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Show #52/3413
Containers - Color And Focal Points

Summary of Show

The Correct Potting Mix

Choosing the CORRECT POTTING MIX is key. One shouldn't use top soil in a container because it's too heavy. It's best to use a light potting soil, something light and airy because it will allow drainage of water. Potting mixes are specifically engineered and will often contain perlite. Perlite is little, white volcanic like chunks of rock. Good potting soil may also contain pine bark or peat, both do a much better job of allowing water to drain through the media than top soil would. There have been innovations with potting soils and some now contain moisture control crystals.
For More Information Click here

Types Of Containers

There are many different MATERIAL CHOICES FOR CONTAINERS. There are terra cotta, concrete, ceramic, even wood containers. What are the advantages and or drawbacks of the different types of containers. Hayley likes the concrete container. It holds moisture the best however it is very heavy. Often concrete containers don't offer a wide variety of designs. Ceramic containers come in a variety of colors and shapes.
For More Information Click here

Positioning Containers

Eric wonders what goes into the decision process regarding PLACING CONTAINERS in the garden. Some are in a long straight line but then that line is broken by a container that kind of sticks out. That forces the garden viewer to slow down, to kind of walk around the container. Hayley is also using containers as focal points, at the end of aisles.
For More Information Click here

Consider The Mood

When PLANNING CONTAINERS, colors and design, she takes into consideration the mood for the space in the garden. If someone is requesting soothing colors she thinks of soft colors - whites and pinks. If they're looking for a hot, tropical look she utilizes more yellows and reds. Color definitely impacts our mood.
For More Information Click here

Plant Choices

We've talked about what we need to keep in mind when selecting the correct container, Hayley and Eric next discuss what she LOOKS FOR IN PLANTS. She is looking for plants that work well with each other, she's looking for plants that are sun tolerant in sunny areas and shade tolerant plants for shady areas.
For More Information Click here

Emphasize Texture In A Container

How does one achieve a really nice and dynamic TEXTURE IN A CONTAINER. Some of the most outstanding containers at Gibbs Gardens blend a multitude of different textures. They may have some spiky plants, some plants with really bold textures and those are then interwoven with plants that have smaller leaves and a softer texture.
For More Information Click here

Using Shrubs Or Woody Ornamentals

Eric likes the way Hayley has incorporated SHRUBS OR WOODY ORNAMENTALS into her containers. They are particularly good in winter because they add interest during that time period. She has used red twig and dogwood in containers, they add a structural, vertical element to the containers. We often think about containers exclusively in terms of color and bloom but we can also create some amazing containers with architectural, structural elements that trees and shrubs provide.
For More Information Click here

Building A Beautiful Container

Eric and Hayley next show us how quick and easy the process is BUILDING A BEAUTIFUL CONTAINER. Hayley starts by checking to make sure the container has a drainage hole. This can be the most important part of this process. Then she adds a filter fabric to the bottom, to make sure the hole doesn't get clogged, then adds 3 to 4 inches of gravel, then wraps the gravel with the filter fabric so none of the rocks escape and clog the hole. Next she adds the potting medium.
For More Information Click here

 

LINKS:

Gibbs Gardens
World-Class Garden | North GA Destinations | Wedding Locations near Atlanta | Atlanta Gardens

Plant List

More Container Gardening Ideas From Hayley

 

2413. Containers - Color And Focal Points

Transcript of Show

Whether managing a 300 acre estate or a small back yard patio, containers are a great way to bring vibrant color and focal points to your landscape. In this Episode GardenSMART shows you how.

Since there are so many advantages to gardening with containers it's oftentimes difficult to know where to start telling the story, but we'll try. Containers are great for 1st time gardeners, they often are much easier to work with when tilling the soil because they're higher off the ground, which means less back pain, containers are a great way to keep plants, that may be prone to disease, away from other plants where we don't want the disease to spread, it's easy to move containerized plants indoors if it's going to get cold, containers are a great way to create a focal point or to add an accent to the garden and containers are kid friendly and are great for patios, porches, as well as small spaces.

Hayley Davis has an eye for interesting, unusual and colorful container designs. In her time she has planted hundreds, if not thousands, of containers. In this Episode she shares her wealth of knowledge regarding container gardening.

