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Containerscaping!

By Donna Dawson
7/23/2013 11:54:51 AM

Containerscaping!

My computer keeps underlining this word saying it doesn't exist in the online dictionary, so I guess it's fair game for us to define the term, says Diane Blazek from the National Gardening Bureau (NGB). From observations and conversations, a few NGB members have noticed that this seems to be the next step after container gardening. For years, we have been doing all or some of our gardening in containers, and now the goal is to have those containers look cohesive and well-organized.

When we tried doing a quick internet search, Google asked if we meant "Container Spacing," and that's certainly not the case but could be a small element.

Credit: ICanGarden

We found a few garden centers who offer containerscaping services, and they define it as container design and installation service for potted plants. That's a pretty good definition for a business that offers the service.

Very likely, containerscaping is the next level beyond basic container gardening, so we thought we'd share some observations for good containerscaping in your garden. And by the way, by garden, we mean, your balcony, your deck, your patio, your suburban yard or your 2-acre farmstead... all can be included!

Pinterest (of course we have to refer to Pinterest, our favorite social media site) has numerous boards and pins citing containerscaping. Some are more container design, but there are some really good pins that reflect our interpretation of the concept, so explore that social media tool for inspiration.

After a bit of research and collaboration, we've come up with a few tips on the subject:

1. Use containers of the same color, shape or texture for continuity. Or, select one color of flower, such as purple, to use in multiple containers.

2. Use containers not just on the porch or patio but in garden beds to add height, color and/or impact.

3. Less-attractive garden areas can be covered up with the right container and plantings.

4. Soften or camouflage architectural features by strategically placing containers.

5. Big and bold containers will make more of a sophisticated impact.

6. Small, numerous containers will give more of a cottage-garden feel.

7. Feel free to move containers as needed, to the sun, to the shade, to block a view, etc.

8. The right container in the right spot will act as a focal point for the patio or garden.

9. Use taller, larger containers with upright plantings to create rooms or screens.

10. Containers can also be used to direct or stop traffic flow, like at the edge of a deck or patio.

11. Even empty containers, if the right size and design, can be used as garden decor.

12. What to use in your containers? Anything! Annual, perennials, vegetables, shrubs, bulbs, succulents, firs, evergreens, etc.

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