|Pots can be used as decorative elements in their own right, such as this planter from Rock & Stone.|
Pots are a great decorating tool … and they don’t always have to be used to hold plants
Growing plants in pots gives you a means of having foliage and flowers in the smallest of spaces. Just as importantly, the pots can form part of an outdoor decorating scheme, adding accents of color and form. Pots can be used as features in their own right and act as focal points; they can be integrated into the background of a garden design or you can go a step further and use them for another purpose altogether, such as a water feature.
If using your pot in the traditional way (as a home for plants), be sure the color of the pot contrasts yet complements the color of the foliage or flowers. Try picking an accent color from the plant and use that. If you have a highly ornamental plant, opt for an unpatterned pot so it doesn’t compete for attention. And don’t forget the pot needs to be in proportion to the plant.
Plethora of pots and planters
There is no shortage of materials to choose between. There is cast concrete, terrazzo (a concrete product ground and polished to expose the colored aggregate), GRC (glassreinforced concrete), stone, plastic, poly-fiber, ceramic and metal. Terracotta is a traditional and timeless choice. You just need to seal the interior to prevent water loss. Glazed ceramic pots come in many shapes, colors and textures, so you can mix and match to your heart’s content. For a pot that will last and last, consider concrete. Cast-concrete pots can be painted in the color of your choice.
When choosing a pot, there are many practical considerations, ranging from the eventual size of the plant that will be going into the container to issues of weight and manuevrability. And it should go without saying that a pot must be waterproof.
|The glazed ceramic Jarres a huile pot |
from Rock & Stone is ideal for
a European-themed garden.
Pots can play a useful role in defining or accenting an outdoor design so their placement is critical. You can place them at entrances, the start of a pathway or in a previously drab and uninteresting corner. For a focal point, place a single pot against a feature wall or to divide a space or create a privacy screen, try a row or large pots with tall plants. When grouping pots, do so in uneven numbers and don’t combine too many different colors or shapes.]
For permanent plantings, choose plants with a long flowering period (fuchsia, kalanchoe, pelargonium/geranium, impatiens, cymbidium orchid etc). Some garden plants, such as gardenias, will actually flower for longer periods in a pot placed in the right position than theydo in the garden. There are also many hardy architectural plants (cordyline, flax, yucca, dracaena and agave), that look amazing year round in a pot as they don’t rely on flowers to make an impact. Just remember, when placing your pot, it needs to be in a spot that meets the plant’s sunlight requirements.