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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.

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View the Pure Harmony planting recipe.

Patterns, Patterns and More Patterns!

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.

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View the Gloria Rose planting recipe.

Pair Patterned Foliage with Flowers

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.

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View the Chasing Rainbows planting recipe.

Using Color Echoes

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. 

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View the Smiling Faces planting recipe.

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.

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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?

Use our Container Recipe Search Tool to find recipes that include your favorite patterned flowers.

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Patent Info: Supertunia® Lovie Dovie™ Petunia USPP29663 CanPBRAF; Superbena® Stormburst Verbena USPP29640 CanPBRAF; Angelface® Cascade Blue Angelonia USPPAF CanPBRAF; Graceful Grasses® 'Fireworks' Pennisetum USPP18504; Diamond Frost® Euphorbia USPP17567 Can2830; Catalina® Gilded Grape™ Torenia USPP20242 Can3904; Superbells® Grape Punch™ Calibrachoa USPP29760 Can5784; Superbells® Lemon Slice® Calibrachoa USPP24353 Can4917; Superbells® Tropical Sunrise Calibrachoa USPP29029 CanPBRAF; Supertunia® Limoncello® Petunia USPP23282; Superbells® Coralina Calibrachoa USPP28036 Can5556; Supertunia® Royal Magenta® Petunia USPP29811 CanPBRAF; Superbells® Morning Star™ Calibrachoa USPP29030 Can5782 US Utility 9313959; Supertunia® Violet Star Charm Petunia USPP 28051 Can5516

Contributor Bio: Susan Martin is an avid zone 6 gardener, garden writer and speaker who enjoys spreading her passion for plants to her fellow gardeners across North America.


All articles are copyrighted and remain the property of the author.

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