There are several design principles to take into consideration when planning your container gardens.
- The point or area where the eye is drawn first. Place the focus below the tallest point to achieve balance. Develop focus by using large, coarse, or bright colored plant material in that area. All plant material should radiate out from the focus.
- A feeling of stability. Symmetrical balance is equal, almost identical elements on each side of a central axis, with the highest point over the center. Asymmetrical balance is when the two sides of the central axis are not mirror images but have the same visual weight.
- Vary the form of the plant material you choose; use tall linear species to add height; mounded species to add mass; and low growing, cascading species to fill in, add depth, and soften the edges of the container.
- Add coarse, medium, and fine textured plants together. Three to five species will achieve an assortment of forms and textures. Use variation and gradation of form and texture.
- Repeat color at regular intervals around the outside of a round container or along the length of a long rectangular container. Repeat color in several containers to "tie" them together. Graceful lines of plant leaves add flow and rhythm.
- Use larger and/or more plants in larger containers, and less and/or smaller plants in small containers. Rule of thumb is the height of the tallest plant should not exceed 1X-2X the height of the container excluding pedestals and "air-fairy" sprigs. Best to use odd numbers:one, three, five or seven plants or plugs of each cultivar.