GARDENING: Designing your Container Gardens is as Easy as 1, 2, 3!

Gardening to me is very much an artistic endeavor. I think because I am an advertising art director by trade, and I usually don't get to fulfill my artistic inspiration (especially when clients are asking for logos to be bigger and colors changed to match their new living room couch). Gardening has been an amazing way to explore colors and textures with real, living things. It has been a great outlet for me. And I have really grown to enjoy container gardening.

Containers are more temporary, having to refresh and redo them yearly. It allows you to try and play with different textures, colors and themes and not be locked into a major investment like your property's garden beds. I have found them to be a lot of fun, from choosing the pots themselves to what goes in them. But I do follow a typical easy formula when at the plant store, and it practically rhymes so you can remember it too!

Here it is: Center, Filler, Trailer

Center: This part is a main attraction of sorts, with it's height or texture. It should  have some central prominence. I sometimes get some large, broad leaf plant or some spikes, pussy willows, tree/bush branches or grasses.

Filler: This is usually mid to low height plants, and I choose complementary colors to either the pot design and/or the center plant I chose. It could be some filigree greenery with small flowers, or plants with full tufts of flowers or seed pods, or greens and succulents. Make sure to not crowd these too much, they will need space to grow through the season, but you want a nice, full feeling around the base of the center plant.

Trailer: An important accent to the pot that adds some lushness to the pot itself, especially as the growing season is in full swing. There are many trailing vines and plants that can accent your color scheme or the height/color of your pot. Some may have delicate flowers, others may have colored leaves. There are even some succulents that trail. Pick the right length, texture and color that works for you. Ivy is a traditional English Victorian look while sweet potato vines can accent a variety of red and purple and lavender schemes. The options are endless.

When at the store, I typically grab my options for the pot and stage them together in a grouping to see how they fit and look. It will give you a sense of space, show you if you need more, and if the colors and textures will work well together. Also, if grouping container pots together, it is good for the pots themselves to have different heights and girth to add some energy to the yard. Just make sure the color schemes in each mini-garden work well as a group as well.

Enjoy the wonderful world of container gardening. It is loads of fun!



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