Decorating With Pots: Clean and Contemporary

The modern look is a byword for sharp angular shapes and minimalism, using architectural plants, especially evergreens, to highlight the style. Geometry is in; overblown romantic gestures and clutter are out.

Excerpted from Simple Steps: Containers for Patios
Blocks of Glass Create Repeating Contemporary Look DK - Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Blocks of Grass

Eye-catching repeat planting works well with contemporary pots, such as these dark red acrylic blocks. Tactile, arching grasses spray out. Low-key planting around the bases of the pots doubles as a horticultural carpet, adding color and texture.

Black Stemmed Bamboo Good Choice for Metal Pot DK - Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Black and Shiny

The tall, black-stemmed bamboo Phyllostachys nigra is an excellent choice for a contemporary container. The new growth is dark green but turns shiny black within one or two seasons. When the stems become congested, repot in a larger container.

French Lavender in Metal Urn DK - Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Summer Scents

Traditional cottage garden herbs, such as French lavender (Lavandula stoechas), have their place in a modern scheme, especially when planted in contemporary containers, such as this metallic pot. When selecting alternative herbs for large containers, make sure that they will provide plenty of growth and height: for example, sorrel (Rumex acetosa) grows to 4 ft (1.2 m) high, hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis), with its aromatic dark green leaves, grows to 32 in (80 cm) high, and sweet Cicely (Myrrhis odorata), which has small white flowers from spring to early summer, can reach a height of 3 ft (90 cm).

Wooden Pathway Intersects Modern Garden Setting DK - Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Step by Step

Low-lying raised beds and a wooden walkway work well against the backdrop of ladderlike verticals.

Excerpted from Simple Steps: Containers for Patios

©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007

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