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noun [uncountable]

the artistic arrangement of flowers and shrubs planted in pots and other containers


noun [countable]

'Potscaping, or planting landscapes in pots, is ideal if you're low on space or want to accent an entryway'

Home & Garden Television January 2004

'I especially like the notion of creating a potscape of several containers (including some that are "offbeat") at different heights …'

Review of The Urban Gardener, by Sonia Day, 2003,www.bookloons.com

The practice of potscaping – creating a garden out of an arrangement of pots rather than conventional flowerbeds – has gained popularity in recent years, not least because it makes gardening accessible to all, even those who are constrained to a terrace or balcony. Potscaping has been popularised by the wider availability of attractive garden containers in ceramics, wood and other materials, and the fashionable trends of using unconventional containers for growing flowers, such as reclaimed sinks, wheelbarrows and antique watering cans. Formerly referred to as container gardening, potscaping has become something of an art form in horticultural circles, where precise decisions about the shape, height and placement of containers are made, to create what is referred to as a potscape, the noun coined to describe the resulting arrangement.

formerly referred to as container gardening, potscaping has become something of an
art form

Background – potscaping

The term potscaping, a blend of the words pot and landscaping, has been around since the early 1990s, though its first use is associated with the British horticulturalist Marjorie Mason Hogue. Maison Hogue has written and spoken widely on the subject of potscaping across Europe and Canada, promoting the term in an attempt to add an artistic dimension to the notion of container gardening.

In a similar way, the terms lightscaping and lightscape have been used in both British and American English in recent years, to refer to the artistic arrangement of lighting in gardens and other public and private venues:

'Other changes in the 4,500-square-foot house include a renovated powder room, new exterior lightscaping and a master bedroom suite. "It's a bit decadent, but if you love your home the way we do, it's worth it," Silk says.'

The Detroit News 30th November 2002

by Kerry Maxwell, author of Brave New Words

This article was first published on 27th February 2004.

Open Dictionary

Dunning-Kruger effect

the phenomenon by which an incompetent person is too incompetent to understand his own incompetence

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