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Home and Garden Decor with Containers – Where & How Many?

There are some practical considerations when deciding how many planters, pots and container to have on your deck or patio.  There is first of all, some very practical considerations such as available space, sun exposure and traffic flow.  We always seem to have more containers than we had intended, however, do not clutter up the deck or balcony area.  Do a little purging each Spring and decide which ones can be relocated or given away.  You do want to have enough room to sit and enjoy the flowers.  Here are some basic thoughts about location.  You want to leave enough room to sit down and enjoy the flowers, make them stand out so they can be easily seen and taken care of.  We always seem to be pinching the dead blossoms as we do our chores.

The planters, urns and containers should be placed in groups or pairs with similar combinations to mark the location of doors, stairways and transition areas on the deck.  This is a formal way to define or call attend to the entrance to the patio, and also creates the “doorway” between the house and deck.  Now we have a definite space and a sense or order.  Pairs of large, boldly planted containers help to ensure that important transitions on the deck or patio are clearly defined – ie. Dividing a walkway from a dining area.

Be sure that you do not crowd doorways.  Leave sufficient room for them to open properly and not hit the pots on your way in and out.  The same is true for sliding doors, leave enough room for people to enter and exist without tripping over your groupings.  You don’t want your plants to be crushed or torn by traffic or get caught in the doors.

In order to create a very comfortable outdoor living space, your deck should not be so crowded with plants that you don’t have room for visitors – you will not want your visitors to be afraid to move for fear of knocking something over or damaging one of your plants.  For two people to walk side by side easily, your walkways will need to be at least four and a half feet wide.

Don’t forget about your plants.  Plan for growth. It always seems that the plants spread and grow more than we anticipate and of course higher than the height of the pots.  Plants in two foot tall containers will spread at least three feet.

In Utility Areas, before you think about filling your containers, consider that you may need to get to that hose connection, hot tub, electrical outlet or grill.  Leave enough room to get around those areas or you will be the one knocking over or damaging one of your plants. You will become frustrated if your planters seem to get in your way especially in an active area or when there are always a number of people milling around.

We will continue our discussion next time on how to protect your plants – or how to make your plants comfortable in their space.

Marion Stewart is an avid gardener.  She loves sitting on her deck surrounded by so many varied flower-packed and herb planted containers. Her continued research has found these spectacular fine quality resin planters and garden containers and offers them in numerous colors, sizes and styles.


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