So, as the saying goes; ‘Three’s a crowd’ well, not in my book, and not in the eyes of most other designers. For, ever since the beginning of time, we have understood the power of groupings of three (well, ok, slight exaggeration perhaps, but you get my drift!).
It is the secret weapon of designers the world over. Stop. Take a look. And you will see. The Power of Three.
Plant THREE Large Containers
There is nothing more pleasing to the eye than a grouping of three large Urns, positioned absolutely exquisitely for maximum impact. Add to this, the very simple idea of planting with the SAME species – et voila! You have designer-impact in your garden, worthy of Chelsea.
Andy Sturgeon is the master of this – demonstrated perfectly in his 2010 Daily Telegraph garden …. 3 exquisite oversized shallow bowls planted with equally exquisite irises:
Of course, for this to work, it must be THREE OF A KIND – the repeat impact is divine. 3 urns, pots, containers…of the same size, material, dimensions…..planted with the same species, same colour, same height. Pure perfection.
PLANT in Groups of THREE
Planting in groups of three is the perfect scenario for any border.
There is something that just feels ‘right’ about odd number groupings – 2 is too linear and too refined. 4 feels like ‘ducks in a row’, but 3 OF A KIND; planted with enough space to grow, but definitely ‘together as a group’ – sits comfortably with the mind and pleases the eye.
Planting in Three’s allows the group to be ‘staggered’ – free from rigid constraints; just as nature intended. Plants should sprawl, mingle and intertwine, not be lined up like soldiers or tied up in straight jackets.
Stick to THREE Different Materials
This is a golden rule that I stick to religiously. Never, ever, use more than 3 different types of materials in your garden.
3 gives a nice contrast of finishes – you can introduce different texture and pattern to your surfaces. Lovely effect.
Add more, and soon you have a mishmash of materials, a hodgepodge of effects and an assault to the senses.
Stick to the rule of three and you will not go wrong.