Container Garden Drama


Tips for making your planters pop with color and contrast.

What could be more versatile than container gardens? No matter where you live –a cozy apartment or a vast estate – these self-contained gardens create visual drama and interest. Use them as a focal point or an accent; solo or in a group; at ground level, table top, or hanging. Best of all, once the planting is done, their only maintenance needed is watering.

Start with the Container
The container sets the stage for your container garden. It can be ornate and just as stunning as the plants it holds, or provide a minimalist backdrop that lets the spotlight shine on the starring foliage and blooms.

The Actors
When selecting plants for your planter, consider the three roles of your plants: thrillers, fillers, and spillers. The thrillers make a statement by standing tall. Spillers cascade over the container’s edge. Fillers add dimension and fill the spaces between the two, typically spreading horizontally.

You might let a single plant take center stage. Choose one with a striking form such as ornamental grass, bamboo, or caladium. Your star owns the stage. This works especially well when there is a high contrast between the color of the plant and that of the container. Imagine the chartreuse green of sweet-potato vine draping over the edges of an urn of deep magenta.

Vary leaf size and texture to add visual interest. Waxy, shiny, prickly, velvety –you’ve got lots to choose from. Mix it up with coarse- and fine-textured foliage. Each stands out more when there is variety.

Colors with high contrast buzz with energy; try orange with purple or yellow with blue. These take-notice combinations electrify!

For a more relaxed mood, go monochromatic. A combination of reds and pinks, combine whites with silvers, or use a spectrum of green.

You can try new plant and color combinations each year. Better yet, extend your container gardening into autumn. Refresh your planters with fall bloomers like mums and asters. After the frost hits, arrange dried grasses, seedpods, and gourds in your planters. For the holidays, you can easily change them out to pine and holly branches for a festive touch.

Container gardening is an easy way to create drama around your home. Once you get going you might find you’d like to do more projects to make your outdoor (or indoor!) living space more enjoyable. For bigger projects be sure to check out a Consumers Home Equity Line of Credit. With competitive rates and terms, you’ll be enjoying your improvements sooner rather than later.


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  1. Valerie Ward says:

    Love Wedel’s nursery and love lots flowers especially in pots and containers, seems alot less weeding that way exempt around our waterfall garden.

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