This year more than any year earlier, our customers are getting carried away by containers; they are using containers to decorate their porches, patios, and poolside, filling in blank spaces in the garden, creating focal points. Coordinating the colors and character of the pots with plant material and other garden furnishings, they are creating beautiful vignettes not possible with plants alone.
One of the best features of container gardening is the plant material grows more easily with fewer pests and without competition from tree roots or compacted garden soil. When the foliage and blooms grow and blend together in a container, complementing or contrasting with the color and shape of the container, the visual results are usually more attractive. The plants and containers should showcase each other.
Color blend or contrast the plants and their container for even greater impact. In the image above, we like the monochromatic white plant material and the delicate textures because they complement the delicate pattern and antique grey stone finish of the planter. By taking into account the color of stone, brick, and trim, containers and plantings can add dramatic effects to the exterior of your home. We recently helped a customer find a French blue glazed terra cotta urn that blended beautifully with the antique washed French blue double doors on her front porch. Filled with pink Hydrangeas and white Caladiums with a small pink vein, they were perfect.
The Angelwing Begonia needs an urn to display its elegant draping form; the Regusa urn’s shape is perfect to display the plant. The Angelwing Begonia’s leaves have a slight blue/green tone, blending with the urn’s antique jade color; the pink flowers are a gentle contrast. In this instance, the Begonia is the thriller, filler, and spiller.
This is a very nice selection of glazed terra-cotta containers featuring contrasting colors. We like the crosshatching shadow cast on the largest aqua container and the compatibility of the sedums with the gold container.
Impruneta terra-cotta is the finest and most durable terra-cotta made; the soft color of the clay and its texture is unequaled. The embossed rosettes called for more rosettes in an analagous color and other light and airy plant materials. Soft peach Salvia ‘coral nymph’ is the thriller, with peach Nemesia and double peach Impatiens fillers, and Bacopa as the spillers.
A large, simple Impruneta terra-cotta container with bold scroll handles can hold a single large, simple plant such as this Sword Fern.
When planting containers, you often hit upon a winning plant or plant combination that can be repeated for several years, or you can challenge yourself to create better and better plant combinations each year. Color echoing plant materials and the containers helps you notice and look for the small but significant elements of plants, the small speckles on leaves, the veins, the undersides of leaves and how they can make a fabulous container look even more so.
The large cast stone Hampton Urns have a soft, simple lightly aged finish and will look wonderful no matter what they hold. They are attractive with formal evergreen topiary or masses of bold blooms as shown (red hibiscus, red geraniums, and orange million bells make a hot, bold show.