Boston Container Designs

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I am working pulling together all the posts from my trip out to Boston for the APLD conference and I found photos from walking around Boston that don’t fit into any of my other posts. Boston had some great container designs in the Back Bay area and along the shops on Newbury street. If you want to see more beautiful container designs from the Boston area, view fellow APLD member and Friend, Ellen of PERENNIAL GARDENS portfolio.

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GARDEN TREND: Monoculture Container Design

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GARDEN TREND: Monoculture Container Design, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

 

I give credit for the monoculture trend in container design to the brilliant container groupings by Danish gardener Claus Dalby. The groupings of containers he places at the entrance of his garden receive over 2,000 Instagram likes for the striking color and scale impact they create. Traditionally you see “mono” container groups of singular variety of specimen plants, such as begonias or succulents. However, this new trend focuses on a variety of plants curated based on color and texture. I compare it to a French or English florist showcasing the seasons best blooms at the entrance to their shop.  The work featured here is all by Claus, but there are a lot of Nordic designers that are creating amazing monoculture container groupings are large and smaller scale.

New Garden Design Trend - Monoculture Container Design showcased in the work by Claus Dalby. More on the trend at Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com

 

Generally, monocultures are not a good horticulture practice since they leave your garden vulnerable to pest and disease. Just ask anyone losing their boxwood to boxwood blight or dealing with the relics of Emerald Ash borer. However in container gardens, planting pots in a singular species gives you flexibility in swapping out under performers and revise placement based on height and spread.

 

New Garden Design Trend - Monoculture Container Design showcased in the work by Claus Dalby. More on the trend at Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com

 

HOW TO CREATE A MONOCULTURE CONTAINER GROUPING

 

SKILL LEVEL: This container design method is great for gardening novices, you can move and swap to keep it looking fresh and easily replant any unsuccessful pot. Also mono-containers can use smaller, less expensive containers and be placed in compact outdoor spaces. Plant geek level gardeners will also love this trend since you can highlight your unique plants and constantly fiddle with your groupings.

 

PLANT SELECTION: Following in Claus’ footsteps, I recommending following a strict color palate when selecting plants. Either go for variations on one color family or just warm or cool tones. If you are more confident in color theory, mix it up with using complementary colors, etc. But remember this is a designed collection, not a hodgepodge of random plants.

 

CONTAINER SELECTION: This design is great for smaller containers which don’t work with when building combo containers. Since using small and easily moved containers they can be made of just about any material; terracotta (just store indoors during freezing temperatures), metal, concrete, pottery, fiber-clay and reclaimed containers.

 

CARE: Smaller containers will have more frequent maintenance. Check soil daily for moisture. Some weather could require daily watering compared to their in the ground counterparts. Smaller pots provide less organic matter for growing and will result in root bound plants with a shorter plant lifespans for your plants. Outside of watering, remember to fertilize and feed your plants. Also lighter containers could be susceptible to strong winds blowing over, so just take note if placing on a balcony.

 

ARRANGING: For the height and impact, you need a multi-tiered surface. You can start with a grouping of tables nesting together or line a collection down your stairs. You can take it to the next level and find or build a tiered plant stand (try searching antique/vintage French and English plant stand for some ideas). The objective is to have a graduated height with focus on the plants not the stand. For the minimum I would start with 10 containers and a maximum only limited to what the space can hold.

 

GARDEN TREND: Monoculture Container Design, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

I am currently building my small container supply and designing a plant stand based on some antique French models to create my own grand display. I will share the plant stand design and planting results. Also, if you don’t already follow Claus on Instagram (with over 100,000 followers- I hope you do), I highly recommend you add him to your list and include posting notification. Outside of views into his own garden, Claus visits some beautiful gardens across Europe.

A Visit to Terrain in Westport, CT

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A visit to Terrain in Westport. Images on garden merchandising and container combinations. More images at Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com

 

Last week we returned from a 10 day, 1,600 miles and 30 hours of diving trip out to the East Coast for the Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD) conference in Boston. We decided to drive out and tack a few days on the front and back to visit family, take the kids to New York City and visit Niagara Falls with the flexibility to make additional stops as we wished. We included  in our itinerary a stop at Terrain in Westport, Ct. I have visited the Pennsylvania location during the fall when the store was between fall and holiday, but was excited to see their merchandising prowess during the summer’s abundance of plants. We visited on a Tuesday when the store opened, so had the ability to explore and photograph with little disruption.

 

 

A visit to Terrain in Westport. Images on garden merchandising and container combinations. More images at Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.comA visit to Terrain in Westport. Images on garden merchandising and container combinations. More images at Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com

A visit to Terrain in Westport. Images on garden merchandising and container combinations. More images at Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com A visit to Terrain in Westport. Images on garden merchandising and container combinations. More images at Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com  A visit to Terrain in Westport. Images on garden merchandising and container combinations. More images at Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com  A visit to Terrain in Westport. Images on garden merchandising and container combinations. More images at Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.comA visit to Terrain in Westport. Images on garden merchandising and container combinations. More images at Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com A visit to Terrain in Westport. Images on garden merchandising and container combinations. More images at Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com  A visit to Terrain in Westport. Images on garden merchandising and container combinations. More images at Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com

You get the sense the store is set up more for the  “do it for me” clientele than the home gardener, but there are great ideas for any gardening retailer for merchandising techniques. Throughout all areas there completed grab and go containers or examples for shoppers to request the same combo to take home.

 

CREATE COLLECTIONS. Terrain took advantage of “end-cap” displays similar to grocery stores in the rows of plants. They used it as an area to highlight different planting combinations, not just related to a specific species.

A visit to Terrain in Westport. Images on garden merchandising and container combinations. More images at Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.comA visit to Terrain in Westport. Images on garden merchandising and container combinations. More images at Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com

Garden merchandising inspiration from Terrain at Westport, CT. More at Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com

 

GOING VERTICAL. The play on height was used throughout the outdoor area. Very few products were placed on the ground, with most placed on tiered displays. The height brought plants closer to eye level and allowed more variety to be seen at one time. It also helped create gardening rooms and intimacy to the shopping experience.

Garden merchandising inspiration from Terrain at Westport, CT. More at Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com Garden merchandising inspiration from Terrain at Westport, CT. More at Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com Garden merchandising inspiration from Terrain at Westport, CT. More at Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com

 

CROSS-MERCHANDISE.  Another key element was the cross-merchandising of containers with plant material and furniture. There were specific areas dedicated to containers, but in almost all plant areas, empty and planted containers were also merchandised.

Garden merchandising inspiration from Terrain at Westport, CT. More at Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.comGarden merchandising inspiration from Terrain at Westport, CT. More at Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com

 

VINTAGE & FOUND ITEMS: The display antiques synonymous with Anthropologie stores are also included through out the space. I was hoping for a bit more selection of the one-off items. They are still mainly used as visual props, however the best store for merchandising and selling antique items is Detroit Garden Works.

A visit to Terrain in Westport. Images on garden merchandising and container combinations. More images at Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.comA visit to Terrain in Westport. Images on garden merchandising and container combinations. More images at Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com

Garden merchandising inspiration from Terrain at Westport, CT. More at Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com

Garden merchandising inspiration from Terrain at Westport, CT. More at Thinkingoutsidetheboxwood.com