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Container Gardening Principle: Grouping

Wall Trough with Liner
Wall Trough with Liner


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This is why I got into container gardening. Positioning and placing garden planters and plantings around your garden provides enjoyment and delight. Grouping brings out many of the elements discussed on previous pages. Beautiful color and texture effects can be accomplished by bringing together different container plantings. The effect is best viewed when all the plants are at their peak maturity. Grouping them together with complementary plants will ensure a maximum positive impact in your garden.

Some examples of effecting groupings:

Why group containers?

The main outcome of grouping is that a group of pots and plants have a larger impact than the sum of the individual plants. Make the most of the plants heights, textures, colors, and styles by rearranging them until you get the perfect look. Depending on the number of pots and plants you have, there are literally thousands of combinations you can employ.

Green Tip:

When planning your garden, include trees and shrubs. Placed correctly, they can reduce the heating and cooling costs for your home.

One of the advantages of grouping is that it provides a disguise. If you have a couple of less mature plants around your garden, they decrease the overall appearance and beauty you worked hard for. By proficiently overlapping and placing mature healthy plants around the less mature plants, it disguises and enhances the look of your container garden.

Basically you are utilizing the skills you learned earlier with the elements. Specifically proportion, balance, shape, and texture are the values you’re applying to a group of plants instead of individual ones. A grouping arrangement also provides enjoyment and flexibility because you can always rearrange the container plantings to attain the desired effect.

Novice container gardeners always tend to make this mistake. They place the container plantings close together before they are mature. Once the plants start to mature, they start to grow and overflow off the edges of their container. Since they are placed so tightly together, the plantings never get a chance to display their extravagant foliages and flowers. Provide a bit of a gap for each container so that you may avoid this dilemma and offer the plantings the opportunity to fully develop.

Furthermore, remember to add varying heights to your groupings. Don’t just keep them all on the ground. Place smaller plantings on shelves or on upturned containers. This raising and falling pattern of grouping increases their observability and stature.