The Art of Adornment: Garden Containers

Container gardens integrate art and nature.  They show the human hand controlling nature’s will.   Containers provide a blank slate to bring in color, sculptural elements, reflective qualities and art in garden design and lend themselves well to being decorated.  They can bring panache to the understated garden. They are the gardener’s tool to sharpen a desired focal point and enliven and energize a garden without a lot of effort or long term commitment.  Container gardens can often offer that finishing touch in the garden’s design.  Restraint is in order so that the pots don’t become overdone or too cartoonish. I have photographed many of the planters in my own garden, included sources when available and added a some ideas captured on recent tours of local gardens.  I hope you will find many ideas to inspire you and have fun with your garden planters. Think beyond the pot!

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A simple Eiffel tower adorns a window box and is a nod to the cultural heritage of the homeowner.  It is an attention getter that injects whimsy in this classic window planter.

 

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A butterfly garden ornament is perched on the side of a planter filled with a perennial hydrangea, as if just resting from flight. Don’t overlook the whimsy pot risers can add to the garden. These clay birds are still available through Kinsman Garden by mail order, link follows.  In addition to providing esthetic interest, pot risers help drainage and provide elevation of your planters.  Planting a perenial plant, shrub or even a tree in a pot delights with the surprise of finding something that is normally found only in the ground.

(http://www.kinsmangarden.com/category/Pot-Feet-For-Support)

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A late summer/early fall design with the same Eiffel tower, pheasant feathers, bottle brush animals and lotus pods.

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The dangling campanula ceramic flowers were handmade by a German artist, and can be purchased for a reasonable cost in the Etsy shop here.

A family of concrete and ceramic mushrooms makes its home in this trough:

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Pink Ceramic flowers on piks adorn a planter and compliment the red maple tree while contrasting with the bold chartreuse hosta. Ceramic flowers also by Karolart, link above.

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Elevation of pots provides an opportunity to apppreciate the contents at different eye levels.

How adorable is this concrete house complete with its outhouse in this planter filled with perennial dwarf hostas?

How adorable is this concrete house complete with its outhouse in this planter filled with perennial dwarf hostas and ferns?  This is a perfect example that planters can be understated in color, form and art yet be totally intriguing to discover.  This planter attracts attention with a whisper of color and whimsy.  Captured in the marvelous Holly Lane gardens, Glen Mills, PA.

Seasonal interest can be easily achieved by the addition of a few small flags in an existing planter.

Seasonal interest can be easily achieved by the addition of a few small flags in an existing planter.

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Adding a string of lights, here dragonfly ones from Target a few years ago, brings whimsy and ambient lighting to a planter.  How-to here.

A window box planter, dressed for fall. How to here.

A window box planter, dressed for fall.

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Love this sea inspired planter with a reflective glass ball surrounded by shells in a Inta Krombolz original planter, nary a plant in sight!  The container itself adds a dynamic element to the composition and is an art form.  Inta’s planters and sculptures can be purchased by contacting the artist.

A winter planter showcases a tall lantern surrounded by natural greens, phesant feathers, red twig dogwood, skates, ribbon and a star ornament.

A winter planter showcases a tall lantern surrounded by natural greens, pheasant feathers, red twig dogwood, birch logs, berries, pine cones, a pair of skates, ribbon and a star ornament.  A lantern could be integrated into a summer or fall planter as well to provide ambiance lighting.

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So much interest in this trough planter filled with sedums, mini reflective balls and rustic rusted steel straps. Inta Krombolz original.

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Another sea shell-filled  planter in Inta Krombolz’s magical garden situated in a shade garden section, sharpening a focal point of this more subdued area of the landscape.

 

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An elevated iron planter with an dwarf evergreen tree and alpine plants becomes a garden vignette when concrete animals are added around it. Inta Krombolz garden.

I hope you have found inspiration for designing your own container garden!

8 thoughts on “The Art of Adornment: Garden Containers

    • I fell in love with those dangling flowers and the packaging was so fun when it arrived from Germany. Very reasonable pricing and comes in different colors and flower types. I love anything handmade and supporting artists. Those clay bird pot risers are so darling too!

      Johanne Lamarche

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    • The garden I remember most fondly was an all container garden on the deck of my first adult apartment in Toronto. I seem to grow so much in such a small space and never had more than a few minutes of weeding and watering duties!

      Johanne Lamarche

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