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Learning From Other’s Container Gardening Mistakes

This past weekend I had a wonderful time just outside of Denver celebrating the wedding of one of my cousins. It was nice to get away for a little bit and see a different part of the country. Of course, while there, I couldn’t resist checking out some local container gardens. As far as I can tell, Colorado is a stunningly beautiful state. And most of the plantings I saw were beautiful. But I did see two that I thought could be learning opportunities. I hate to say something not nice, but if these two containers can save you from making the same mistakes, it’ll be worth it. I hope.

Not Enough Color Variation

You all know how much I love black plants. But there is such a thing as too much in one container. And I think this planting falls victim to that mistake. The purple fountain grass combined with the black sweet potato vine turns this container into a black hole. It looks drab instead of eye-catching.

If I was in charge of this pot, I would have substituted a lime green sweet potato vine for the deep purple one. After that, if it needed more help carrying through the black theme, I would have added a plant with black flowers. But two plants with black foliage is too much.

So Close, But Not Quite

I loved how lush and colorful this planting was. And it is a nice mix of textures and sizes. But the purple cordyline spikes are too small to stand on their own alongside the cascade of other plants. Perhaps this pot looked great when first planted, but the rest of the plants have grown faster than the cordyline?

If I was a container gardening fairy godmother, I would tap my wand and plant something black that was bigger. I like the spikey-ness. But it just needs to have more stature.

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