Surrounded by Color

Jennifer Polanz

We often talk trends when it comes to colors, textures and styles, but in the end, variety is the spice of life (and the garden center). Retailers have customers looking for all different types of containers to suit their outdoor spaces, so we provided multiple options here for new 2020 introductions, along with a sneak peek of European trends that may make their way here for those looking to be on the cutting edge.


Bright & Colorful
Classic Blue, the Pantone Color of the Year for 2020, makes for the perfect vessel on the porch or patio. Proven Winners is one company that’s already on top of this with its AquaPots by Michael Carr Designs. This particular pot is Majestic Volcanic on Light Blue and features the self-watering technology found in all the AquaPots. There are others in the AquaPots collection with a similar hue, as well as others in red, ultramarine, green, white and black. Proven Winners also has creations from Michael Carr Designs that don’t feature the self-watering infrastructure.

The HC Companies—a container company that sells greenhouse, nursery and consumer products—is introducing the space-saving Hanging Garden for 2020, perfect for flowers, herbs and trailing plants. It easily installs on fences, walls and railings to brighten up any patio, porch or garden. It’s offered in teal (pictured), slate blue and black, colors that Craig Ruvere, marketing and communications manager at The HC Companies, says are fashion-forward colors to match fresh patio décor.

Earthen Hues
Continuing with unique patio and porch offerings, Big Grass Living offers containers for indoor and outdoor use with tropicals, houseplants and succulents. Big Grass Living Owner John Hanesworth points out online retailers are specializing in small tropical and interesting planters for the “plant parent” market. The Terra Fina wholesale collection is designed with those plant parents in mind with six styles, including Puff (pictured), allowing IGCs to accommodate their customers’ needs to houseplants like bromeliads, orchids, air plants and other small tropicals in hanging planters or on tabletops. They’re handcrafted in Thailand with a blend of refined terra cotta and white clays.

“These online and small specialty stores are competing with the IGCs for the small planter/plant pre-planted market, so we see an opportunity for IGCs to recognize this trend and capitalize on it,” John adds.

The folks at Ceramo Company Inc. have seen great interest in cylinder shapes (a trend Alec Junge, director of product & marketing, says is “red hot”), so it made sense for them to pair that shape with its mid-century modern-inspired carved designs. Each pot is individually crafted on a potter’s wheel, engraved with a variety of decorations by a master artisan, then stained with earth-toned colors to highlight the designs. Pots include a removable drainage plug so they can be used inside or out.

“We have learned the most effective way to present these pots at retail is to offer a wide selection for your shoppers, allowing them to select the perfect pot for their needs,” Alec notes.

Nancy LaMotte, president of Anamese Garden + Home, is seeing the trend move away from white toward darker finishes and more natural finishes, like terra cotta.

“We also see texture as a big influence, from rough-cut rims to striated terra cotta (pictured),” she notes. “Color is making a big statement, with the palette made up of earthy greens, terra cotta and muted browns popped with splashes of copper and pink.”

Anamese Marketing & Sales Manager Ashley Goldman also shared some trends spotted while at a Paris trade show last fall: “Over and over in the showrooms of Paris we found botanical forms and patterns. Leafy prints and stemmy lanterns were a little bit whimsical, a little bit formal,” she says. “Prints tended to be unpatterned, straying from traditional botanical motifs.

“Designers are channeling nature this year and earthy tones seem well-suited to match all of those botanical forms. These textures and colors are calming, yet anything but boring. In contrast to the botanical and earthy influences, large, clean lines were a reoccurring theme. Big pieces maintained understated profiles and minimal ornamentation.”