Perfecting a Pot Cluster
Pots can be a great addition to any indoor or outdoor space and when designed correctly they can give a dull corner, an empty terrace or a lifeless room the perfect injection of colour, form, life, movement and pop.
We were fortunate enough to have Steve Taylor from COS Design give us a run down on how he creates the perfect pot cluster. Read on for some great tips and pot cluster inspiration! There are a few tricks in creating the perfect pot cluster and here Steve shares some guidelines he likes to use to help with his designs.
Firstly you need to think about the scale of the space. We don’t want the pots to block a view or overfill a void so we need to choose the size and form of our pots carefully.
Larger spaces with height can usually handle a cluster of three pots, (small, medium and large) or a single larger (shallow) pot to create the right scale and balance with its surroundings. In turn, smaller spaces may not be able to handle a cluster so a single (decent) sized pot with a cluster of different plants within the pot will do the trick.
Once your pot size and form are selected, then the decor of the garden/home comes into play. This will help determine the style of pots you decide to run with. The ranges offered by The Balcony Garden are a great place to start as they have a garden pot that will suit just about every theme and style of your home and garden.
Once you’ve decided on your pots, we now need to consider how we dress the pots with beautiful contrasting plants with various forms and foliage. For Steve, this is key. A great pot cluster is created not only by the pots you choose but also by the plant choices you make and how the planting combinations talk to one another.
We also continue our emphasis on scale and select the larger plants for the larger pots and work our way down from there.
We often use a larger refined clipped sphere of say Buxus, Westringia or Teucrium and place this in the taller pot. A flowing succulent like Sedum Burrito or even Prostrate Rosemary will help soften this combination and help ground the larger entity. Alternatively, a larger architectural plant such as a Cycad or a Strelitzia could also be used but you will need a large space to pull this off.
The medium pot would then be given a strappy, more relaxed plant such as an Asparagus Fern or a Philodendron Xanadu.
The smaller pot in the foreground would be kept low so as to not overpower the pots behind it. Variegated Liriope with some black Mondo in the foreground can be a very striking yet understated combination that can really work.
A great tip is to play around with the combinations at the nursery before you make your final selections. Use their trolleys and shelves to create the layers and play around and mix and match to your heart's content. Another little tip is that the feature plant of the pot doesn’t always have to sit in the middle of the pot. If you are adding a second or even a third plant to a pot then don’t be afraid to plant the hero of the pot off centre. Balance can still be achieved with the lower plants and a great result is guaranteed.
Creating colour contrast is not essential every time and you can also create great results by planting a selection of all silver foliage plants, all dark greens or all lime greens. This can create a very understated, sophisticated look but it requires careful thought and consideration. Whichever way you choose to go, pot clusters can make a great addition to your landscape or interior space and they are also a great way to experiment with different combinations of plants.
Now it's time to have some fun!
1. Charcoal JITT cluster by retail customer. 2. White JITT Cluster by The Balcony Garden. Plants by Exotic Nurseries.
Article written by Steve Taylor from COS Design.