Potted plants are becoming a trendy and versatile part of landscaping. With a minimal amount of work and care, containers can spruce up areas without foliage, add decoration to a front porch, or be moved to different locations in the yard, as needed. "The Old Farmer's Almanac Gardener's Companion All-Seasons Garden Guide" gives you tips and tidbits on how to plant and maintain stunning flower pots.
- Group several containers for impact. Too often, people use the same container in the same place every year. For instance, they may have one big container by the front door. Instead, put seven (even ten) containers there.
- Create balance, then add a zinger. Choose plants that go together but don't quite match. This repetition of related colors ties the big picture together. Three to five colors work nicely as a base, but don't stop there. Toss in a zinger, something oddball that is just "off" enough in color or texture to punch up everything else a notch. For example, start with a selection of one or more of the following: variegated cannas with multistriped leaves of green, orange, gold, and pink; magenta-and-gold coleuses; hot-pink-and-green caladiums; hot-pink pentas; and even-pinker trailing petunias. For the kicker, add taxicab-yellow lantanas. As the plants mature, they take on a life of their own.
- Bring life to dead zones. Use containers to soften places where no soil or garden is available, such as side yards, walkways, decks, garage walls, or cemented areas bordered by a chain-link fence.
- Look into new materials. Check out fiberglass, resin, and other synthetic containers. They are lightweight, can spend winter outdoors without cracking, and are often fashioned after old estate designs, mimicking stone, terra-cotta, and cast iron.
The preceding excerpt is from The Best of The Old Farmer's Almanac Gardener's Companion. Gardener's Companion is on sale wherever books and magazines are sold. For more information on the Almanac's line of products, please visit almanac.com.
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