Easy Container Combos: Crisp and Modern

Easy Container Combos: Crisp and Modern
  • Posted August 20, 2015

One nice thing about container gardens is that the plants are neatly contained — there is no chance of them creeping into areas where they are unwanted and creating a jumbled chaos in the garden. The crisp tidy look that is innate to potted plants lends itself well to a modern aesthetic. For a clean, refined patio garden that zings with architectural elegance, use single color glossy-glazed ceramic pots and choose plants that have a similarly restrained form.

As the polar opposite of a cottage garden, the modernist aesthetic emphasizes form and texture over exuberant flower displays. Fortunately, there are an abundance of easy-to-grow species that fit this description and are also happy to live in a pot. The following species excel in this equation and allow you to have an instant Zen garden on you deck or patio, creating a unique personal retreat.

Bamboo & Japanese Forest Grass

Especially the types with colored canes like Black Bamboo (Phyllostachys nigra), has a wonderfully clear, calming feel and can be used to create an enchanting enclosure around the patio area. Japanese Forest Grass (Hakonechloa macra) is a shade tolerant species that will soften the base of a bamboo planting with its lush, drooping foliage. Both will live happily in a large planter for many years.

Black Bamboo (Phyllostachys nigra)

Japanese Forest Grass (Hakonechloa macra)

Horsetail & Blue Sedge

Horsetail (Equisetum hymale) has hollow, segmented stalks and a perfectly vertical growth habit just like bamboo, but it is completely leafless and grows only 3 to 4 feet tall. It is the ultimate architectural species for potted arrangements and, also like bamboo, looks best with something soft and flowing at its base. Try a planting of Blue Sedge (Carex glauca) for a striking contrast with the deep green horsetail stalks.

Horsetail (Equisetum hymale)

Blue Sedge (Carex glauca)

Fiber Optic Grass & Scotch Moss

Fiber Optic Grass (Isolepsis cernua) planted with a groundcover of Scotch Moss (Sagina subulata) around it gives a similar effect to the preceding examples, but in miniature. Fiber optic grass has incredibly fine, delicate blades, growing just 6 inches tall, while scotch moss, though not a true moss, is a low, fuzzy groundcover that stays under two inches tall.

Fiber Optic Grass (Isolepsis cernua)
Scotch Moss (Sagina subulata)

Related Pages

Easy Container Combos

Easy Container Combos

Two Containers and two plant pairs are all you need for a welcoming entry display.

View Page »

Easy Container Combos: Made For the Shade

Easy Container Combos: Made For the Shade

Simple and stylish container pairings to elevate any shady setting.

View Page »

Brian Barth
About the Author

After 15 years as a professional landscape designer and horticulturalist, Brian Barth embarked on a second career to share his passion—and the knowledge he's accrued—through writing. His love of plants is all-encompassing, but he has a particular soft spot for culinary crops.

Post A Comment

Easy Container Combos: Crisp and Modern