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Garden Design

Design elements – potted gardens

Marianne Cannon

Marianne Cannon

October 9, 2012

I talk to landscape designer Louise McDaid about potted gardens – how to choose and group your pots, select the right plants and make a feature of your potted plants.

Part 1 Choosing pots

So you have this array of pots which um…could look a bit better instead of being a hodge podge of colour and texture.Where does one start in the potted garden? Lots of factors to consider and in the coming weeks Louise and I will be discussing how to design with pots, what pots are best suited for pots and feature plants for pots. You can’t go wrong if you listen into Design Elements’ Potted Garden Series.

Part 2 Grouping pots

You’ve decided to makeover your potted garden one way or another, now how do you put them together? Grouping the pots differently will give you a different look. Trying adding or subtracting just one or two pots to see if it looks better. Another tip, is to change the plant that’s in the pot altogether and next week the Potted Garden discusses different plants for different pots. You can’t go wrong if you listen into Design Elements’ Potted Garden Series. Find out more…..

Part 3 Selecting plants for pots

The potted garden is great for all types of reasons, but there are some pitfalls that make the overall look messy, top-heavy and just downright awful? Here’s some tips to get you on your way for potting up your potted garden. After listening to the podcast, go out into your garden and decide which plants in pots need re-potting or just moving out of their pots altogether and into the garden. Make a list of what you would like to see and over the coming weeks, see if you can meet the target of renewing some, most or even all of your pot plants.

Find that “fill, thrill and spill”!

Part 4 Feature plants in pots

How is the potted garden makeover going? Have you decided to do away with some of the pots, perhaps even re-potted others. Well in the last of the series on the potted garden, Louise and I are looking at what makes a feature plant suitable for the potted garden? Listen here for more…

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Catherine Stewart
11 years ago

There’s some very useful insights here, from both you and Louise. Perhaps you could do a more gardening-oriented follow up on maintaining potted plants? Growing in pots is many newbie gardeners first experience of gardening &, of course, there’s more involved than just remembering to water it.

Marianne-Real World Gardener

Good suggestion. Will do.

Julie Thomson
11 years ago

Pots post very valuable, thanks very much, Marianne. I am a great fan and have stacks of them, enjoying re arranging and moving them with the season and sun movements etc.
One thing I would love is some tips on hanging baskets. I have many, but have only about a 50 per cent success rate of more than a season with them. They dry out, despite my putting wetting agent in , and seem just not to thrive despite love, care and attention. Ferns do quite well in shade, but open sunshine just seems too harsh here in Queensland. The hanging fuschia you have in the pic would probably last about a day here.
Love any suggestions, please.

Marianne-Real World Gardener

Hello Julie,
Ferns, Fuchsias, can’t take full sun at all. Only dappled sun in the morning. Try some Bromeliads like Aechmea recurvata var recurvata, that can put up with some heat and morning sun.
Louise has suggested Bambino Bougainvillea, Pelargonium/Geranium
All with bright coloured flowers, tolerate dry conditions and full sun. In hot weather hanging baskets often need daily watering.
Have you tried self-watering hanging baskets?
Also potting mix’s water holding capacity can be improved by adding coir peat to the mix-about 30%.
Finally add some mulch around the plants either pebbles or anything really so that you don’t have bare soil exposed.
Hope that helps and good luck.