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Tips for perfect patio pairings

By: Garden Gate staff
It’s simple garden math: One garden bench plus one container equals a cool custom look.

c-cozy-bench-1: Photo of bench courtesy of Gardener's Supply Co.

A bench is a prerequisite for a fashionable and comfortable garden. First, it’s a classic focal point at the end of a path or against a wall. And benches, of course, are utilitarian—offering a stylish spot to rest and ponder the beauty of the garden. Pairing a bench with a container (maybe two!) is an easy combination of two beautiful elements. A well-placed container offers the person seated a chance to enjoy plants from up close.

Read ahead for a few things to consider.


Add fragrance

Plants like lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) and jasmine (Jasminum polyanthum) allow bench participants a little something extra as they admire the view: sweet scents.

Consider winged visitors

Containers with monarch-magnet flowers, such as butterfly bush (Buddleja davidii) and tall sedum (Sedum hybrids) or the petunia (Petunia hybrids) and verbena (Verbena hybrids) in the photo above, allow visitors a front-row seat for nectar-sipping winged wonders.

While planting for pollinators is always a good thing, avoid using bee-attracting flowers, such as bee balm (Monarda didyma) or catmint (Nepeta spp. and hybrids), in close proximity to seating.


Pair pillows and plants

Coordinate deep-seated cushions with flowers and foliage in the same colors; for example, chartreuse pillows and ‘Wasabi’ coleus (Solenostemon hybrids), or the white pillow and New Guinea impatiens (Impatiens hawkeri) here.

Avoid overachievers

Aggressive or thorny trailers, such as morning glory (Ipomoea purpurea) or climbing rose (Rosa hybrids), may encroach upon seating areas or flow over into pathways. Leave them out of the pots near a bench.

Published: Feb. 28, 2018

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