Saturday, November 26, 2011
Back to Basics: Design a Great Container
First the basics. You’ll need a pot with drainage holes to shed excess water, otherwise the roots will rot and the plants will die. Buy a good, all-purpose potting mix—one with fertilizer granules mixed in to save time. Choose a container that complements the style of your home. For example, a classic iron urn looks great with a Victorian home, while a tall, contemporary glazed pot can enhance sleek architectural lines.
What works well here: the plants offer leaves with contrasting shapes and textures—broad and pointy, oval, and long and slender. There’s a limited color palette—green, rose, white and golden-yellow. (Adding a few orange or pale blue flowers would surely take away from this put-together ensemble.) The container’s color and shape are neutral. And, perhaps most important, all of the plants prefer the same type of culture—light shade, good drainage and occasional watering with a liquid-soluble fertilizer.
Use the same formula to create a full-sun planter with some red fountain grass, dragonwing begonias and sweet potato vines—a thriller, spiller and filler. Or, for a contemporary look, plant a monopot using only begonias or petunias or calibrachoa. The possibilities are endless. On your next visit to the garden center, pick up a pot, some plants and start designing in your cart. Becoming a garden artist was never easier.