Keeping color in your outdoor spaces is as easy as adding a few pots in vibrant shades. Here are 10 ways to use them
Imagine what a difference it would make in your garden to switch out earth-toned pots that blend in with the background with containers that visually pop in shades of blue, red, orange or even purple. Colorful containers can be used in many ways to stand out and grab our attention in outdoor spaces — often where it’s more challenging to add color.
Hick’s yew tree (Taxus x media ‘Hicksii’), purple inch plant (Tradescantia sp.) and bright orange ornamental peppers fill this fall container.
Le jardinet, original photo on Houzz
1. Brighten up an entry. Large, colorful containers near an entry help guide the eye toward the front door, creating an inviting atmosphere for visitors. Create a soft, complementary color combination for a container with plants prized for their green foliage, such as asparagus fern, rosemary and sweet potato vine (Ipomoea batatas). To create a more dramatic color statement, use flowering plants and pots that have contrasting colors, such as blue and orange or red and green.
A large teal pot adds height and color to this entry.
Margie Grace - Grace Design Associates, original photo on Houzz
2. Create a colorful corner. Outdoor spaces are often filled with empty corners begging for attention. These are ideal spots to add color, which can be done with the addition of a single container filled with an accent plant such as an agave or a slipper plant (Pedilanthus macrocarpus), as shown here.
You can go even further by creating an outdoor living space, complete with a seating area, colorful throw pillows and cushions alongside a vibrant container.
Colorful pots are arranged in complementary shades of orange, red and yellow.
3. Transform a bare wall or fence. Nowhere is the need for height and color more evident than an area facing a view of a bare fence or wall. One of the easiest and most dramatic ways to create a beautiful backdrop is to add a row of tall containers in your favorite color.
The choice of what to plant in them is up to you — succulents such as agave and golden barrel cactus (Echinocactus grusonii) do well in pots that receive full sun. For less sunny sites, consider adding plants prized for their foliage, such as ferns.
Le jardinet, original photo on Houzz
4. Add color to a shady spot. Many homeowners complain about the lack of color in shady garden areas. Many plants don’t flower in the shade, which contributes to a lack of color. Solve this problem by adding a colorful container, which can be filled with shade-loving plants that are prized for their foliage, such as hostas.
Lisa Gimmy Landscape Architecture, original photo on Houzz
5. Combine color and utility. Containers can introduce plants to places where there isn’t any ground for them to grow in. Plants soften straight lines, add color and fill empty corners while providing contrasting texture to the outside of buildings. Introduce a double dose of color in these areas by adding a colorful container filled with flowering plants.
6. Add outdoor art. Pots are increasingly being used, both indoors and outside, for decorative purposes, as their color, shape and texture are design elements in themselves. Containers can be filled with plants, left empty or filled with natural materials such as bamboo, willow branches or dried ocotillo canes.
Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting, original photo on Houzz
7. Create a colorful fountain. Pots can be transformed into water features. Water flows from the top of the container and gently down its sides, creating soothing sounds while adding beauty to the landscape. Hummingbirds are especially attracted to container water features, as they offer an easy spot to perch.
8. Create a powerful statement with small pots. Size doesn’t always matter when it comes to adding color, and this is true of pots. When dealing with small containers, the key is to select one in a bright, contrasting color that grabs your interest, such as bright orange, red or turquoise.
A quartet of blue glazed pots filled with succulents brightens a garden corner.
Kuth / Ranieri Architects, original photo on Houzz
9. Carry a color theme throughout the garden. When designing the interior of our homes, we select elements that repeat a particular color scheme, which is pleasing to the eye and helps to tie various design elements together. The same is true of using color in the garden. Colorful containers can be used for this purpose, along with colorful seat cushions, umbrellas, a brightly painted wall and plants of a particular color.
10. Jazz up houseplants. Plants grown indoors are most notable for their foliage and not necessarily for their color. By planting them in colorful containers, you add interest to the houseplant while also incorporating an additional color element to the interior of your home.