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''Angyo Star' Fatshedera, 'Soft Caress' Mahonia (Sunset Western Garden Collection®)

For our annual 2016 Bay Area Idea House, we've partnered with our Sunset Western Plant collection! Here are their tips for integrating containers into your landscapes. 

1. For care-free containers, focus on foliage rather than flowers

Group variegated plants with other complementary solid colors for contrast. Added bonus: these are all low-water use plants for a lightly shaded spot. Want to find more water wise plants? Look for the Save Our Water logo on Sunset Western Garden Collection plant tags! 

Obsession™ Nandina, 'Silver Shadow' Astelia, Illumination® 'Apricot' Digiplexis®, 'Design-A-Line' Cordyline, 'Lemon Lime' Nandina, EverColor® 'Everillo' Carex, Purple Pixie® Loropetalum, 'Soft Caress' Mahonia (Sunset Western Garden Collection®...

2. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. 

Unify your plant palette by repeating and layering shrubs in the landscape and containers. Landscape designers will use the same plant, color, or even shape throughout a garden. Layer the same elements from your border or landscape into your containers, and they will unify your yard and patio. Using layering, you can also create a dramatic border based almost entirely on colorful foliage, like the photo above. Mostly foliage borders make maintenance a cinch! 

''Lemon Lime' Nandina, Mountain Snow™ Pieris, Purple Pixie® Weeping Loropetalum, 'Soft Caress' Mahonia ( Sunset Western Garden Collection®)

3. Too much color can be a bad thing

We love colorful pots and containers, but mixing them all together can be a bit much. Instead, simplify by using pots in one or two colors, with different sizes. Then add coordinated cushions and pillows. 

Cordyline 'Design A Line' dark purple-red foliage plant in blue container within border by path (Sunset Western Garden Collection®)

4. Don't leave out containers within your garden beds and borders

Containers add the perfect pop of color in your landscape beds and borders. Best of all, water-wise grasses add texture, and they won’t need to be dead-headed. 

''Meerlo' Lavandula (Sunset Western Garden Collection®)

5. Add herbs, edibles, and fragrance

Mix in edibles and fragrant plants. Keep pots with herbs close by the kitchen (or bar) so they are easy to grab. Plus, they smell great when you brush past them. Looking for a lovely lavender that doesn’t fizzle? Try ‘Meerlo’ Lavandula, Sunset Western Garden Collection’s new introduction. It's one of the toughest on the market today.

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