By Keri Byrum
A great container garden lasts throughout the season and gets better with age. It should change and fill in as plants grow and begin to meld. Follow these tips for your best containers yet.
Strong colors. It is hard to miss a container garden filled with bright colors — it catches your eye each time you walk by. You can’t miss the combination of intense violet and orange in this container of Sunpatiens New Guinea impatiens. They can grow in sun or shade, and the blend of the two colors creates a perfect umbrella that is sure to be a success.
Stately plants. Some plants don’t need any companions to make great containers. In my garden I don’t want to cover up any of the structure of this beautiful bromeliad. Look for plants that have great form and catch your eye all by themselves. For greatest, impact buy the largest plant available.
Color contrast. Combining contrasting colors accentuates each plant’s hue. I look for a plant with the richest color, such as this ‘Red Ruffles’ caladium, then add in a strong color on the opposite side of the color wheel such as this ‘Electric Lime’ coleus. While each looks nice on its own, they look better paired. I added the verbena ‘Lollipop’, so the light-purple flowers would grow up and around the other plants; as well as the tailing ‘Burgundy Wedding Train’ coleus to pull the container together.
Watering. No matter which plant combination you choose, regular watering keeps your plants growing their best. Consider adding drip irrigation to your container gardens to water efficiently and consistently. You can easily tuck in small stakes among plants and connect them to an irrigation system or from a hose bib.
Show your style with a container garden that leaves the neighbors jealous. Use these tips to create a bold, low-maintenance planting you will love. Your best containers are just waiting to be planted!