By Kimberly Toscano
Paved and wooden surfaces define space in the landscape and provide surfaces for work and play, but they can also create areas void of color. Brighten hard surfaces with colorful containers of Encore® Azalea.
What better way to welcome guests than with a container full of blossoms? For an elegant entrance, flank the doorway with a matching set of tall containers. On raised porches, try lining the stairway with smaller pots or anchor the top step with large, paired containers. Place Encore® containers toward the edge of covered porches where they can receive plenty of sunlight.
Containers are a great way to delineate space in open patios and decks. Use pots to frame the edge or entrance to a deck. Line up a row of containers to create a green wall that provides a sense of enclosure while maintaining open lines of view across the landscape. You can vary the height of your greenway by selecting short or tall containers to match the desired mood.
Encore® Azaleas pair beautifully together. Use containers of varying heights to add dimension to your patio planting. Intermixing azaleas of different sizes can accentuate variations in height. Plant dwarf varieties like Autumn Ivory™ or Autumn Chiffon™ in low containers and taller varieties like Autumn Empress™ in larger urns or pots. Play with color as well as plant size in creating your unique combination.
Mark the transition from one garden room to the next with a large container planting. A single Encore® Azalea nestled into a colorful container creates a showy anchor along the edge of a planting or at the opening to a pathway. For a more formal aesthetic, try flanking transition zones with matching containers.
Incorporating raised planters into hardscape areas breaks up the monotony of hard surfaces, while providing an ideal planting location for Encore® Azalea. Raised beds have excellent drainage to support healthy roots, ample growing area, and easily-amended soils to meet the needs of azaleas. The large planter allows for playful color-pairing or dramatic mass plantings.
Both containers themselves and the plants tucked inside them offer endless opportunities for designing with color. When selecting plants and containers, the first thing to consider is house color. Look for hues that harmonize with the main color of your home, provide contrast, or echo the trim of the house. Repeat flower colors in your furnishings and décor, such as rugs and patio pillows.