A few of the
seemingly endless possibilities for container garden locations nclude entranceways,
steps, courtyards, walls, rooftops, balconies, patios,
breezeways, lawns, driveways, walks, sundecks, windowsills,
porches, summer houses, even tree stumps can be utilized.
us start with the entrance, a focal point for every
house. A simple arrangement consists of similar container
plants at each side of the doorway.
If the house is
informal, painted tubs will make a cheerful note, while
urns or ornamental pots are more appropriate if the
architecture is formal.
The arrangement, however, need not be symmetrical,
since a single container at either side, particularly
if the doorway is off-center, is pleasing. A large specimen
can be balanced by a grouping of small pots, and various
other interesting combinations can be worked out. Sometimes,
the front entranceway can qualify as an outdoor place
for house plants, but be sure they are not exposed to
strong sun and wind.
Unexpected areas like side and rear entrances can also
serve as backgrounds for pot plants in casual groupings.
For sunny steps, consider tubs of petunias, or dwarf
dahlias, or boxes of herbs to be used in cooking. Tuberous
begonias, fuchsias, patient Lucy, and fragrant nicotiana
solve the problem of what to grow in shade.
or verandas, traditional or contemporary in style, offer
numerous settings for pots, window boxes, and hanging
baskets. Indeed, the entire container garden can be
concentrated there so that plants can be easily cared
If the porch is open on three sides, it will afford
exposures to suit a variety of specimens.
The patio or terrace, beside or beyond the house, where
family and friends gather to eat or relax, is an ideal
location. If it is formal, select clipped evergreens
and arrange pots in symmetrical rows, perhaps lined
up against the house or along the edge of the terrace.
If the site is informal, make casual groupings of one
or two tall plants with smaller ones in front. Either
way, allow for a few large plants in tubs or boxes for
accent and height.
Container plants may line walks and paths that lead
to the house, garage, or garden. They can rest on paved
areas along fences and walls and on driveways where
they are not in the way. If the driveway adjoins the
foundation of the house, plant containers may be placed
Tops of garden or terrace walls are ideal places, too.
Put small pots and boxes on tall, narrow walls and large
containers on low, broad surfaces. Hanging plants of
ivy geraniums in the sun and fuchsias in the shade will
cascade from walls, as they do in the patios of Spain,
Portugal, and Italy. In Rhodes, I recall a fifteen-foot
wall topped with a row of thirty gleaming green tin
cans full of roses and other flowers.
Think of what you can do with rooftops and sundecks
where considerable space is usually available.
sun-loving plants, like geraniums, most annuals, cacti,
and succulents can be grown, but, again, include large
specimens for height to give a garden feeling.
large boxes and planters for trees and shrubs are sufficient
but be sure to include some evergreens for year-round
Many gardeners like to insert container plants in flower
borders to introduce unusual specimens, such as tropicals
in the North.
Large tubs can be set at the corners and
small pots may be scattered among the permanent flowering
One gardener keeps a supply of potted pink Fiat
Enchantress geraniums on hand to fill bare spots in
her wide borders, moving them about as needed. Most
of the geraniums are in four-inch clay pots, but there
are larger specimens for the center of each grouping.
Make sure their secure, sink pots a few inches into
You can always dress up the lamp post in your yard
with container plants at the base or you can suspend
a hanging basket of lantana, perhaps from the top. Ivy
geraniums in an old-fashioned black kettle are nice
for the base.
Bare posts that support sectional roofs
over patios or paved surfaces of contemporary houses
look more attractive if potted plants are clustered
around the bases or permanent boxes for plants are built
there. Try planting climbing ivy in a pot and train
it to climb the posts.
containersdonkey carts, wheelbarrows, and spinning
wheelscan be fun in some places, but, of course,
such planters must not be overdone.
Usually they are set on lawns, on a terrace or beside
a gate or doorway.
(If you live in a neighborhood that has a house owners
association check with them first to see if this is
allowed). teps leading to a driveway or street or to
different levels in a garden can be emphasized with
A few can be arranged at the top or at the base of
the stairs. And, there are other possibilities.
Tree trunks cut to the ground or left a few feet high
make good pedestals for large containers. In fact, this
can be a solution to the problem of what to do with
a trunk too expensive to remove.
If you have a tree
with heavy shade, why not construct a pretty sitting
area around it and decorate the space with containers
of coleus, wax and other begonias, caladiums, ferns
and other shade-tolerant plants.
These are just a few ideas for using container plants
around your house and garden. Use your imagination and
have fun. Happy Gardening!
Copyright © 2006 Mary Hanna All
About the author: Mary Hanna
is an Aspiring Herbalist who lives in Central Florida.
This allows her to grow gardens inside and outside year
round. She has published other articles on Gardening,
Cooking and Cruising.