Surrounding yourself with plants is one of the best parts of summer: the sweet smell of flowers blooming, the sound of the wind skittering across the leaves. And as every green thumb or hopeful gardener knows, more is more when it comes to plants. For the lowest-maintenance garden possible, nothing beats container gardening.
While most annuals can work in containers (consult your local garden center to find inspiration and information on plants ideal for your conditions), creating a pleasing arrangement can be daunting—but it doesn’t have to be. There’s a simple formula for ensuring that you have the right mix. Just remember “ABC”.
A is for Anchor
The Anchor plant (or plants) in your container create the foundation point. Use a tall, structured plant and place it at the middle-back of the planting area. Consider ornamental grasses, sturdy greenery or flowers that grow up, not out.
B is for Body
Planted around the middle of your container, Body plants should fill in the space from the rim of the pot to at least the mid-point of the Anchor plant. This is also the place to focus on color: do you want a monochromatic look or a combination of colors? Mix it up and work with a variety of plants. Choose flowers and plants that complement each other not only in hue, but in foliage shape and size as well.
C is for Cascade
Here’s where you add the drama. Place vines and plants at the very edge of your container so they will spill artfully over the rim as they grow. Herbs like thyme work especially well and have the added bonus of releasing a wonderful fragrance as you brush against them when walking by.
Whether you’re using planters to flank an entry, add privacy on a patio or add a little touch of greenery to a city balcony, container gardening gives you immediate gratification and season-long.