wind. I only hang a few in protected spots after seeing mine go lateral in south Texas, I can only imagine what they would do in Kansas winds.

Using the papyrus as a container arrangement is a great idea I might try next year. We have native ruellia in the fields here, it is much shorter and lighter in color.


Patrick November 24, 2012 at 12:27 pm

I can only imagine what they look like in your Texas winds. I’d like to see the native ruellia. Will have to google it bro find it, Wish me luck!


Carolyn November 24, 2012 at 2:41 pm

Your friend was so nice to build such lovely containers. In Maine, I only have one pot and a window box so I too think carefully about what to plant. Always coleus though because I love them.


Patrick November 24, 2012 at 7:48 pm

Yes, he’s a very good and oh so talented craftsman. His wife was the kindergarten teacher for both my days so we are very close to his family. My greenhouse grows 28 varieties of coleus. I know you’d have a ball but buy too many for your space, if you’re anything like me.


Beth @ Daylily Soup November 25, 2012 at 11:11 am

Hi Patrick,

This my first visit to your lovely blog. Oh, those planters are sharp, and I love the combination in the last photo! I have some of the purple flowers in the first and second photos, and only know them as ‘Mexican Petunias’ so far. If you remember what they were called at your grandmother’s, would you let me know? They were one of my many impulse buys at the Lowe’s Garden Center. :-) I do know they are tough, tough, tough to put on an outstanding performance during these Alabama summers without missing a beat.

I enjoyed your post; you are such an inspiration, Patrick! We can all learn a lot from you about the power of a positive attitude in addition to gardening tips.

All the best,



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