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Southern Inspirations Garden Design

A family-run business since 1997

Southern Inspirations
Container Gardening Plants Liven Up Your Garden
Container gardening plants will liven up even the dullest of dull spots. The correct combination of plants will complement your favourite container. Here are a few suggestions of plants that group well together in containers. Make use of these plants in your container garden design.

Color Contrast Choose the container gardening plants that complement the color and texture of your container. The plants and container should be in harmony. It is very similar to dress sense. Some colors just don’t match!

Just go to the local nursery to get some ideas. Pick some plants That you like and put them together on the trolley, stand back and see how they compliment each other. It’s like trying on different dresses and accessories and gazing into the mirror. Keep on changing until you feel just right! Container gardening is very exciting!

Container Gardening Plants with Stunning Foliage

Red Foliage

Plant your container with red foliage tints. It is nice to recognise seasonal changes in your garden. The reds, purple and bronze foliage will add depth and interest in your garden. For example, an Acer palmatum (Japanese maple) can look magnificent in a large container. A layer of pebbles, small, medium and large with moss growing in between will enhance the beauty of the acer.

Another example of purple-red foliage plants include; Bugle ajuga reptans (burgundy glow), Bergonia rex, and Heuchera (Heuchera micrantha).

Silver, Blue and Grey Foliage

Cotton Lavender Design with silver, blue and grey foliage; just do just the opposite to the dark foliage colors. Dark foliage can bring depth to a design. The silver and greys bring in the light. The greys can also provide you with a gentle soft background for lighter colors.

They tend to be good go betweens where your colors appear to clash. Some good examples of silvers blues and greys include; Santolina chamaecyparissus (cotton lavender), Stachys byzantina (lambs ear, lambs tongue) and Pelargonium Geranium (Pelargonium).

White and Cream Leaves

These variegated plants make excellent container gardening plants, because they are often lost in a garden. They can also introduce light into different areas. Examples include; Plectranthus (Plectranthus madagascariensis) “variegated Mintleaf”, Hosta (Hosta fortunei “Francee”, and Ornamental cabbage (Brassica oleracea) Capitata group.

Gold Foliage

There are various shades of yellow, ranging from deepest creams to the darkest yellows. The gold plants can create a cheerful mood in your container. They will let the sun shine into your design.

Some examples of gold foliage container gardening plants are; bamboo (Pleioblastus auricomus), Thyme, Creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia) “Aurea”, Ivy (Hedera helix) “Buttercup”, Phormium, and New Zealand flax.

Green Foliage

Green is a color on its own right, the closest color to nature. Most gardens are full of green, in different hues and textures. Shiny green leaves will reflect light into a design. Different shades of green and different types of leaf textures will add interest and beauty to your design.

These green foliage plants are very suitable for containers; Fatshedera x (Fatshedera lizei), Ostrich Fern “Matteuccia struthiopteris”, Cordiline (Cordiline australis), and Ladies Mantle (Alchemilla mollis).

Container Gardening Plants that Flower

Color Contrast Here are some container gardening plants with beautiful flowers. You may combine them with different foliage colors. For example; white flowers look good with the grey foliage.

White Flowers

Some container plants with white flowers are; Camellia “Alba Plena”, Crocus, Snakes-head fritillary (Fritillaria meleagris var. Alba), Daffodil, Narcissus Jorquil, Rhododendron, Azalea and Common white lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) “Alba”.

Yellow and Green Flowers

These flowers combined with orange blooms bring us warmth and brightness. Greens are often needed to tone bright colors down. Yellows appear wonderful with deep purple and violet flowers.

Some examples of yellow to green flowers; Crocus “Golden yellow”, Daffodil Narcissus “Rip van Winkle”, Azalea, Daylilly (Hembrocallis), Pansy Viola “Jackanapes”, and Nasturtium (Tropaeolam majus) “Whirly bird gold”.

Apricot and Orange Flowers

These flowers can combine well with green or grey foliage. Examples include; Verbena, Nasturtium, Viola, Pansy, and Marigold (Tagetes).

Red and Pink Flowers

Red flowers look great with cream and green foliage. Pinks and purples also go well together. Look at our color wheel for contrast in colors. Just blend your foliage and colors together.

Pink flowers will also do well with silver grey foliage. Here again use personal taste. Pale pink, mauve, creams, and pastel shades can do well with silver foliage. Dark purple tulips will add additional depth to your design.

Examples of container gardening plants with red and pink flowers are:

Reds: Scarlet trumpet honeysuckle (Lonicera x brownie) “dropmore scarlet”, Lobelia (Lobelia erinus), Pelargonium, Geranium (Pelargonium), Fuchsia (Fuchsia), Snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus) “Black Prince”, and Tulip (Tulipa) “Bing Crosby”.

Pink flowers include: Ranunculus, Pelargonium, Alyssum, Sweet pea “Lathyrus odoratus”, Petunia, and Cyclamen.

Mauve and Purple

Rhododendron Blue Chip Most mauve and purple flowers will mix well with other colors. Blue flowers, hints of green and some reds and pinks look great together. Examples of blue flowers will include; African lilly (Agapanthus), Rhododendron, Grape hyacinth (Muscari armeniacum), and Hydranga.

Mauve to purple flowering container gardening plants include; Primrose (Primila) “Miss Indigo”, Crocus, Lavender (Lavandulas), Sweet Pea, Viola (Viola) hybrid, and Purple Petunia.

Don’t forget to group your container gardening plants together according to there climatic and water requirements. A little bit of homework upfront will save you lots of time later and ensure you combine the plants correctly. Successful container garden design depends much on matching plant requirements, and on getting complementary plants together.




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