From ceramic to terracotta to concrete, here’s how to match your planter to your interior style and arrange your pots like a pro
Pots come in many shapes and sizes, in materials such as ceramic, terracotta, aluminium, fibreglass, stone, concrete and plastic. Plants can be planted into any number of containers – you are only limited by your imagination and the space you have to work with. The portability of your pots will determine how easy it is to rearrange and redesign your container garden throughout the year.
Choosing your style
Before buying pots, consider the architecture of your home and the style of garden you have, and use this as a guide. For a contemporary look, you could choose a planter with a simple geometric shape in Corten steel, fibreglass or concrete. Select a plant with interesting foliage such as a Japanese sago palm for a striking display or a golden cane palm for a modern vibe.
For a classic, formal style, try terracotta pots with clipped mounds of Buxus sempervirens or a standard bay tree. New Zealand natives such as astelias and flax will work well in concrete or ceramic pots for a relaxed, easycare vibe. Repurposing containers such as wooden wine barrels or vintage watering cans will also add a quirky touch. Just fill them with colourful annuals or fragrant herbs.
There are no hard and fast rules about how to arrange your pots. However, using the right container in the right place can instantly freshen up any outdoor area.
Use a pot on its own if it has enough wow factor, or fill it with plants to create a showy focal point – eg a big, dramatic frangipani with small succulents around its base, or a colourful patio bougainvillea for a splash of colour.
You can soften a blank wall or an awkward corner with something stylish and eye-catching – a beautiful weeping Japanese maple underplanted with dwarf green mondo grass, for instance, or a clumping golden cane palm for a tropical look.
Use pots to create formality and symmetry in the garden. For example, place pots on either side of your front door or in rows to line a path or patio area. Stick to one shape and style for consistency.
A relaxed, informal feel can be created by grouping various sizes and shapes of pot together. Use an odd number for balance. Choose plants with contrasting colours and textures for year-round interest.
Words by: Sandra Batley.