Container gardens are where the fun is at
If you don’t already garden in containers, I think you should. Let me quickly persuade you with these reasons:
- A sturdy, good-sized container, some potting mix and some interesting plants is usually a smaller investment than a full in-ground garden.
- You only need to worry about 1 or 2 square feet of space versus an entire garden.
- You can change the plants and the entire theme of the planter each growing season.
Container gardening can jumpstart your green thumb. And then, like most gardeners I know, you’ll probably catch the container gardening bug and every year will bring a new challenge to outdo what you did last year.
That’s how it goes for me, anyhow. I spent a lot of time designing, planting and maintaining container gardens for customers in my landscaping days. And then, of course, for the years I spent living in apartments it was the only way to garden. Now, it’s a regular part of my garden regime. (You could even call me an award-winning container gardener...)
Do you have a process for designing and planting your containers? I planted up my entryway containers the other day. Here’s a look at my process. Join me!
What’s my color scheme?
I started my design process with the color scheme. My home is red brick with a touch of a purple undertone here and there. My color scheme was pretty much determined months ago — just something a gardener dreams about in the bleak winter months. I’m glad, too, because I ended up shopping for these plants mad-dash style, as one does when shopping in the midst of a pandemic.
- Blush pinks and cream soften the look of my home and add a touch of class.
- Deep purples and pinks echo the purple undertones in the brick.
- Bright chartreuse and blue contrast the red brick and add brightness.
I grabbed anything in this color scheme that caught my eye.
Any particular theme or texture?
I didn’t bother determining which plants would go together or which containers they would get planted in while I was shopping. Instead, I simply sprung for a good mix of thrillers, fillers and spillers.
I like to dip by toes in the cottage-garden style, so flowering tobacco (Nicotiana alata) and daisy-shaped cape daisy (Osteospurnum hybrid) help fill that bill. But even more important than following a certain theme is making sure there is a heavy dose of texture. I saw this bronze sedge grass (Carex) and pink gaura (Gaura lindheimeri) and knew I wanted to play it up. Look at how those star-shaped flowers dance around the slender, arching leaves of the sedge! I grabbed some more plants with small leaves and plants with big bold flowers for contrast.
Framing my small entryway
I planted a large container and a medium container that nestle into the little bit of extra space on my stairway, leaving enough room for us to be able to open the door wide and enter. If I could place containers on either side of the door for balance, I would. But I came up with this solution instead...
A shepherd’s hook and a hanging basket
To the right of my front door is a garden bed with one small shrub and one large shrub. I stuck a shepherd’s hook in front of the small shrub and hung a hanging basket with coordinating plants. It balances out the two sizes of shrubs, and it frames my front door with another container. Double-duty!
What are your entryway containers looking like this year? We love to be inspired by seeing other gardeners create interesting container combinations. Post a photo to social media with the hashtag #MyContainerGardenVUG to share with us!
Check out my previous post here.