Creating your container garden design requires two levels of design.
On the macro level the containers are designed to fit into your overall home and garden landscape.
On the micro level each containers content is designed to form a mini garden in its own right.
Planting in containers can look magnificent.
Make sure the plants you select compliment the containers.
Remember to take the color, theme and style of your property into consideration.
Choose eye-catching plants that bring the best out of your house and garden.
Container Garden Design At Macro Level
Just follow established
principles to incorporate containers into your garden landscape.
Containers can add variety and interest to your garden, but form part of the harmonious whole.
They should not dominate the garden landscape, but contribute to your overall effect. Containers may be used as focal points.
Make sure all the containers in your home and garden match, and blend into their surroundings.
Your containers do not have to be of the same size and shape, but should match in color.
Creating unity within the design can be achieved by using the same color containers
throughout your container garden design.
This also ensures continuity as you link the outdoors to the inside of your home.
The color of the containers could match the tiles, walls, carpets or other common colors in your home.
You may also want to pick up any other prominent color or complimentary color.
Don’t forget the golden rule; keep to the theme
of your home and garden.
Grouping of Containers
Grouping containers together helps to create good visual impact.
Only group them in uneven numbers, i.e. 3, 5 or 7.
To create a pleasing effect, group small, medium and large containers together.
Do not make too many focal points when you design gardens.
This will create too many distractions and disrupts the flow of your garden.
Use only one large container, or a specific group of containers to keep a person’s focus.
If your focal point is not the placement of your containers, make sure that the placement of the containers
do not distract from your focal point. In this is the case blend your containers into the background.
Adding complementary objects, like balls, can add an additional interest to your container garden design.
These objects do not have any plants in them, but their shapes will enhance the visual effect of your containers.
Make sure that these objects are the same color, texture and finish as the containers.
Plant boxes can be used to complement the architecture of a house.
With a proper design the house patio and garden can all be linked together.
The architecture can also be extended into terraces, gazebos, patios, driveways, etc. on the outside of your house.
The effect will be enhanced further by building in plant boxes inside the home e.g. an atrium.
Container Garden Design At Micro Level
Designing the content of each container can be a challenge yet tremendous fun.
Each container will contain a miniature garden design
on its own.
All of the design principles
have to be adhered to on a much smaller scale.
The container plantings should also contribute to the complete garden around it. This makes container gardening very interesting.
The plants and container have to complement each other, just as a pot and lid go together.
For example; if you selected a tall container, you will need to plant a tall thin plant in it.
Round smooth leaves will look good in curvaceous containers.
Short square containers match short plants which have fountain like leaves.
They will also be suitable for short, low growing plants.
If you are having difficulty selecting a suitable plant and container, go to your local nursery, and place the plant into the container.
See if it looks visually pleasing; if it does not select another plant. Carry on doing this until you find the perfect match.
Select suitable plants
to plant under the main plant in your container.
Choose plants that complement the main plant (focus) of the container.
For an example; a large container can be planted up with Iris and Crocus and under planted with Thyme.
This container is used to provide color for late winter/early spring.
The deep purple color of the Irises complements the golden yellow of the Crocus.
The under planting of Thyme (yellow variegated Thymus serpyllum Goldstream) pulls the design all together.
The Thyme also acts as a ground cover to prevent the container from drying out.
This container does best in a sunny position and needs free draining compost.
Visit our container gardening plants
page for more ideas on plant combinations suitable for container garden design.