By Jodi Torpey
One of the joys of summer is simply sitting back to enjoy it. Whether you have a small patio you use as a quiet meditative spot, or a large deck for entertaining crowds, you can plant a colorful container garden to help set the mood.
The key is to create harmony and balance by matching the colors of the plants, flowers, and containers to their intended purposes. Even if you’ve never planted a container before, these tips will make it easy to get started.
It doesn’t make a difference if you start with the container or the plants; what matters most is color. If you want to add heat and energy to your surroundings, select vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows for your containers and flowers. If you’d like to create a cool, calm environment, select blues, purples, and pinks.
To get the most impact from your patio garden, arrange the containers in groups. Select containers in different sizes, shapes, textures, and heights to add interest.
A typical mixed container includes a variety of plants, flowers, and foliage. Place one tall, upright plant in the center of the pot; add three to five mounding or filler plants; and three to five plants with a trailing habit around the container edge.
Start by selecting the color you’d like to highlight; choose several varieties of flowering plants in lighter and darker variations of that same color; then mix in plants that have interesting foliage.
Feel free to experiment with unusual combinations by mixing your containers with flowers and herbs for something a little different.
Keep your containers looking their best by using a slow-release fertilizer at planting, or by applying a liquid fertilizer every other week through the summer.
I’d love to hear about your favorite container combinations. Please add your ideas here.
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