My springtime mission is to fill the dozens of planters, pots, and urns that grace my stone walls, terraces, and courtyard. My mandate is to make them
balanced yet unique, memorable yet harmonious.
I learned from a wise gardener, my mom, that a good planter has three components: a thriller, a filler, and a spiller. These words of wisdom, and an interesting metaphor for the ups and downs of life, take the guesswork out of curating the right mix of plant material.
As the name implies, the thriller is the centerpiece plant with a wow factor, the memorable moment, something big, bright, bountiful, bold, and beautiful. It’s made up of foliage or a flowering plant– the day-to-day that covers the dirt, and complements but not overshadows the star of the show. Lastly, the spiller is the splash of rogue disobedience. Sometimes it all goes haywire and unexpectedly tumbles out of the pot.
I asked my millennial daughter ( newly 30 and living in New York City) what she thought of thrillers, fillers, and spillers. “That sounds more like dating in New York City,” I have met many fillers and a few spillers, but the thrillers are few and far between.
I asked my mom, as she approaches 90, who knows all about gardening. She said life is a series of experiences and memories, some thrillers, some fillers, and some spillers. But the balance of them all is what makes a planter worth planting, and a life worth living.
Here’s my food for thought: What have been your thriller, spiller, and filler life moments?
For a comprehensive list of thrillers, fillers and spillers visit here.
Be the first to comment