Container design

Even a single container can have an impact on the design of your landscape.

Pots come in all sizes, shapes and colors. You can use them to create a garden, accent a garden or become the focal point of a garden. Use them to add flavor to your garden and give it personality.

If you have a small area like a patio or balcony, you can build a wall of pots or set them at different levels to create a vertical garden or to make a decorative statement in a limited space. Containers can be all of one size or style or can be assorted. You can even make a wide pan into a small goldfish pond with a water plant or two.

Use pots to add excitement to the top of a pillar or plain wall in the garden or even on an outdoor stairway. Posting cement containers on the edge of stairs or balconies can help define an edge. Or plant them with hanging plants to spice them up with living curtains. Hang them along the upper edge of a patio cover or to decorate a plain fence.

In a courtyard or larger garden a big, bold, handsome ceramic urn or metal tub can grow a small tree or remain empty as a statement to define space. Rows of bowls can form edgings or warn of steps. Or place a decorative basket in the curve of a garden stepping stone pathway or as a surprise when you turn a corner. A pair of matched containers make handsome sentries on either side of an entryway.

These are just some ideas of ways to use pots in the garden.  Think about the kind of look you want. There are formal looking vessels that can make your garden into a Tuscan delight or create a glossy, contemporary look. Terracotta containers are handy to accent a Mexican or Southwest theme. Or carved stone can be used for a rustic and natural theme.

Other containers can also be used to create interesting effects. Those that cannot safely hold soil and water can be lined with plastic or inset with plain plastic pots. Half wine barrels make great planters or can even become small goldfish ponds or container water gardens. Aluminum tubs or large watering cans can be planted for a stylish metallic look. Or get creative by planting a rusting wheelbarrow, an old horse trough or pop a cactus into a soil-filled old boot. Recycle old sinks, washing tubs or fountain bowls as plant containers. Or plant up a tire cut in half or use an old utility wire spool as a combination planter and table. Use your imagination. Almost anything that can contain soil can be given drainage holes and planted for a focal point or a conversation piece as a container.  Have fun and add pots and other containers to your landscape to spice up your garden!