Designing dish gardens brings the outdoor lush greenery into the home for a natural décor and stylized statement. But creating these artistic pieces involves more than just picking random plants and flowers and planting them in any old container. A dish garden should accessorize an area and add ambiance to the home.
Choose a dish or bowl that accentuates and complements the room’s design and color scheme. Dishes that create a pop of contrasting color immediately command interest and direct attention to the garden. Patterned pots or dishes work well, but just be sure they don’t clash with the existing style of the room. Many also choose dishes that blend with earthy undertones as a means to allow more colorful flowers and plants to serve as the focal centerpiece of a room or table.
The plants and flowers chosen are just as important as the dish that nurtures them. When taking greenery indoors, the seasons still provide the direction as to plant type selection. Choosing tulips in fall dish displays or adding Holly or winterberry in summer dish gardens would look completely out of touch. In-season blooms and shoots must direct the garden’s composition—even indoors. And, yes, please mix greenery with bold flowers!
Autumn officially begins in less than a month. Selecting plants and flowers for fall dish gardens should begin as soon as possible. For fall décor, choose in-season plants that also feature blooms in bold and rich autumn hues. Think oranges, reds, warm yellows. Stay away from any hues that reflect warmer months—like pastels or tropical inspired arrangements.
Unsure what to select for fall? Bold orange and red mums echo the colors of fall leaves. Mix in a few hearty succulents. Chinese Lanterns are an unusual and amazing centerpiece plant—but beware, the berries are poisonous.
Snapdragons also are a great fall choice, but like many larger plants, these need to have a large pot for thriving. But large dishes and creative containers may easily be discovered at flea markets, thrift stores or even local discount stores for reasonable prices. Larger dish gardens and the plants within look best as corner pieces in a room. The bigger and bolder choices aren’t designed for tabletop décor!
For those thinking on the smaller end of the garden size, plant a succulent centered dish garden. These plants come in all sizes, so pair up small and medium chubby succulents for a green masterpiece.
Not much blooms outdoors during the cold winter months, but indoors has fewer limitations. With the climate controlled environment, there are many more options to create an ideal and beautiful dish garden.
Succulents, again, reign supreme. However, these plants aren’t all about the greenery. Some succulents offer beautiful flowers during the winter. Try incorporating the Christmas Cactus or the Crown of Thorns for a little touch of color to your winter garden. For a festive holiday dish garden, plant holly berries next to succulents or plant poinsettias (which are part of the succulent family) with other succulents like the Snake Plant. And integrating small evergreens like the Norfolk Island Pine create an extra festive display.
Want to ‘go green?’ Choose succulents like the Aloe Vera plant matched up with vine-inspired succulents like Burro’s Tail. When pairing plants together during the winter months, make sure you match up varieties that need the same amount of water and light. Don’t pair a light-loving plant like Poinsettia with a plant that needs more shade.
When selecting dishes for winter month gardens, don’t be afraid to embrace the holidays…especially if a garden is themed for this festive time. Opt for bold red, blue and silver dishes and include decorative elements within the dish for a touch of whimsy.
During springtime, many choose to take their dish gardens outdoors to create an amazing backyard bounty of plants and flowers. Large dishes and pots give backyard porches and patios an instant decorative update. But if you’re taking the arrangements back into nature, be prepared to plant appropriately.
Where you live dictates what you plant. For areas of the country that are experiencing a typical spring, this is the ideal time to plant traditional spring flowers and greenery. Succulents are hearty additions to almost any dish garden—indoor or out—but this season pair them with flowers…or let them shine solo.
For a succulent-centric spring dish garden, we love Hens-and-Chicks. This type of succulent looks like flowers and flourish with leaves that resemble beautiful petals. Hens-and-Chicks come in many varieties—and colors—to create an amazing outdoor dish garden. Feel free to add in small aloe vera plants, too.
For flowers, plant mums and daisies in various colors for a beautiful vibrant mix. Or choose other spring favorites. There are so many available, but just make sure that your pairings have the same light and water needs. Even for spring dish gardens, partnering plants requires a bit of research.
Indoor gardens also can bring spring into the home. Yes, you can plant tulips for an indoor bloom. Add lovely greenery alongside these popular spring flowers. And spring tulips look amazing in baskets. With Easter traditionally celebrated during this season, baskets are a suitable—and festive—planter option. Remember a dish can be whatever you choose! Baskets, bowls, large oversized mugs, heavy planters…anything goes.
Summer, like spring, offers many beautiful choices. But if you’re living in a dry climate, we say embrace the dry heat…with cacti. These need very little maintenance and are a sleek and unique plant for indoors or out. They pair well with most other succulents.
Bonsai gardens also add an Asian beauty to the home. Beware, though, bonsai trees can be a little fastidious and do require tentative care. Plant these tiny trees in stone dishes or planters, and keep bonsais together. Don’t interject other plant types. Embrace a meditative vibe for this soothing garden by integrating touch stones with optimistic messages.
For gardeners keeping their potted beauties outdoors, select flowers in hot summer hues. Bright pinks, purples and fiery reds showcase the season. Also, remember to feed the bees by planting many flowering beauties that attract their buzzing attention and urge them to visit your garden. Bees love daisies and marigolds! However, bluebells and lavender also make lovely bee magnets.
DIY floral dish gardens are an ideal and easy way to add colorful and natural beauty to your home. During fall and winter create colorful gardens indoors that reflect the seasonal colors and festive traditions. But spring and summer months allow gardeners to take their dish décor to the patio or deck for an amazing lush ambiance.
No matter where you choose to place your dish garden, always make sure to pair plants and flowers with similar water and light needs--the right amount of water and sunlight is key to any plant’s survival and optimal beauty. Choose a container for your garden that complements your room décor or pops against the interior’s hues…however, there are no rules for what containers to choose. Bowls, dishes, baskets all make unique garden choices. What you choose to house your plants in is limited only by your style and imagination.