How to Arrange Pots in the Garden

Written by jo burns
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How to Arrange Pots in the Garden
Placing pots in the garden encourages creative gardening. (David Sacks/Lifesize/Getty Images)

It's not unusual to place containers of flowers on the front porch or patio, but using pots directly in the garden affords a level of creativity and ease that you may not have previously thought about. With a garden full of containers, you can constantly rearrange your plants as they grow, moving the most interesting specimens forward or easily removing plants that are spent or diseased. Bringing containers into the garden also lets you combine plants in a new way. Cactus can grow next to a plant that requires rich soil because they are all in separate containers.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Empty pots
  • Plant stands

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  1. 1

    Set several pots along the edge of the garden to create a border. Create a formal look by using only one type of plant and container, or complement a cottage garden by using a colourful variety of plants and pots.

  2. 2

    Plant a large specimen plant in an unusual or artful container and place it in a prominent spot in the garden as a low-maintenance focal point. Surround the container with low-growing plants or leave it as-is for dramatic appeal.

  3. 3

    Vary plant height by using plant stands, or turn empty pots and buckets upside-down to use as makeshift pedestals. Create more interest by raising smaller pots up and placing large, heavy pots directly on the ground. Use pedestals to bring attention to plants with interesting foliage or delicate blooms that might otherwise be overlooked. Disguise the plants stands and pedestals by placing containers in front of them, to create the illusion that the plants are taller than they actually are.

  4. 4

    Group plants together when they are newly planted to create a better sense of fullness. Spread them apart when they mature and it will look like the size of your garden has increased.

  5. 5

    Include an empty pot or two as garden art. Place a large container with beautiful shape or colour on a sturdy, upturned pot to showcase it in the centre of some lush foliage.

Tips and warnings

  • Use containers in a small garden to create four-season interest. Showcase bulbs and tender spring flowers first, then swap out those pots for planters full of bright summer flowers and switch those for fall-bloomers and plants that provide colour or texture in the winter months.

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