Container growing is an inexpensive option to consider in your landscape design planning when used to compliment your hardscape. Container gardening can add beauty and contrast to areas where flower beds, trees and shrubs are not present like patios, decks, entranceways and pools.
Bringing flowers and plants into outdoor living spaces through container growing is very versatile and not only benefits larger landscape designs but is also well suited to smaller yards where people do not have the area to install elaborate gardens.
Container growing is nothing new…people have been using containers for plant materials for thousands of years. Today there is a huge selection of landscape pottery and containers available in a variety of materials to suit any landscape theme or any size yard.
Benefits of Container Growing
Planting in pottery or containers come with many unique benefits…it allows people to bring plants and flowers into areas where they spend most of their time outdoors. Not only are they easy to move around when entertaining (if they get in the way) but they are also:
- fast to plant
- can be tailored to your home’s overall theme and design
- are easily maintained
- much easier to replant than a flower bed
- can be quickly changed to accommodate seasons
Your yard doesn’t have to be small for container gardening – container gardens fit into any sized situation. Larger gardens may offer even more opportunity for use of containers. Not only can they decorate your patios, multi-leveled decks and pool / hot tub areas, but they can also be used to line walkways, decorate a gazebo or break up long, linear designs – such as a long hedge or a planting bed with groundcover and not much else drawing interest.
Tips for Maintaining a Container Garden
Container growing can be a fairly inexpensive accent to your landscape design but needs the same dedication and commitment to maintenance as the rest of your lawn and garden. Here are some tips to keep your container gardens as healthy and sharp as the rest of your landscape:
- Soil in landscape pottery will dry out faster than garden beds or lawn areas so these will require more frequent watering.
- Putting mulch in your planter or landscape urn works the same way as it does in a garden. It will help to retain moisture and keep your plant’s roots cooler. The nice thing about container growing is that you can easily use anything from tree bark to redwood chips, stones, pebbles or broken shells for mulch.
- Using a slow release fertilizer will promote healthy and longer life if incorporated into a regular maintenance schedule.
- Keep these plants well groomed by trimming and periodically deadheading. This will ensure ongoing bloom production and a tidy appearance.
- Your landscape container should be kept about 1 inch off the ground by using “pot feet”. This will prevent staining on patios, decks and concrete as water will not be able to pool under the container, causing staining.
The Importance of Color and Texture in Design Planning
Any good chef will tell that color, texture and presentation are important in cooking. The same holds true for planting in containers. You create a more natural looking design by adding texture. Mixing foliage plants with different flower shapes and sizes will provide a design rich in texture.
And, what generally catches your eye first is the element of color. Your particular taste and your unique landscape design should dictate the colors you use in your containers.
For example, cool colors such as blue tones are very popular because they because they promote the feeling of being calm and serene. This color palette works well around pools.
Warm, rich colors like yellows, reds and oranges can have a very high impact and provide pop to a specific location.
Monochromatic designs (tints and shades in a single color range) can look elegant and very trendy as well. Generally, the aspects that apply to using color in the landscape also apply to designing container gardens.
Another important facet to consider is proportion. If you are using the container itself as the showpiece, then your planted portion should only take about 2/3 of your overall container design…1/3 of that being for the visibility of the container. If you are using plants which will trail or cascade over the top of the planter, remember with will hide part of your container view.
If you are showcasing your plants, then use them to accent the pottery or planter.
Container Garden Pictures
Here’s The Top Rated In Print For Container Growing
- Container Gardening: 250 Design Ideas & Step-By-Step Techniques
- McGee & Stuckey’s Bountiful Container: Create Container Gardens of Vegetables, Herbs, Fruits, and Edible Flowers
- Easy Container Gardens (Pamela Crawford’s Container Gardening, Vol.2)
- Easy Container Combos: Vegetables & Flowers (Container Gardening Series)
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