Container Garden Arrangements: Container Gardening Ideas And More
By: Liz Baessler
Container gardens are a great idea if you don’t have the space for a traditional garden. Even if you do, they’re a good addition to a patio or along a walkway. They also make it easier to change your arrangements with the seasons, add the extra interest and color of containers, and raise plants up closer to eye level, making them more eye catching.
Keep reading to learn how to plant a container garden.
Container Garden Arrangements
Container gardening ideas abound. Nothing says each container has to contain only one plant and, in fact, placing a few kinds of plants in the same container can make for a really attractive arrangement.
A good mix involves three heights of plants: a single tall attention-grabbing variety surrounded by few shorter varieties to fill out the low space and add color and texture, with a hanging variety planted around the edges to drape over the side of the container – oftentimes referred to as the thriller, filler, spiller.
When using multiple plants in the same container, it’s important to consider which direction it will be viewed from. Place your taller plants in the “back” of the container, with progressively shorter plants as you near the “front.” This is a good rule to consider for the overall look of your containers. Also, place smaller containers with smaller plants toward the front, where they can be seen.
Make sure the plants you put in the same container have similar growing conditions and habits. This means pairing plants that have the same watering and sunlight requirements, and that are going to grow at the same rate. Otherwise, one plant may flourish while the others languish.
Additional Container Gardening How To
Cohesiveness is a big consideration in container garden arrangements. Try to include a uniting element, such as a recurring container or flower color.
Similarly, container garden placement is important. Lots of mature plants arranged together run the risk of looking thrown together. Plant smaller plants in large, arranged containers to allow them to grow naturally into a cohesive scene.
This article was last updated on
Read more about Container Gardens
Arranging Container Gardens January 2, 2014
Large sized containers make a dramatic statement in the garden, but they aren’t always practical or proportionate to the scale of the garden. In many cases I prefer to use multiple mid-sized and small containers in a grouping. Clustered containers offer the same visual impact as large pots, but they are more manageable for my aging back and I can transform the look by simply switching a few out.
It’s true that clustering containers is a bit of a no brainer, but my best combinations are those that I put a little thought into. Here are some tips to keep in my as you design your container gardens.
Start with the right containers. Containers are available in every size, shape and color. When making your selection, keep in mind the area where they will be displayed. Choose planters that complement the colors and style in the setting. For instance, bright orange terra-cotta pots may clash with a red brick house, but a gray concrete container would be more harmonious. While an array of pot styles may be what you have on hand, containers in similar colors help the collection appear more unified.
Number and size does matter. You don’t have to cover the entire area with plants to make it inviting. A pair of stately pots at an entrance may be all you need. For groupings, I like to cluster containers in odd numbers such as 3, 5 or 7. And instead of using the same dimensions for all the pots, mix up the sizes with containers that vary in diameters and heights. One of the most common mistakes is to undersize the containers. Make sure your pots are the right scale for where you intend to use them. Three 6-inch pots on a large front porch will go unnoticed and won’t make much impact.
Set the stage. Use clustered containers as design elements around your home. Next to steps, they can signal a change in elevation. Around entrances, they serve as accents to draw visitors into a garden or onto a deck. They can dress up bare walls, conceal unsightly views or soften empty corners. Placed rhythmically through a flower border or along the edge of a pool or patio, they offer a sense of cadence to your garden design. You can create a tiered arrangement by placing your container gardens on top of overturned pots. The varying heights will add more dimension to the display. Just be sure the pots you use for platforms are sturdy.
Select the plants. As you choose flowers and foliage to arrange in the containers keep in mind that some plants, such as small trees, shrubs, and perennials have deep roots that require tall containers to accommodate their root mass. Annuals, on the other hand, often have fairly shallow roots and can thrive in low-profile containers. So make the right match. Notice the light conditions in the area. Choose plants that are designed to grow best in those settings.
Color Combinations. Avoid creating a “botanical zoo” by assembling lots of individual specimens that don’t go together. Too many shades and shapes will appear chaotic and cluttered. It is more effective to repeat a color or plant in the group to tie the composition together. Choose a color theme that works with the setting and stick with it. If the grouping is close to a garden, create color echoes in your container design. Keep in mind the color of the background behind the containers. White blooms in front of a white house won’t show up. Use dark foliage and bright flowers against a light-colored house, and use light foliage and pastel flowers against a dark house for maximum impact.
Before you plant, make sure your containers have unobstructed drainage holes in the bottom. Use a drill to make new holes (use a masonry bit) or expand existing or clogged ones. To keep soil from shifting out the holes, place a small piece of window screen, coffee filter, or broken pot shards over them. This will keep the soil in and still allow the water to drain out. Protect surfaces by placing a saucer under each container.
