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Container Garden Designs... What's Best For You?

by Scott Gray of

Garden containers can be a simple and effective way in which to spruce up your yard. Add trees, flowers, herbs, different contours, shapes, colors, and themes. There are literally hundreds of garden container designs to select from. It's possible to convert a bare and uninspiring patch of ground or concrete into any sort of garden or lush tropical jungle that you fancy.

Container gardening allows gardeners the luxury of owning plants that may be otherwise be unsuited for the soil or weather, or both. Read on for some great ideas to consider when selecting containers for your garden.

Adding plants to non-plant friendly areas.

One of the biggest advantages to container gardening is the fact that you can add plant life to parts of the yard that cannot be planted in. Examples of this would include paved courtyards, tiled entryways, decks, pool edges, and garden beds that are so rock solid you can't get the shovel in the dirt. These parts of the yard can benefit enormously from potted plants.

When adding statements to areas like this take a step back and think about what sort of look you want to achieve. Are you after a cottage garden appearance? Do you want to create a jungle or a tropical paradise? Perhaps you want an Asian influence or a modern look?

After you have determined what sort of theme you are after it is time to consider the containers. Try and keep the containers in line with your wish list.

If you are unsure about what is going to look great try browsing through some magazines or websites until you see what you like most. Is it the container you admire, the plant, or both?


Are you wanting a formal look, eclectic, or lush tropical appearance? Concrete planters can be an excellent choice for those seeking formal or well established looking gardens. Fiberglass garden planters are ideal for those gardeners who like the look of concrete, but would prefer their pots to weigh a little less. Earthy terracotta pots can add visual warmth to a garden and can give a Mediterranean feel to any location.


Color can be added to your yard through 2 ways. Firstly, with colored containers, and secondly with flowering plants, or foliage with interesting colors, or color that changes with the seasons.

If your containers can be seen from the house it can be a great idea to try and co-ordinate with a color theme that blends, and at the very least does not clash. Neutral colored containers are a great background for a veritable visual display of brightly colored flowers.

Beware of selecting very dark colors, or black pots, if you live in a hot climate, as these pots will become a lot hotter than paler colored pots and may well bake and destroy the roots of your plants.


If you are looking at containers for a tiny courtyard you will be requiring something vastly different to the person looking for containers to run along a driveway. The size of the area is a great guide for pot size. A smaller area cannot normally carry huge pots, and a vast area will lose a tiny pot.

The other important factor to balance is what you are planning on putting in your container. A cluster of annuals will require a vastly different home to a giant palm tree.

As a generalization, the pot should be able to provide the plant with room for the roots to grow. A tiny plant in an enormous pot is going to be lost and look just as ridiculous as a tree towering in a tiny container.

Care should be taken to not overwhelm a smaller space with too many pots, or too much clutter.

Some gardeners prefer to keep their pots looking similar and mix up the plants while others prefer to keep a similar theme running through the plants and then use a variety of pots.


Your choice of a planter can be even more important than what you place in it. Are you looking for wooden barrels for a rustic look? Aged terracotta for an older feel? Decorated concrete for a more formal or sophisticated appearance? Very ornate pots can often be used as stand alone items when planted and displayed appropriately.


What are you wanting to draw attention to, or away from? Clusters of pots can look fantastic when grouped together in corners. Evenly spaced containers are great for geometrically shaped gardens, formal displays, and for edging paths and drives.


Container gardens can be as simple or complicated as you wish. Casual, rustic, modern or elegant are all styles that garden containers are available in. The pot, the plant, and a solo or group setting, will all impact heavily on the end result.

About the author:  Scott Gray is a garden enthusiast who loves to relax taking care of his garden. For more information about container gardening ideas and teak planters be sure to visit his site

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