How to Group Container Gardens Together

Gather multiple potted plants to create the splendor of an in-ground border in a spot where gardening is otherwise impossible. Using containers, you can fill a space with beautiful color and texture that rivals earthbound planting beds.

Group Containers for Flexibility

Artfully arranged container gardens soften hardscapes and add living beauty that's easily changed through the seasons. Pots are portable and flexible, and a garden composed of containers naturally evolves through the growing season as plants peak and ebb. Enhance the drama by shifting pots around as the plants grow. Shortly after planting, cluster containers closely to create a sense of fullness. As plants mature and fill in, spread pots apart. Introduce more play into a container garden by moving plants in peak bloom to the forefront of the garden or elevating them above their neighbors. Likewise, slip plants past their prime to less prominent positions.

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Give Plants a Boost

When using multiple containers, position pots at varying heights for a more natural-looking scene with height and vertical interest. Follow these tips when lifting pots: Elevate small pots or plants to eye level to embody them with star power. Instead of being lost as ground-hugging squatters, they are lifted into scale with the surrounding scenery, commanding attention. Showcase easily overlooked blossoms by raising plants as they come into bloom. You also can shine a spotlight on artful objects, such as a saucer-style birdbath or tabletop fountain, simply by changing their height. Invert pots or saucers, 5-gallon buckets, bricks, concrete blocks, or logs cut to length to add height. Build your own pot elevators with treated lumber, or rely on pot feet or manufactured plant stands. Any object serving as a plant hoist must be sturdy. A well-watered container is heavy enough to crush a flimsy stand. Plant supports also need a wide base to stand up to wind. Camouflage container elevators by placing shorter pots full of rounded mound-shape plants such as Lantana, Pentas, Melampodium, Profusion zinnia, or geranium in front of the elevators. To screen taller plant lifts, position misty-shape plants like Diamond Frost Euphorbia or Mexican feathergrass in front of the supporting objects.

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Seeing Red

A trio of foliage plants -- Redhead coleus, 'Red Star' Cordyline, and 'Siam Ruby' banana -- serve varying shades of red that sparkle when teamed with a container filled with red geraniums and rose Nicotiana.

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Cheery Yellow

Plant two pots identically to create a goof-proof container blend. The yellow plants shown here are 'Versa Green Halo' coleus, Twinny snapdragon, and Superbells Yellow Calibrachoa.

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