Pot Luck: Make Great Garden Design With Clever Container Choices

Create a consistent look by mixing up or using matchy-matchy container styles.
By: DK Books - Grow Plants in Pots
Variety of Contemporary Galvanized Containers

Variety of Contemporary Galvanized Containers

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Galvanized containers come in a variety of heights and widths and work in this contemporary space as raised containers for vegetables and herbs that include chives, peppers, leeks, strawberries and tomatoes.

Combining pots and plants to create a balanced display is often a case of trial and error. Those with less experience may find it easier to opt for a collection of containers made from the same material, which will make a harmonious design for a formal or modern garden. A random group of pots in a variety of shapes, sizes and materials is ideal for an English-style garden or informal space. Either set your pots out in height order in a formal fashion or in a looser way to produce a more relaxed display.

Matching Materials

A uniform group of plants growing in pots made from the same material can be a highly effective way of creating a focal point on a patio or terrace. For contemporary gardens, choose containers in colors and a design or finish that echoes your interior decoration to create a seamless flow from inside to out, or throw caution to the wind and use pots that contrast with your decor to create colorful punctuation points. 

Give a sense of unity to your design by placing similar containers throughout your space to help draw the eye from one part of the garden to another. Alternatively, set identical plants and containers in a row to divide or enclose a patio or to frame a feature or gateway. Tall, elegant containers work well in this context and ensure the materials complement your garden style.

Mixing Shapes and Sizes

Groups of containers made from different materials and in different shapes and sizes are ideal for a relaxed flower-filled space where a natural look is required. Add movement, scale and a sense of perspective by grouping planters by height or raise your game and create a collection on a table, bench or even an old ladder, using the rungs as a theater to show off the plants. Mixed pots tend to look unbalanced when arranged in a row, so try a more staggered display instead. Also include a few similar elements to unify your collection, such as pot and plant colors, foliage shapes or a pebble mulch.

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