Monday, June 18, 2012
The advantage of patio pots is I can change them every year. So much of my yard is perennials, and I actually like making new gardens better than I like gardening, so mixed pots give me that creative outlet.
The first thing to consider is form, I generally plant one tall thing, one or two draping things, and then the rest to fill in.
I think texture, scale, and shape are important, so I try to have some different kinds of foliage texture and shape, like long blade like leaves from spike or an ornamental grass, bigger leaves such as sweet potato vine, and some finer textures like asparagus fern.
Flowers are actually the last thing I think of. I created unity among my pots by using dark red and purple snap dragons in all of the pots. Each pot has one different kind of dark red or purple flower that's a focal point, and several of the pots have peach colored petunias as filler. I didn't really pick the flower color scheme this year because I got a purple, scarlet, and peach mixed pot as a gift, so I just made the rest go with that. But I use purple and peach a lot, so it's no hardship. The flowers match the foliage and coleus too.
I have two lovely cobalt blue planters and would love several more in different sizes and shapes, but until I can afford that I make due with a few big terra cotta pots too. I just can't afford to go too crazy with the pots, but whimsical interesting containers are half of the fun. Fine Gardening magazine has lot's of fun ideas in this regard.
Finally, this year most of my pots have different scented geraniums, don't forget scent and feel too. I often will put Rosemary as the vertical element, mint, fuzzy plants, etc. The planters are in high traffic areas and are easy to touch and smell. Herbs do great in mixed pots.