Container Gardens Done Right: Make Your Garden Appear Refined

Use Plant Patterns to Add Some
Unity to Your Plant Collection

There's a theory that overflowing containers of herbs, flowers, vegetables and grasses will literally transform porches and balconies into leafy and green garden sanctuaries.

In stark reality, the result is typically closer to a "Patio containing random plants in pots." Fern Richardson, the author of a new book titled, "Small Space Container Gardens: was asked how to overcome the gap. Her book contains suggestions going from up-cycling and repetition of plants to spray-painting unmatched plant containers. At first It seems as if it would be difficult or it would seem tacky, however a few cans of spray paint along with a stenciling kit is a pretty cool way to provide continuity," says Richardson. Additional options include: Use plant patterns to add some unity to your plant collection by having identical plants in a sequence of containers. "It does not even need to be your main plants," says Richardson. "It can be one of any number of small annuals you switch out every season. By using the same little viola plants throughout an entire grouping they appear as if they just belong together and that you planned then even when you did not."

Marigolds or zinnias would also be fine in this situation

Match materials

Although a matching set of containers can seem staged, however a set of unmatched pots, all in the same material, will appear coherent and interesting. "Sorta' like a bedroom set, sometimes it comes out too matched when everything is exactly the same," she said. Think of using concrete containers, wooden containers, or just green containers with a unique mixture of sizes and shapes . "When there is some type of continuity in a collection, this often helps it appear as if you planned it that way, even though most of the time itís not too affordable to purchase eight pots to put on your patio at one time as pots can get pretty expensive," says Richardson.

Container Gardening


Raid the trash bin, kitchen and garage for some really cool plant containers that will provide interest and uniqueness to your container collection. In Richardsonís book, there's an enchanting mini-barbecue project, although she also sees lots of potential in colanders, red wagons, soda cans and birdbaths, "In particular if a barbecue has previously been used, you'll probably need to thoroughly clean it . There could be embedded charcoal," she says. "Although most of the time metal is pretty much a nonreactive material with regards to leaching things into the soil. If youíre concerned about this, you can always insert a nursery pot made of plastic and buried into the soil and put all your plants in the plastic pot, letting you pull off the fun up-cycling look without having a concern about ĎWhat the ??? is in this ?í"

Stay with odd numbers

"Interior designers are always saying that groups of three's look great together while Iíve also discovered that," says Richardson. "Three pots all in the same size will appear not-so-dynamic, however if you use a short pot tall one a tall pot plus a medium-sized pot, most of the time it makes for a nice arrangement. If you use three all with identical height, arranging them in a straight row can seem really modern and trendy, however I believe the trick is to group them together using odd numbers.

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