Personal Garden Coach

The Motivational Gardener at Large

Garden Designer’s Roundtable-“Container Style” May 25, 2010

When we move into a new house, condominium or apartment, many of us dream about how we can start personalizing our space and really give it our personal signature. Adding your personal flair to a garden in the form of a long term design plan or potentially even construction takes planning and lots of money.
You can easily get that instant gratification by adding a container garden or maybe even more than one special
container in various focal point places for your garden, patio or balcony. A personal statement that is unique and
defines your garden personality can be made in a million different ways such as through color, theme, scale or drama.

The little nursery where I work has me design containers for sale as well as custom designs for customers. I also create container gardens for my own “Personal Garden Coach” clients and of course myself! I need to have a VERY flexible design attitude to be able to change with the customer or client as well as creating container gardens for anyone who may fancy them at the nursery. This may mean that I design a container that is pink and feminine one minute and then create a modern contemporary creation for a bachelor pad the next! This gives me a wonderful perspective for using plants in a large number of ways that may not be typical, in other words, I have creative license to use whatever my imagination allows.

I think that one of the most valuable ways to understand the potential for containers in your space is through pictures and I have many! A number of them are just quick snaps that I take at the nursery very quickly as I put them out for sale and others are from my garden, clients garden or shows I’ve attended.

Some women get all crazy about shoes, for me it’s pottery!! OK, make that any container really. As long as it has drainage, or even the potential for drainage, it’s fair game in my book. I’m not going to go into all of the myriad of possibilities for various container options or we could be here all day. Let’s just suffice it to say for this post, that any and all are just fine by me!

A container as a focal point is a design strategy that is used by many as a way to draw the eye to a particular point or area in the garden. One of my favorite new containers is seen best from inside my house, silhouetted against my neighbors home. Here are a few pics of the garden and the focal point pot as it was installed and as the garden began to mature over the seasons. In the foreground is a spectacular Hydrangea Paniculata that blooms right there in the window for a full on summer display!

Frequently I allow the container to determine the design of the plants. I will choose a container that inspires me for a particular spot and then let the plants show off or support the shape and color of the container.

I hope you enjoy these pictures that I’ve assembled here. Leave me a comment and share how you make your containers special!

Close up details are fun in containers too!

Don’t forget to have a little sense of humor.  :-)

Garden Designer’s Roundtable is wonderful group of garden bloggers who also happen to be terrific designers. Please visit their posts on “Containers” as well.

This month’s bloggers!

Debbie Roberts : A Garden of Possibilities : Stamford, CT

Jenny Petersen: J Petersen Garden Design : Austin TX

Jocelyn Chilvers : The Art Garden : Denver, CO

Laura Livengood Schaub : Interleafings : San Jose, CA

Rebecca Sweet : Gossip In the Garden : Los Altos, CA

Rochelle Greayer : Studio “G” : Boston, MA

Lesley Hegarty & Robert Webber : Hegarty Webber Partnership : Bristol, UK

Scott Hokunson : Blue Heron Landscapes : Granby, CT

Shirley Bovshow : Eden Makers : Los Angeles, CA

Tara Dillard : : Atlanta, GA


38 Responses to “Garden Designer’s Roundtable-“Container Style””

  1. […] Christina Salwitz : Personal Garden Coach : Renton, WA […]

  2. Sandra Jonas Says:

    Great looking containers!! Love the use of perennials & shrubs in pots.

  3. […] Christina Salwitz : Personal Garden Coach : Renton, WA […]

  4. Wow, gorgeous containers! They really showcase your design aesthetic, good eye and sense of style. Great job!

  5. Geez Christina, got an pictures of containers?? Beautiful, but of course we who know your work at the nursery would expect nothing less! Inspiring and lovely, thanks!

  6. I’m in love I’m in love I’m in love with all of the containers! Esp. like the pairing of chartreuse and red in one of the top photo collages!

  7. […] Christina Salwitz : Personal Garden Coach : Renton, WA […]

  8. Beautiful, stunning combinations of colors and textures. I will be coming back to look at this page A LOT! Thank you, Christina!

  9. Lesley Says:

    Wow! Wot an array!
    I am calling you the container Queen!
    Lovely colours and textures.
    Best Wishes

  10. What an astounding kaleidoscope of ideas.

  11. grwhryrpltd Says:

    so many great ideas – i especially like the view of the japanese maple container through the three-paned window, the long blue pots (what are they? painted terra cotta flue pipes?), and the green-white-chartreuse combination.

