Container Gardening: Vessels with Variety

By Derron Schronce, DSBG Horticulture Staff Member

Pots and containers these days range from standard garden terra cotta to glazed, metal, hypertufa, stone, ceramic, and come in a myriad of colors, textures, finishes, shapes and sizes. Allowing your plant material to be as varied as the vessel is a fantastic way to break out of the mundane with a fresh approach, enhancing your garden’s mood and style. Think houseplants, dwarf shrubs, small conifers and ornamental trees used in combination or as single specimens. Mixed plantings comprised of perennials and annuals lend an element of flexibility and intrigue. Grasses, agaves, succulents, vines, all add structural creativity and flair. It may prove wise to limit the number of plants situated in a single container, considering size and spacing of the plants at maturity. A vessel with several plants will make as splendid a display as one crowded with five plants or more. One key tip is to design your container with plants that share the same water and light requirements. Not just for the porch and patio, take the next step by placing pots and containers directly into beds and borders, adding depth and dimension to your garden.

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Debra Plosky