Eric meets Hayley. Eric shares that some of his favorite shows deal with containers. But when meeting a gardener for the 1st time he likes to find out what initially got them interested in gardening. Hayley tells us that she thinks she has always enjoyed flowers and gardens. She fondly remembers her grandmother taking her, as a child, to garden club meetings. There she would be passed around to the different ladies. She distinctly remembers them talking about different plants each week. After high school Hayley went to Auburn Univ. and earned a degree in Horticultural Landscape Design. After school she immediately began working with Gibbs Landscaping Co. and she has worked for Gibbs Landscaping for 14 years in the seasonal color department. This has provided her the opportunity to get hands on experience, maintaining flowers throughout the season, seeing how they grow and learning their growth habits.

Hayley gets ideas and inspiration for containers all over the place, from seeing someone else's design to even the color of the clothes she might be wearing that day. Those things can often inspire a color theme. Plus she enjoys looking at plants and thinking about what will work together. Eric knows she has a lot of exciting containers for us to see and is anxious to get started.

Hayley thinks container gardening is a simple pleasure. It's not as time consuming as planting a seasonal bed. The last time she planted a flower she was extremely sore the next day from bending over to till the bed, from planting the flowers and shaping of the bed. Eric concurs there is quite a bit more time involved in tilling a plot of land. Containers become a very simple, a very practical way of having color, especially in scenarios where individuals don't have an abundance of land. Even if someone has just a small patio or a deck, containers are a great way to dive into gardening. For folks new to gardening containers are very simple and a very practical way to put collections of color exactly where one wants them. Eric notices that is exactly what has been done in this location, Gibbs Gardens. Hayley agrees and feels containers are for the new generation or the next generation of gardeners. When living in an apartment with a small patio containers have the advantage of immediate gratification. Importantly by starting gardening at an early age it sets the seed and creates interest which can grow with age. Because typically as we age we do have more time for gardening and enjoy it more.

What are some of the things one should consider when container gardening? Hayley feels that one of the most important things to look for in a container is proper drainage. Choosing the CORRECT POTTING MIX is key. One shouldn't use top soil in a container because it's too heavy. It's best to use a light potting soil, something light and airy because it will allow drainage of water. Potting mixes are specifically engineered and will often contain perlite. Perlite is little, white volcanic like chunks of rock. Good potting soil may also contain pine bark or peat, both do a much better job of allowing water to drain through the media than top soil would. There have been innovations with potting soils and some now contain moisture control crystals. They hold the water which is good because containers typically dry out faster than something planted in the ground. In some cases it may not be practical for gardeners to water their plants once or twice a day in the heat of the summer. The crystals provide a little extra time thus make it more convenient for the gardener. And, pot size does matter. The larger the pot the more moisture it holds, thus it will need watered less frequently. Hayley feels one of the most common mistakes people make is not feeding their plants. Some potting mixes come with fertilizers but if we have a potting media that doesn't Hayley recommends starting with a slow release fertilizer. It will release throughout the season but it can be helpful to add a liquid fertilizer every few weeks to a month. Even with potting soils with fertilizer there is most often not enough fertilizer to carry the plants throughout the entire season. So in order to have big, healthy vibrant containers we do need to feed the plants regularly.

Choosing a container is a very personal decision. There are so many different colors, shapes and sizes, even designs. Hayley when making decisions about a container first considers the house, the style of the house as well as the environment where the container will be placed. If you have a house with specific color schemes, things like colorful shutters or a door, a container is a great way to either mirror those colors or compliment them. So keep in mind the architecture and the colors present at the site. Another consideration, if standing in a kitchen, for example, and that is the area you'll be in the majority of the time when looking out you want your containers to reflect what's on the inside of your home. So from a design standpoint consider the colors inside the home or room.

There are many different MATERIAL CHOICES FOR CONTAINERS. There are terra cotta, concrete, ceramic, even wood containers. What are the advantages and or drawbacks of the different types of containers. Hayley likes the concrete container. It holds moisture the best however it is very heavy. Often concrete containers don't offer a wide variety of designs. Ceramic containers come in a variety of colors and shapes. If you have, as an example, a hydrangea that's blooming blue and you have a nice blue container it really compliments the plant. Terra cotta containers typically have a classic look. We see them here throughout the gardens. They do tend to release water, thus typically require more frequent watering. Eric is interested in the newer plastic or fiberglass containers, he has even noticed foam pots on the market. Hayley feels many of those foam or lightweight containers are wonderful. They add a little something extra that one doesn't find in a concrete container. But they sometimes do lose their color.

