How to Create Great Fall Containers

November 13, 2012

potted plants Many Portland homeowners dread fall because they think it means the end of decorative plants and shrubbery. While spring and summer do feature some nice foliage, fall and winter offer some great opportunities to bust out the old pots and containers and fill them with the wonderful seasonal plants Portland has to offer. Not sure how to create an attractive fall container? Don’t worry! We’ve got some great tips on making the most of your potted plantings. Enjoy!


Pick A Focal Point

It’s important to pick a strong focal point for your container. This plant should be bold, attention grabbing, and feature strong architecture. Look for plants that are tall, that have unique and unusual architecture, or that have bring, vibrant colors. Many gardeners and landscapers use evergreen plants as focal points in their containers, but feel free to pick one that really speaks to you.


Use Complimentary Fillers

Ideally, a filler plant should provide contrast and depth to the container without overshadowing the focal point. Look for plants with a texture that complements and contrasts your main plant. For instance, if your focal plant is tall and spindly, look for a shorter plant with rounded leaves. Or, if your focal plant is colorful and vibrant, use a softer, ornamental grass as the filler. Always remember that the filler is just a complement; don’t choose something that’s going to steal the show from your focal point.


Don’t Be Afraid to Cram!

Many people are way too conservative with the number and types of plants they put in a single container. Don’t be afraid of overcrowding – the plants will survive just fine. Actually, cramming some crawling plants into your container can cause some nice cascading effects. The ones closest to the edge will spill over the side and add even more depth to the pot.


Mulch, Mulch, Mulch

Adding a layer of bark mulch, rocks, or gravel to your container will not only make it look more polished, it will also help the dirt retain water. If your container is packed full of plants you might not need to worry about mulch, but it’s a good idea to add just in case one of your pieces doesn’t survive.


Edibles Are Attractive Too!

Lastly, don’t forget your veggies! There are a number of delicious and healthy fall and winter vegetables you can grow in a container that are as beautiful in the pot as they are on your plate. Cabbage, beets, garlic, squash, spinach, rutabaga, and parsnips are just a few of the many fall and winter vegetables you can grow in the Pacific Northwest. Not sure when to plant? Check out this great guide for fall and winter vegetable gardening from the fine folks at Oregon State University.


At Improvement Remodeling, we love integrating containers, pots, and planter boxes into our deck and patio construction projects. Contact us today to find out how we can help you avoid the bland Portland winter with a fast and affordable outdoor renovation project. 


Photo credit: hortulus / Foter / CC BY

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