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Making Containers at Chanticleer

Learn how public gardens create those over-the-top container displays.

Jonathan Wright of Chanticleer in Wayne, Pennsylvania shows you how public gardens create those over-the-top container displays.

There are over 150 containers on display on the main terrace surrounding the house. Jonathan changes every container at least twice per year, to make sure the containers match with the seasons. Some containers are meant to last through the entire growing season, while some are quicker flashes of color that come and go with time. Jonathan creates about 300 different container combinations every year.

Some containers are designed to match with their surroundings. On the patio, many of the containers have silvery and purple colors to match the slate covering the patio.

Container ideas can be formed around specific plants, areas of the garden, or based on the blooming time.

Jonathan creates container designs for specific areas in mind. In dark, lifeless-looking areas, he tries to bring in some bold color.

Jonathan recommends staying away from containers and pots that are smaller at the opening than at the bottom and middle. The reasoning for this is that as roots develop inside the container, they spread out. This makes getting the plants out from the small opening at the end of the season extremely difficult. He recommends sticking to containers that are wider at the top, or at least the same size at the top as in the middle.

It is nice to pair two or more containers together. If you have one container with many plants, colors, and textures going on, it is nice to pair it next to a more simple container design with just one or two plants. It is important to consider the size, color, texture, and behavior of each plant. This way, you can decide which plant combinations will look the best together in a container planting. Think about what you want to showcase from each plant.

In dark areas, you may want to design a container with some bright foliage, to bring more light color to the area. You can give depth to your containers by bringing in some contrast.

Happy designing!

To learn more about the Chanticleer Garden, visit their website.

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