Container plantings are a great way to add whimsy, color, screening and focus to "hard" areas of your garden, such as patios and decks.  Somehow, though, while gardeners enjoy the initial rush of buying and planting, they are often underwhelmed by the result.  While we have plenty of ideas about the best plants and styles of planting for containers, how to plant them, and so on, we think the most important aspect of container plantings isn't the plants at all....  Here are a few ideas for finding and laying out the perfect containers for your project.

  • We're loathe to use the word "pots," when great containers have been made from stock tanks and garbage cans (AKA dustbins).
  • Bigger is usually better.  We like to cluster a few pots of various sizes.  Often the tallest pot in our clusters is 36".  Taller pots bring the plants closer to eye level, rather than calling for attention from knee height.
  • We've said it many times before, but simple forms are the way to go.  Ornate pots create a busy visual effect that distracts from the cool shape of the pot and all of those great plants.
  • Pull it all together.  Rather than spreading your containers out, one here, two there, cluster them together.  Even small pots can have a big impact when drawn into a big mass.
  • Location is always key.  Take time to find the perfect spot and layout for your carefully selected containers.  Prioritize the views from important windows, doors and paths, and spend time moving the empty vessels around before you start to plant.  A few inches to the left or right might help everything come together perfectly.

A gallery of container plantings for a little inspiration:[gallery link="file" order="DESC" orderby="rand"]

Happy Containerizing!