There are so many containers at Gibbs Gardens. Eric wonders what goes into the decision process regarding PLACING CONTAINERS in the garden. Some are in a long straight line but then that line is broken by a container that kind of sticks out. That forces the garden viewer to slow down, to kind of walk around the container. Hayley is also using containers as focal points, at the end of aisles. How does she approach the process of figuring out where to place, especially, the large containers? Container placement is a big deal. One wants to make sure that the container is proportioned to the area. Think about where the container is going. If it's going in the entryway it's best to use an urn like container as a center focal point. She likes to group things in 3's or 5's. Then she likes stepping down, a large container in the center and 2 smaller containers on the side. That provides a very natural look.

Designing a great container is a lot like designing a great garden, just on a smaller scale. When planning to plant containers how does Hayley approach the process? She thinks she's a very visual person. She needs to have images in front of her, she likes to have each individual plant on her computer and then likes to see the different plants working together to see how they'll flow. If she didn't have a computer program when in the garden center would pick up plants and place them next to each other and see what works well. When PLANNING CONTAINERS, colors and design, she takes into consideration the mood for the space in the garden. If someone is requesting soothing colors she thinks of soft colors - whites and pinks. If they're looking for a hot, tropical look she utilizes more yellows and reds. Color definitely impacts our mood. They are presently in a patio area and it has nice cool blues and whites, with some dark green foliage intermingled and it feels very tranquil. If she wanted a more exciting, animated container she could go with warmer colors and use more yellows, reds and oranges. Definitely think about the mood you're trying to set when building a container and choosing the collection of plants.

Also think about where to place the containers on the property. If a patio area, look around and see where people move, the traffic pattern, then consider what area is highly visible but not being heavily used. That area would be considered a dead zone. By adding a container in that area you provide a pop of color. Another great location for a container is somewhere you can't have a flower bed yet somewhere you want to add color, an area you want to accentuate. It's good to put a container under a tree or in an extremely shady area. Adding color in those spots will liven it up.

We've talked about what we need to keep in mind when selecting the correct container, Hayley and Eric next discuss what she LOOKS FOR IN PLANTS. She is looking for plants that work well with each other, she's looking for plants that are sun tolerant in sunny areas and shade tolerant plants for shady areas. Don't mix the two together, you will be asking for a disaster. As well, drought tolerant plants don't work well with plants that need a lot of water, you'll likely over water the drought tolerant plants. So, make sure plants within each container have consistent needs.

How can we make sure that the containers we design are in harmony with what already exists in our garden? Hayley believes we need to look around the garden and observe what is going on. So, if there are a whole bunch of yellows and reds in an area, mirror those in the containers. Creating harmony is also accomplished by using a tall plant with a bold shape along with a filling plant, like a begonia. The dragon wing begonia or whopper begonias are great filler plants plus add that trailing element to a container.

How does one achieve a really nice and dynamic TEXTURE IN A CONTAINER. Some of the most outstanding containers at Gibbs Gardens blend a multitude of different textures. They may have some spiky plants, some plants with really bold textures and those are then interwoven with plants that have smaller leaves and a softer texture. Eric wants to know what is Hayley's design principle behind different textures? With textures one is trying to mix sharp, spiky objects with duller plants. You can have a rough course plant along with a soft, smooth plant.

Hayley uses a lot of annuals in her containers but does sprinkle in perennials. How does she work annuals and perennials together in containers? Annuals and perennials are great. People love perennials, perennials come back each year and do have a cyclical blooming period. But they don't usually bloom all season long, so the annuals pick up where the perennials kind of die.

