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Landscape Pots – Landscape Containers

One common form of container design consists of an accent plant surrounded by smaller, less dramatic vegetation.
One common form of container design consists of an accent plant surrounded by smaller, less dramatic vegetation. Bold colors and unique texture can also make this element pop out from its surroundings.

The utilization of landscape pots and landscape containers plays a role in the history of landscape architecture, and it continues been seen in many designs today. What may come off as a common and banal subject, landscape containers have the potential to provide aesthetic beauty and substantial benefits to the landscape as well as the buyer. Overall, these containers are low maintenance and have are less likely to become contaminated with disease. Plant materials for landscape pots  have become more versatile over the past century, and there is always opportunity to adapt to your own personal style.

This generation of design permits a wider range of available containers that can be used to store vegetation in comparison to early container design. Early container design, which may use concrete or wood materials remain to be a popular trend; however, some have experimented by creating their own containers, using nontraditional material. It is not uncommon to see synthetic materials used for planters, and it is becoming more common to find containers that are LEED certified. This opens doors for more eco-friendly options and an increase in personalization for buyers. I am personally drawn in the modernist planter designs. The simple geometric planter design combined with complex planting design can form harmonious balance and catch the eyes of visitors due to its contradictory shape in nature.

Vegetation selection is all up to the owner, but it is best to use a larger container to hold the plantings. This will allow room for the plants to grow and to prevent growing competition. Typically planting a large accent plant in the center of the planter and surrounding it with smaller vegetation is common for basic plantings; however, the use of planters is growing to the extent that users are now trying to create small edible gardens.

Edible gardens are growing in popularity, and utilizing planted containers can minimize the labor needed in order to keep up with its growing products. These planters also create learning opportunities for the younger population who are beginning to learn basic gardening skills. Smaller grown vegetables and herbs are excellent to grow in this type of planting condition.

My original thoughts and knowledge on landscape pots agreed with the majority of the population: I thought they were just a quick way to plant a few flowers without making a mess in your yard. After exploring this small element of design, I quickly realized the overwhelming potential of containers, especially with the upcoming trends that are travelling through the field of landscape architecture. People of all ages can use containers, whether it is an elderly couple who want to reduce their large scale garden into a smaller scale or even a child who is learning to create her own garden for the first time.

Planting containers are extremely versatile, providing opportunities in all types of design. They can create barriers for oncoming traffic in a bustling city, but they can also dress up the front façade of a small suburban home. They can be used to grow herbs and spices for your next meal, or they help teach your child the responsibilities of watering and managing a small garden despite living in an urban setting. Regardless of its usage, planting containers clearly demonstrate its significance in landscape design.

Landscape Containers – Pots & Urns for Outdoor Living Spaces

landscape container bethlehem
landscape containers

Landscape Containers an architectural object added to the space. Don’t skimp of the size or character of the container even though the plants may flow and cover much of it. The container itself sets the tone for the quality of what will be installed. I prefer containers made from clay, wood or metals. The quality of these materials is worth the extra price. But, there are situations where those materials make a container far too heavy to be practical for some locations. Plastic containers have come a long way and certainly have a place. They are easier to more in and out at either end of a season and for that matter can stay out all winter long. They are also better for rooftop gardens where weight may become an issue.

The design principles for Landscape Containers are similar to other landscape planting design paradigms. Think in layers in order to create varied interest and character. Use the tallest plant material in the middle if the pot is viewed from all sides or the back if it is viewed only from one side. This is the ‘Anchor’ of the container, the central features, and the show piece. I like to use variegated Canna lilies, Pennisetum rubrum or my favorite is Caladiums (elephant ears).  The mid-section can be thought of as the ‘Fill’. Here you want to pick one to three plants types that will grow to layer in front of the anchor plants ‘legs’. Coleus is my favorite colorful fill plant for those playful and lively pots. Geraniums, dahlias, cuphea, or Persian shield work well for the fill layer and may be a little more toned down and elegant than the playful coleus. The perimeter layer is the ‘Spill’ or ‘Drapes’. This is the layer of plants that flow over the edge of the pot. Some may flow to the ground and run out from there. Ipomoea is a great vine like plant for this approach. Its leaves are heavily cut and provide great texture contrasts. There are deep red leaf, chartreuses and variegated leaf varieties. Aggressive and exotic ivy varieties work in a similar manner. Some pot designs call for a more restrained spill layer. Verbena is a mid-length spill with colors that will pop. Lobularia or lantana is also somewhat loose and draping plants that will hang moderately far over a container. Calibrochoa, red purslane and licorice plant are tighter in growth habit and will only slightly spill the edges.

As with landscape design in general, think about your design concept. Are you creating a playful lush container for a private space or a formal more manicured container for the front entry to the house? Do you prefer predictable or spontaneous? A wild mix of tropical feeling plants or the simple and elegant statement made with a couple more subtle colors? Will the Landscape Containers be a monochromatic, complimentary or contrasting color scheme? My advice is not to take yourself too seriously and have fun. Experiment and enjoy the learning process. Try something new each year even if it is only in one of the layers. And don’t cheat yourself on the quality of the Landscape Containers.