    • personalgardencoach Says:

      Thank you! The blue pipe pots are actually ones designed by the Missouri Botanical Garden, one of the few that are not mine. They’re painted PVC pipes. They were nice enough to send me shots and instructions for how they made them. Pretty cool huh? I thought they went SO well with this post, I had to include them.

  12. Luscious, gorgeous, creative, wonderful use of color, texture, height. Beautiful photographs as well. Artistry in motion.

    Hugs to you!

  13. Kerry Says:

    Absolutely inspirational! Bravo! Your containers and the pictures totally rock.

  14. Pam/Digging Says:

    Are those all your designs? How fabulous! Great color, style, contrasts–they’re really lovely. And your own garden view of the potted Japanese maple may be my favorite.

    • personalgardencoach Says:

      Thank you! Yes Pam, 95% of those are mine. I am kind of obsessed with keeping good records of containers that I’ve done. Now if I could only get customers to send me pictures of my babies about 2 months after they leave me…. :-)

  15. […] Christina Salwitz : Personal Garden Coach : Renton, WA […]

  16. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Apel Mjausson, Margie. Margie said: Garden Designer's Roundtable-”Container Style” « Personal Garden Coach […]

  17. Hey Christina! GORGEOUS pictures! I really appreciate hearing your process when you design a container planting. Great job, chica!

  18. too much! too good! overwhelmed by your creativity… ahhhhhhhhh!!!!!

  19. Debbie Says:

    Wow! What an amazing selection of containers, you must have so much fun creating them all. I was especially drawn to the lettuce and pansies and the table top conifers. Thanks for all the inspiration.

  20. In-SANE, Christina! At first I thought I liked the gray containers (preferring subtle, dark colors myself…), then I thought “No – I’m loving the chartreuse containers, then on and on and on…til my head was spinning. Did you make ALL of these containers? You’re SO talented! And I’m especially loving slide #20 (vertical pots….gee, can you guess why?). Do you have any other hi-res photos of that wall of pots? We must talk….

    Beautiful post! (as always)

  21. Christina,
    You truly are the “personal garden coach!” I think you just gave me a lesson on on all the different types of containers and plant combinations that are possible. Great presentation and beautiful designs.

    Shirley Bovshow

  22. Scott Says:

    Wow Christina, an amazing assortment of containers. Your arrangements and color schemes are incredible. I knew you’d hit this topic out of the park!

  23. carolyn Says:

    I crown thee Queen of the Containers of the Garden Designers Roundtable ! What a beautiful show.

  24. Christina: What can I say? Your color combinations always make me smile. You are one talented woman. Teresa

  25. Ivette Says:

    Okay, I am officially drooled out. Dehydrated. What have you DONE to me? You are a magician with a container, woman!

    I love what you said about the freedom that containers give you! That really resonated with me – sometimes I can get so hung up on a garden, trying to work out all of the ideas and schemes – and I can get real clarity from looking at a beautifully constructed planting in a pot. And the fact that you can throw caution to the wind and try out new styles – awesome! VERY inspiring on so many levels!

    I can’t even tell you which one was my favorite, because I have about 15 of them. I want them all.
    (I had to laugh out loud at Rebecca’s comment – hi-res photo please? That sounds SO familiar! HAHAhahaha!)


  26. So, the tall pot you see from your window, with the Japanese Maple in it … is in your neighbor’s yard, up against their house? fortunate neighbor indeed!

    • personalgardencoach Says:

      Hi Kari,
      No, that’s my yard, it just abutts their house. Small lots here! Thank you :-)

  27. Patricia Bennett Says:

    There is no way I could pick a favorite.They’re all just too fantastic.Great job.

  28. Super interesting writing! Really..

  29. Hi, I like your blog. This is a great site and I wanted to post a little note to let you know, good job! Thanks MiMi

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  30. Ilona Says:

    I don’t believe there is anyone else online today who does color combination and containers better than you! You are the ultra queen diva of this class in my opinion.

  31. […] month’s bloggers! Christina Salwitz : Personal Garden Coach : Renton, WA Debbie Roberts : A Garden of Possibilities : Stamford, CT Jenny Petersen: J Petersen Garden Design […]

  32. Roberta P. Says:

    If everyone had at least one of your beautiful containers in their possession,
    to be able to gaze upon such beauty would definitely make the world a better
    place and would most definitely cut down on a lot of violence! Just like the old
    cartoons when the nut job would hear that certain melody and be immediately calmed down and forget that crazed rant he was on.Eye candy
    for the soul indeed! :)

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