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.

Designer’s Block- Ground Plain Inspiration

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This is the time of the year when I need to be on my game, the most creative, innovative…..  However this the point in the year when I feel most removed and beaten down by the winter.  To combat this “Designer’s Block” I peruse through images…. Pinterest, Instagram, and pictures from my travels.  Garden visiting is so vital to my creative being.  A change of scenery goes a long way into the generation of ideas.  I cherish the images I am able to capture on these journeys.

Today the focus is on the ground plain.  Paving is such a great way to set yourself as a designer.  I pride myself on my patterns and schemes I work into my designs.  Yes, I am a complete plant nerd- but I also love architecture and pattern.

Please enjoy images from my travels and I hope you find inspiration the pattern…..Maybe it will help to get you out of a funk, like it did me!

Designer's Block- Ground Plain Inspiration, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

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Looking back: Container Designs 2015

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Looking back: Container Designs 2015, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

Finally, we have snow and below freezing temperatures. This mild winter has allowed the team to continue with projects up until Christmas, and now finally we have a chance to breath. 2015 was a busy year, and unfortunately I did not always remember to bring my camera to the job site. And as I look back at blog post, I did not share much of what we accomplished. But now I am in the office, editing the images I will spend the winter posting to catch up.

 

Here is a selection of our container designs from our main container season of May through October. Looking back: Container Designs 2015, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

 

Looking back: Container Designs 2015, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

Looking back: Container Designs 2015, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

Looking back: Container Designs 2015, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Looking back: Container Designs 2015, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Looking back: Container Designs 2015, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Looking back: Container Designs 2015, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Looking back: Container Designs 2015, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

Looking back: Container Designs 2015, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

Looking back: Container Designs 2015, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Looking back: Container Designs 2015, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Looking back: Container Designs 2015, Thinking Outside the Boxwood Looking back: Container Designs 2015, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

 

Looking back: Container Designs 2015, Thinking Outside the Boxwood

Looking back: Container Designs 2015, Thinking Outside the Boxwood