Make it easy on yourself – Maintenance Ideas
- Assemble your containers within reach of a hose. If they are in a sunny location, you’ll need to water once a day during the hottest summer months. Also remember to protect the area under the containers with saucers.
- Save your back and plant your pots in the location where they will be displayed.
- Use a packaged soil mix designed for containers. Check the label for ingredients. The best have lime to balance the pH, controlled-release fertilizer and water retaining polymers. If these aren’t part of the mix, you can buy them separately and add to the soil.
- Mulch the top of the containers with shredded bark, gravel, or even small pinecones. They dress up the tops of the pots and also reduce moisture loss.
- When you select several different types of plants for one pot, make sure they all have the same sun and water requirements.
- No time to water? Investigate self watering containers with built in water reservoirs or drip irrigation systems with emitters that water each container automatically when connected to a faucet with a timer
- Check the plants regularly to nip problems in the bud early on. If a plant or container isn’t performing or seems to be harboring pests or disease, remove it immediately.
30+ Awesome Container Garden Flowers Ideas For Beginner
When a flower arrangement is completed by a florist,there is always the creative placement of taller blooms in your arrangement in one area while shorter blooms are placed elsewhere. This gives your bouquet that pleasing eye look and comfortable feeling. I concluded you could perform the same creative work with your container gardening flowers.
Why use just one size pot? Why not entertain the idea of using variable size pots in your flower containers. This will give your guests or friends a tremendous visual impact. The use of props hanging around your garage or garden will increase the visual concept of your container. I took the following steps in my garden by placing a tall container on a stump with a smaller container by its side and with the use of an old hand water pump placed behind the two giving a depth to the arrangements. I also placed a container or pot in front of the stump mixed with other flowers already planted in this garden. This resulted in a real visual and beautiful arrangement.
What You Can Grow in a Container Garden
Container gardening is a compact way of producing an adequate harvest. Many people don’t container garden because they don’t realize what options they even have for it. Here is what you can grow in your container garden:
- Green beans
- Certain corn varieties
- Dwarf fruit trees
If you are new to gardening altogether, growing something like herbs or lettuce would be a good place to start.
However, if you’ve been growing vegetables or fruits for a while, you might want to advance to growing your own peppers and tomatoes too.
Using Quality Potting Soil
High-quality potting soil is important for vegetables. Don't use soil from your garden, because it will compact in the containers and won't drain water properly. Also, one of the reasons to garden in containers is largely to avoid dealing with weeds and soil-borne diseases. But if you use garden soil, you might be importing problems into your containers.
Plant Good NeighborsThe Spruce / Gyscha Rendy
" data-caption="" data-expand="300" data-tracking-container="true" />
When you are choosing plants for your container make sure that they will play well together. This means that all the plants in one pot should all require the same amount of light and moisture. If you combine plants with different needs, some of them will not thrive. So, for example, if you have a plant that requires full sun, you want all the plants you choose for that pot to also require full sun. If you have a plant that likes to dry out between waterings, you don't want to put it in a pot with plants that like it wet.
To find out what a plant requires, either check the plant tag or if there isn't one, ask a salesperson. If all else fails, try to look it up on the internet.
How to Set up a Small Garden Bed
Perhaps, one of the most challenging garden beds to start are the gardens which go in the ground. They are the traditional style garden, but they are larger (even the small versions) and require extra preparation. Here is what you need to know:
1. Beat the Grass Down
The first step to preparing your garden bed is to get rid of the grass. The best way I’ve found to do this is to put your weed eater to work.
From there, you beat the grass down to the dirt as much as possible. This should give you a base to start with.
However, you’ll need to complete the steps to follow because keeping the grass from coming back is vital to a healthy and weed free garden.
2. Prepare the Land
When you have beat the garden space down to rid it of grass, you have one of two choices (and they will depend upon what time of year you are preparing your garden.)
First, if you are developing your garden in the fall, use your tiller to till up the soil. You will leave the ground alone all winter. The cold temperatures will kill the grass off.
However, if you are a little late in prepping your garden, you need to first till your ground. From there, you can place newspaper over the ground to deter the grass from returning.
Also, if the days are hot enough, you could cover the ground with plastic and allow it to sit for a couple of weeks. This should kill off any remaining grass and deter any of it from returning.
Once you feel confident you have beaten the grass, you are ready to move on.
3. Work in the Good Material
When you are getting close to time to plant, work organic matter into your soil. It is also a good idea to test your soil to see what vital nutrients may be missing.
This will help you to build your soil and give your plants the best start possible. When your dirt is ready, you’ve prepared a space for a fully functional garden.
4. Add a Border
This final step is optional, but some people prefer to add a border to their garden or fence it. It will help to deter pests in the future.
Depending upon border size, it could deter small things like bugs if you go with a simple outline around your garden. It could also discourage larger pests such as deer if you go with a full fence around your yard.
Again, this is an optional step, but one which can be helpful.