Tutorial: Updated Container Gardening

While browsing my latest edition of Better Homes and Gardens, I came upon an article on “What’s Hot” in Container Gardening. Right now, monochromatic plant combinations are in! Blend foliage in similar hues but mix in shapes, sizes and textures for interest.

Living in the Pacific Northwest, fall and winter can be drab times. Take hold of the last bit of nice weather and use this as the perfect way to update your containers for the season. All you need are some cute little dwarf and miniature conifers in rich hues to keep things cheery and fresh throughout the coming season.

When you are searching for the perfect plants for your update, consider these helpful tips:

Add texture.  Abies koreana `Blauer Eskimo’ is a miniature, blue, globe form of Korean Fir. The spiny texture adds dimension to your garden.  Very hardy, and growing just one inch a year makes it a perfect plant for rock gardens or troughs.


Do more with a column or spire.  Height adds drama and makes any freshly planted container look more complete. A great choice is Juniperus communis `Compressa’.  This is the best columnar plant for trough or rock gardens. It has silvery-blue foliage on a tight, columnar arrow.


Variegated colors. Staying in the same color family, but adding a little variation will complete the look.  Each of these plants has a silver-blue hue to them. Picea glauca `Blue Planet’ is a miniature Alberta Spruce. It might be just a tight little compact ball, but its showstopper leaves have tiny little buds and steel-blue foliage. This plant is a miniature and in three years it will only be the size of a quarter.


Each example above has a blue hue to it. There are many color choices for dwarf and miniature conifers, head to your local garden center for more information.

One last handy tip: plant in odd numbers for the most visually appealing arrangement. Groups of 3, 5 or 7 will be the most pleasing!  Try 2 textures, 2 variegated colors and a spire for a well-rounded container.

Keep posted here for more tips on how to transition these containers through the holiday season and into spring.


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