Tips for Using Planters in Your Yard

Katie A. Ketelsen


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topiary container
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Add Symmetry

    Balance and repetition can frame an entrance or add a formal flair to your garden. Simple changes through the seasons, such as incorporating evergreen tips or garden art as shown, can easily transition the display to a winter theme.

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Grow Your Veggies

    Lack the space for your own crop of vegetables? Plant them in containers! You can easily combine peppers and basil in the same container, for example, or allow tomatoes and bell peppers to stand alone.

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Make Your Herbs Accessible

    Need a little more mint in your mojito? No problem when you place your herbs right on the table! Plant your favorite varieties -- mint, cilantro, lavender--in a container that fits on your table or kitchen counter to make garnishing any meal easy.

4/17
Let it Hang

    Soften a tall, slender container with cascading annuals such as sweet potato vine and lysimachia that draw your eye from top to bottom.

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Winter Partnership

    Make your containers do double-duty by dressing them up for the winter months. A variety of evergreen tips, including spruce, cypress, arborvitae, and pine work well in containers along with accents of pine cones and red-twig dogwood.

6/17
Hang It Up

    Make dead space along your house shine by attaching an attractive vintage container like this one. Combine draping plants with different foliage colors and textures such as burgundy sweet potato vine, licorice plant, and asparagus fern.

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Accent Your Art

    Draw attention to your garden art by accenting it with hanging baskets. A cluster of Calibrachoa makes the perfect partner to a rustic, bold focal point.

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Bring the Outdoors In

    Make your containers do double duty by adding grace to the garden, then bring them inside for continued enjoyment and a touch of fresh green for your home over the winter months. Pot up herbs such as lavender, rosemary, mint, and sage and plant them in an area of your home where they will get good sunlight.

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Play on Foliage

    Allow foliage to take center stage by planting lavender, variegated society garlic or agapanthus in their own containers for a modern twist to your landscape.

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Play Up Petite

    Small table? No problem with this petite arrangement that still makes a big impact with the succulent foliage. Get more impact for your tabletop by combining a number of small containers together. Plus you can mix and match to create different looks! Get more impact for your tabletop by combining a number of small containers together. Plus you can mix and match to create different looks!

11/17
Decorate a Tabletop

    The broad, flat surface of a table cries out for interest. Here, annual 'Pink Crystals' rubygrass (Rhynchelytrum nerviglume) makes a striking tabletop arrangement. Sitting on stone tile bases, the terra-cotta containers create a clean, contemporary feel.

12/17
Soften Hard Edges

    Place containers where they'll disguise harsh edges or angles, either by direct concealment or by creating a focal point that acts as a distraction. On these stairs, a simple potted geranium, in addition to petunias, lantana, and other plants lining the stairs, takes viewers' eyes off the sharp edges.

13/17
Add Height

    Gardeners often overlook vertical space. Use freestanding or hanging containers to give you garden three-dimensional color. Next to this mixed border, 'Ramblin' Violet' Wave petunia, strawflower (Bracteantha bracteata) and 'Cuzzo Yellow' creeping zinnia (Sanvitalia procumbens) rise to new heights on a freestanding tower.

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Frame an Entry

    Doors, gates, and other entrances are natural focal points. Make a great impression by framing them with attractive, colorful containers. Here, Rudbeckia 'Prairie Sun' and 'Avalanche Red' petunia team up in gray pots, and 'Harvest Moon' begonia and Artemsia 'Sea Foam' fill terra-cotta pots. The combination adds plenty of visual drama at the front door.

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Unify the Landscape

    Employ a strategy used indoors, where repetition of color unites the decor. Outdoors, use similar or identical containers throughout an area to pull it together. This is especially effective along a path or on a long wall such as this one, which houses three containers planted with purple-leaf coleus and creeping Jenny (Lysimachia 'Goldilocks').

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Create Focal Points

    Use large or colorful containers as focal points in areas lacking conspicuous features or to fill visual holes such as empty corners. This vegetable garden, for example, gains impact with a pot of Rudbeckia 'Prairie Sun', Persicaria 'Painter's Palette', and red Calibrachoa set on a pillar.

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