Eric likes the way Hayley has incorporated SHRUBS OR WOODY ORNAMENTALS into her containers. They are particularly good in winter because they add interest during that time period. She has used red twig and dogwood in containers, they add a structural, vertical element to the containers. We often think about containers exclusively in terms of color and bloom but we can also create some amazing containers with architectural, structural elements that trees and shrubs provide. And, it's a great way to start a tree. She often starts a tree in a container, then uses annuals and perennials as fillers and spillers. Then when that container has run its cycle and the tree has overgrown the container, it is then ready to go into the landscape. She believes the lifespan of a tree in a container is 2 to 3 years but they do add so much to a container. And, again they add so much during the winter months when the plant selection is very limited

Eric and Hayley next show us how quick and easy the process is BUILDING A BEAUTIFUL CONTAINER. Hayley starts by checking to make sure the container has a drainage hole. This can be the most important part of this process. Then she adds a filter fabric to the bottom, to make sure the hole doesn't get clogged, then adds 3 to 4 inches of gravel, then wraps the gravel with the filter fabric so none of the rocks escape and clog the hole. Next she adds the potting medium. It's a nice potting mix that has a fertilizer incorporated, it will give the plants a great head start. She doesn't want the soil level too low, but not too high either. Once we water the container in we don't want anything to spill out. Next we need to think where we'll view this container from. Are we going to look at it as a center piece that people will be walking around or will it be against the wall? Let's say this container will be against a wall. If going against a wall she will put the accent plant in the back of the pot, there would be no need to put it in the center of the container. With this method there is no need to place plant material at the back of the container. The canna lily will be the vertical element or accent plant. It will be the attention grabbing plant and has a bright yellow color. It is a tropical canna and only gets about 3 or 4 feet tall. Next she adds coleus, a carnival coleus. It has a lacy feel and she places it in the back of the pot. She adds 2. One doesn't always need to have even numbers but this container will have a symmetrical look thus she doesn't want need a 3rd plant. After the lacy, the next plant will have a spiky look so she goes with a blue salvia, velocity blue salvia. It's a nice plant, heat tolerant and thrives, especially, in August when it will really pick up. Next added are dragon wing begonias which are great plants because they bloom late in the season. Eric notices some other plants that Hayley has ready for use. In particular the Sun Parasol, a relatively new introduction, is great as a vertical accent piece. Some may think it's a tropical and in the past they've been a somewhat rangy plant but this Sun Parasol is a great climber, it's super dense, it has more flowers than other Mandevillas and has a really rare, deep crimson red color. Another new plant that Eric loves using in containers is Senetti Pericallis. There are probably 5 or 6 different shades of blues and purples. It's one of the most powerful bloomers in a container. It's basically an annual, works well in the cooler transition periods, doesn't like hotter temperatures, in fact it actually stops blooming if it's too hot. But for the spring and fall Eric thinks it's one of the most impactful plants to use in a container. One should be able to find it in your garden center. They next address the trailing plant, here they are going to use petunias. Petunias are great for pots. Hayley doesn't so much like them for beds but likes them in pots, she's a big fan. Then she adds a yellow, a lantana. Lantana is a nice hanging plant, it picks up the yellow from the canna too. The coleus will have a nice chartreuse color once it matures. Sweet potato vine is a great plant, it can grow a little bit out of control, thus needs to be controlled and trimmed during the season although some like for it to grow out of control. But remember you can always add more plants. This container will be a little chaotic, yet will have structure because of all the textures of the foliage with the bold, the lacy, the spiky and the bold again. All combine to give a structured look. This will be a great container.

Eric is ready to get his hands dirty and they start planting. They break up the root systems a little, especially on the larger plants because they don't want circling roots plus roots tend to integrate better with the potting media by breaking them up just a little. Plant the plants even with the soil. Don't bury them too deep. Root systems of plants like to live, for the most part, in the top 2 inches of the soil so if one buries them too deep you're creating problems before you get started. The final, yet very important step is making sure everything is watered in very well. As we were planting air pockets were being created, they are not good for the the root system. So make sure everything is watered in very well, this will help the roots integrate into the potting media. While watering they also use a liquid feed so the plants definitely get a really nice jump start. Hayley adds a nice finishing touch, she adds pine bark on top of the soil. It not only is decorative but keeps moisture in. The container is finished and it looks wonderful. We can tell you that we've kept this container on our set and 3 months after it was planted it is still doing great. It stands out among our many containers.

Eric thanks Hayley for her time and great container tips. We've learned a lot. Hayley is an artist with containers. Thanks Hayley.

 

 

LINKS:

Gibbs Gardens
World-Class Garden | North GA Destinations | Wedding Locations near Atlanta | Atlanta Gardens

Plant List

More Container Gardening Ideas From Hayley



   
   
 
   
   
   
   
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