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Sat02282015

Last updateWed, 27 Aug 2014 10am

Potted Desert Garden

Picture this: A back patio with several unsightly posts.

We know we need to add something to make the post go away in our mind’s eye. I cannot tell you how many homes I have gone to where a homeowner has tried to deal with this very problem, and failed—often by choosing pots that are too small for the height of the post and the size of the area.

Draw a line from your back window viewpoint to the post, and then to the view beyond. The line will rise to the back wall, distant landscape or even a mountain view. The line does not go down to the base of the post—and that is where those 12-inch pots sit in the example to the right.

We all understand how we came to use those small pots: They were easiest to carry from the store. They were not expensive, or maybe they were leftovers from past potted garden attempts, or gifts from our guests with long-forgotten plants that moved on to the compost heap.

The pots you should select for your posts need to become more than a tripping hazard.

In this collection pictured below (and in the main pic above), a lonely post with two small pots is quickly transformed by simply adding one extra-large pot with a trellised vine and seasonal accent annuals. As these plants mature, they later join forces with perennial combinations with a long-lasting and colorful golden-barrel cactus.

Marylee Pangman is the founder and former owner of The Contained Gardener in Tucson, Ariz. She has become known as the desert’s potted garden expert. She is available for digital consultations, and you can email her with comments and questions at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Follow the Potted Desert at facebook.com/potteddesert.

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