Focal Point

“Focal Point”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana

When I first started gardening, I was living in an apartment with just a patio, so I started out with container plants.  I still have many plants in containers for various reasons.  For example, tender plants that must be protected from winter’s chill, plants that beautify the front porch or patio, and those I just haven’t been able to get around to planting in the ground.

But, I have been wanting that one, big focal point container.  The one that really draws the eye.  The one you see in magazines or garden books that just makes you stop and stare.  I haven’t come up with one yet that would fit in with my garden, but I did see one at the garden show that I would love to have.

I would need a very large area for this large container arrangement, but it does give me some ideas.  I liked the way it was planted underneath.  Using a shorter frame for a container, you could plant around the base and have the same effect.  I liked the way the ground plants anchor this tall frame and container into the area.  The crotons with the green trailing plants are great for fall color.  By using ivy as the trailing plants, you could then just have to change out the center plants as the seasons change it you wanted it to be seasonal, or with hardy plants it would be great year round.  I was even thinking that maybe a blooming hydrangea for spring would be nice, and when it stops blooming, just plant it in the garden.  With a large container, the possibilities are endless.

The more I look at the photo I took, the more I think I can duplicate this on a smaller scale, and then, just maybe, I will have that focal point container I’ve always wanted.


  1. nancybond said,

    October 29, 2008 at 7:25 pm

    Ooo, I love this. And you make a good point about lowering it a little — I think it would be even more striking that way so things could tumble over, almost to the ground. With or without planting underneath it would be gorgeous!

  2. AnnA said,

    October 29, 2008 at 8:05 pm

    I dream about this kind of thing all the time. My mind is constantly coming up with combinations. The pic above is amazing. If it was a shady area, I’d plant elephant ears or alocasia, caladiums, illumination and non stop begonias, then fill in with peach impatiens. Or,

  3. Jan said,

    October 30, 2008 at 4:36 am

    Nancy, after looking at the picture again, I am even more determined to find something similar but smaller. I think it is so pretty.

    Anna, your idea for a shady area would be perfect. I think once the creative juices get going, gardeners could come up with some really good combinations.

  4. Randy said,

    October 30, 2008 at 6:26 am

    That is a beautiful planter. I love yard art. Jamie and I find so much we like; I hope we don’t end up over doing it. I love statuary, but like Jamie say, “We don’t want it to look like a cement truck threw up in the back yard. “ LOL

  5. Brenda Kula said,

    October 30, 2008 at 3:13 pm

    My gardening friend/neighbor has many containers that look something like that with seasonal plants in them. Big containers. Yesterday I picked up a few pansies and, as I have poison ivy and don’t feel like digging in the ground, I just squeezed them into some plants in a long Victorian iron stand that had trailing ivy-type plants already in it. I’m liking the look.

  6. Jan said,

    October 30, 2008 at 6:25 pm

    Randy, I love garden art, too. As long as the art can only be seen one or two at a time, I think you can’t have too much. That is why so much of mine is hidden or tucked around bends or corners. Jamie certainly has a way with words. I know exactly what he means.

    Brenda, I think containers are a great solution for spots of color. I bet your pansies in the Victorian plant stand looks great and appropriate. Pansie were a favorite of Victorian gardners.

  7. October 17, 2011 at 5:54 am

    I have combined Geraniums and Coleus once in one plant container and the result was awesome!

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