Colour Co-ordinate Window Flower Boxes/Garden Pots and Planters

Container Gardening Ideas

Colour Co-Ordinate Your Garden Pots and Planters

We are all individuals and we choose the colours of paintwork, curtains, sunblinds and so on because we like them. We can continue these colours when choosing plants and flowers. It is a good idea when planning hanging flower baskets, window flower boxes, and other garden pots and planters, for plants to mentally step right outside the very familiarity of the house and try to see it as others might.

garden pots and planters

A colourful hanging basket or window flower box can even be used to disguise an unattractive view inside the house as well as looking good from the street. If the only thing you can see from the window is a brick wall opposite, try to think of a backdrop to your planting. Use it, play it work it into your scheme by choosing colours which complement it or contrast with it.

A cool grey wall opposite will make tomato-red begonias stand out in exciting contrast, while pink and blue flowers will be enchanting, and clear yellow African or French marigolds will practically sing. If you face an orange-red brick wall, choose just the right shade of apricot, lime-green, brown, plum, or grey — all these colours can be found in plants, especially those grown principally for their foliage.

Similarly, brightly-planted garden pots and planters in your own garden will draw the eye away from the heating oil tank or next door’s garden shed. To be really successful, colour plantings in window flower boxes and other containers must be carefully considered together with the character of the house and the materials from which it is built. We have probably all noticed how a flowering pink cherry blossoming in springtime, looks superb when seen against a blue sky and ‘nothing’ against an orange-red brick building. If we take care over such details we can achieve splendid planned-looking effects with no more effort, no more cost, than for a scheme which blends poorly. Yet it is surprising how often this is forgotten or ignored.

And walls can be painted, or even bits of them. Fresh white walls show off all colours excellently, and the green foliage looks smart against white. However, white must be kept sparkling white. Wall paints for outdoors are available also in many other colours nowadays.

Whether planting up hanging flower baskets, window flower boxes, or garden pots and planters, first-rate visual impact is achieved by keeping the colours sharp, clean cut, and definite, and choosing plants with not too greatly varied a colour mix. Having said that, it must be admitted that in some situations a multi-coloured planting can be a real crowd-stopper. It is largely a matter of playing it by eye and then learning from experience.

I greatly admired a colour scheme I saw recently. Three big flower boxes arranged on one side of the entrance steps to a stylish town house brilliantly led the eye up from pavement level to the front door. All the planting was kept to low carpets of massed pansies. The lowest box had deep purple flowers, the middle one had gold, and the top one had cream. Few of us would have the courage to stick to just one flower type and use it in such solid blocks of colour.

A friend of mine has a field opposite her cottage; in summer it is sunny with buttercups. She too fills her window flower boxes with pansies, of the same colour as the buttercups, and the effect when seen from inside the sitting room, which has soft green watered silk curtains and primrose-yellow cushion covers, is striking.

Plants in window flower boxes and other garden pots and planters, can be arranged to colour-match the plants growing near them out of doors. I remember seeing a stone building with a rather severe forecourt which had been enlivened with tubs in which hellebores hung jade-green bells against the stones, lime-yellow euphorbia lit up a dark corner, and a golden ivy cavorted up a wall so that the eye was irresistibly drawn to the window flower boxes emblazoned with polyanthus in orange, yellow, and gold.

White hanging flower baskets and white boxes on a stone window ledge can look marvellous planted up with pale pinks and reds to complement richer pink roses growing nearby. Blue hydrangeas and white agapanthus in containers can be colour-linked with a blue ceanothus climbing up a white trellis. A striped garden awning might well be in hot bright colours and for summer days one of these colours could be repeated in the planting scheme. And why not, if you liked the colours enough to buy the awning in the first place? A hundred years ago, Victorian gardeners were using scarlet geraniums, trailing blue lobelia, and purple petunias in their hanging flower baskets, and the habit is still with us. Yet many other colours are possible in even the simplest scheme, and this is an age when most people take far more interest in colour around the home.

‘Can I plant some red Busy Lizzies in my hanging flower basket?’ someone asked me the other day. Well, there’s no law against it! If ‘doing your own thing’ about colour will not stick out like a sore thumb in your neighbourhood, why not paint your front door some jewel-bright colour and put up eye-catching window flower boxes and hanging baskets planted to match? With such a bold scheme, though, it must be a point of honour to keep everything in good order.

A clear plain colour is best for gardening containers as a rule, though last year I enjoyed seeing window boxes, outside a small mews house, painted vivid sea-blue. Each flower box was decorated on the front with a white cut-out daisy. The boxes, a hanging flower basket, and two garden pots and planters either side of the garage door were filled to overflowing with marguerites.

02. September 2010 by Dave Pinkney
Categories: Container Gardening, Gardening Ideas, Hanging Baskets, Window Boxes | Tags: , | Comments Off on Colour Co-ordinate Window Flower Boxes/Garden Pots and Planters


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