One touch that lifts this display out of the ordinary is the use of subtle colour echoes-note the cream-coloured edges of the ‘Ice Dance' carex and the variegated English ivy, whose hue is picked up by the centres of the ornamental cabbage and chrysanthemum blooms-all set off by the unexpected counterpoint of the velvety, pewter-coloured leaves of ‘Cirrus' dusty miller. While the arrangement shown here has been created in a large, 60-by-55-centimetre fibreglass container, you could scale things down for a smaller pot by using fewer plants, eliminating the cedar and substituting a more delicate-looking dusty miller or artemisia for the ‘Cirrus'.
1. If your container is to be viewed from all sides, first centre the cedar in the soil, then build out your design from the middle.
2. If the container is to stand against a wall, place the cedar toward the back and work forward with your design, focusing most of the interest in the front.
3. Step back often to check your arrangement from all angles, and adjust the height and position of plants until they're pleasing to the eye.
4. For added fun, casually group some of the pumpkins and gourds around the base of your container, as shown.