GardenSMART :: 5 Ways to Design with Patterned Flowers
5 Ways to Design with Patterned Flowers
By Susan Martin for Proven Winners
Photographs courtesy of Proven Winners
When you head to the garden center this spring, you'll find more patterned flowers than ever before. All those stripes, speckles and pinwheels are dazzling but it takes a little know-how to pair them with other flowers in container recipes. Here are five creative ways to design spectacular container recipes using patterned flowers.
If patterned flowers are your jam, plant a whole container full of them! When you choose varieties with complementary colors like the pinks and purples you see here, it helps them blend seamlessly together without one color being too dominant.
Here, we chose two kinds of flowers with similar starburst-like stripes and paired them with one solid purple flower as an accent. Over time, the pink patterned Supertunia® Lovie Dovie™ petunia and Superbena® Stormburst verbena will take on a full and trailing shape, while Angelface® Cascade Blue angelonia will continue to create pops of color in and around the other plants.
Patterned foliage is always trending, and some of our most popular include varieties like Hippo® polka dot plant, ColorBlaze® coleus and Graceful Grasses® 'Fireworks' fountain grass. An easy way to highlight their unique foliage is by pairing them with solid-colored flowers.
In the Gloria Rose recipe shown here, we chose a rose pink shade of Rockapulco® impatiens to match the pink splashed leaves of Hippo Rose. Sprinkles of tiny white flowers from Diamond Frost® euphorbia scattered throughout keep the recipe from looking too saturated in pink. Using a white container draws out the white tones in the recipe, keeping it looking nice and fresh all season.
A simple technique that designers use to create perfect combinations every time is color echoing. To create a color echo, choose one color from a bicolor flower or leaf and repeat it in its planting partner. In the Chasing Rainbows recipe shown here, we started with a bicolor yellow and purple Catalina® Gilded Grape™ torenia and echoed its purple tones by pairing it with a solid bright purple Superbells® Grape Punch™.
That one color echo would have been enough to make a beautiful container, but we went even further by using a second color echo with the yellow and white striped Superbells® Lemon Slice®. Echoing the yellow and purple tones brings all the flowers in this container into one harmonious rhythm.
Mixing Patterned Flowers with Solids in Combinations
If you're looking to create a more subtly beautiful container recipe, choose only one patterned variety with smaller sized blossoms and pair it with larger, solid-colored companions. Doing this makes the flowers with solid colors the star of the show with the striped or speckled ones playing a supporting role.
In our Smiling Faces recipe shown here, we chose Superbells® Tropical Sunrise, a coral calibrachoa that's splashed with golden stripes, as our patterned flower. We paired it with much larger, soft yellow Supertunia® Limoncello® petunias and a solid coral pink Superbells® Coralina. Over time, Limoncello will become more trailing and the patterned Superbells will adorn the recipe with its playful striped flowers.
When you give each flower its own container, it's easy to mix and match until you find just the right combination.
Showcasing Patterned Flowers in Separate Containers
The easiest way of all to design with patterned flowers is to give each one its own container. Changing things around makes it much easier to find just the look you're going for.
In the grouping above, we used solid magenta colored Supertunia® Royal Magenta® petunias planted in a black pot as our grounding element. On its left, we echoed its magenta tones in the star pattern of Superbells® Morning Star™ calibrachoa. On its right, we chose a complementary purple patterned Supertunia® Violet Star Charm petunia. While the two patterned flowers might have looked too busy if set side by side, they shine independently when separated by the container of solid magenta flowers.
Want to explore more container recipes using patterned flowers?
By Pamela Crawford, author, Easy Patio Veggies & Herbs
Photographs by Pamela Crawford
Pamela has written a great article about mixing herbs in containers. Herbs are natural companions with different textures for interest. The herb mix of parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme offers lots of flavor from a small combination loaded with textural interest.
To learn more, click here .
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