Small Details That Add Extra Style to Your Space

Use Plant Containers to Create a Theme

Nothing celebrates the great outdoors like plants, and adding them to your outdoor room, deck, patio or porch can yield some surprising benefits. Sure, you have plants in your flowerbeds, but what about repeating the colors in your outdoor furniture cushions with cheerful annuals in pots. The space will look more attractive, and you won't have to worry about these decorations getting wet.

Actually, there's a science to adding plants to your outdoor decor. You want them to coordinate with the flowers and plants in your flower beds, but they should also offer something unique. That's where themes come in. The plant kingdom is full of interesting and unique species. The plants in your landscape may have to conform to the limitations of your climate, but container plants you're willing to discard later or bring indoors over the winter months can be more exotic and interesting. You don't have to stick to begonias, petunias and marigolds anymore.

Why not branch out and try a potted cactus garden or invest in that fuchsia, hibiscus or miniature lemon tree you've always wanted. You can move plants around to catch the sun (or sheltering shade), and if you plan on adding a variety that needs frequent watering, install it in a self-watering pot that will make upkeep easier.

There are still a few rules. You won't be able to keep sun-loving plants if the space you have in mind is always shady, and if you can cook an egg on your patio in the afternoon, heat sensitive plants are going to be a no-no. Within reason, though, you can add some fun and attractive plant varieties to you outdoor spaces if you're willing to experiment with container plants.

Here's a thought: Why not include a culinary garden as part of your patio space? Add herbs like sage, parsley, rosemary, oregano and basil. They'll be within easy snipping distance when dinnertime rolls around, and some aromatic herbs tossed on the grill (or into your new fire pit), will add savor and a wonderful aroma to mealtime. While you're at it, be sure to install a few herbs that repel garden pests like mosquitos. Some excellent choices are catnip, citronella, rosemary and lavender.

Need a windbreak or a little extra privacy? You can find outdoor room dividers installed over planter boxes (or make them yourself with lattice). The soil added to the base makes this option sturdy. Add some star jasmine for an accessory that's as functional as it is attractive and sweet smelling.

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