Ideas and trends
Container gardening is the trendy way to liven up walkways, patios and entrances. In Europe, the fashion is for seasonal containers planted choc-full of brightly colourful plants as well as the opposite extreme: starkly structural container and plant combinations that make a bold, sculptural statement.
Widow boxes and container groupings
Because a container garden is for display, the plants always need to be in tip-top condition. For some plants, especially structural foliage plants like Chondropetalum tectorum or Aloes, this may only mean correct placement, feeding and watering.
For others, it may be necessary to rotate the display, devoting a corner to plants awaiting re-flowering or re-growth after pruning. Generally speaking, a floral display of herbaceous plants will be more temporary and seasonal.
Mixed arrangements have to be planted very densely for best effect – one European source even recommends packing the root balls on top of each other! By definition, this type of container garden will need regular freshening up – removal and replacement of plants that have finished flowering and trimming back of over exuberantly growing shoots.
For long-lasting containers, choose plants with attractive foliage that have appeal all year round and won’t need hard pruning at any time. Combine sizes of pots for attractive groupings and think about how the growth forms, foliage textures and colours will combine and contrast.