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Potted Flowers

Talk about 'instant garden'! I love potted flowers. Here's where all the details really make your outdoor space special. Before you run to the nursery, though, give a little thought for your style, your colors, and your containers.

potted-flowersThe right color combinations are striking!

Your Style

What is your garden's style? Casual country? Modern and daring? Cottage romantic? Take a look around and try to pinpoint it. It may change your flower choices.

Country garden? Grasses might be a thought for your container. Daisies and geraniums would also be really sweet. Anything that might be found at grandma's farm would be in the running.

Modern and daring? Look for something unusual! You might as well have fun with your potted flowers. Corkscrew grass is fun. Iris would be tall and striking in a container -- the foliage is what you would be after. Think Dalmatian Iris. Lovely variegated foliage.

Cottage romantic? How fun! Soft and pretty, you might consider Calibrachoa (Million Bells) or Coleus. Make sure you get some sparkle in the colors and textures so it will have some excitement.

If you're having problems pinpointing your garden style, try looking at your interior design choices.

Your Colors

There's such a wave of color at the nursery that it's easy to get back to your home and get frustrated. What happened? It looks wonderful on the shelf. I know.

Before you leave your house, make a few notes on what your colors are that you're already using in the garden. What are your favorite color combinations? This is where your potted flowers go from good to great. One flower choice could make all the difference.

Striking color combinations often use complimentary colors. It does keep the pallet simple, so if you've really had problems in the past, this might be a good idea -- simplicity. Think purple and yellow or blue and orange. They're opposite on the color wheel -- complimentary.

Another simple color pallet is just one color. Make sure you vary the color intensity. Try pastel pink, magenta, and deep, dark burgundy. Simple and striking.

If you're an avid gardener, there might be color combinations that you've come across that are really lovely. Make a note or your good intentions might go out the window as soon as you see the annuals.

Your Containers

Your containers are a part of the potted flowers. Annuals often come in 4" pots and 2" 'packs'. How many will you need per pot? An 18" diameter pot might use (5) 4" plants and a couple of 2" plugs. I found this worked really well for me this year.

Your container style is also a factor. Do you like calm and classic? Maybe just use one super annual tumbling out of your classical containers.

Do you crave color and sparkle? Plan some exciting combinations.

If your containers are larger around, make sure that your plants are not only filling the container, but that they are tall enough, too. This is where analyzing your potted flowers really helps. Your plants should be large enough of a scale to go with the containers.

The other side of this is I've seen trellises stuck into containers -- and it doesn't always work. Much better to have a container at the base of a post. An annual vine could climb up that way and it will look much more appealing.

So, pay attention to your style, carefully choose your containers, and have an idea about your colors before you go to the nursery. A little planning will go a long way. Most of all, have fun!

Take time for design!

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