7 Ideas for Container Gardens
Make an Entrance
A potted arrangement near the entry immediately draws attention to the front door.
Design concepts: A triangular composition instills a sense of balance and order. The large center pot is dominant, while medium and small pots provide accents on either side.
Plants: Nemesia requires no deadheading and thrives in full sun or partial shade. It will bloom all season if fed and watered regularly.
Create a Centerpiece
Make a big impact with a group of small plants that form a low-maintenance centerpiece.
Design concepts: Even though they aren't identical, these glazed ceramic pots and saucers are unified by color, shape, and size. Likewise, the plants are different varieties of the same species.
Plants: Succulents, like the hens and chicks, jade plant, and purple aeonium shown here, are easy to care for. These sun lovers prefer dry soil.
Hang Your Plants
If you are short on surface space, invest in a few hanging plants.
Design concepts: Hanging baskets are usually sold in plastic pots with ugly hangers. While the pot is often obscured by leaves and flowers, the hangers remain visible and never seem to be the right length. Cut off the hangers and lace strong nylon cord through the holes in the pot. Knot it well. Then hang the plant above eye level, but not so high that you see the bottom of the pot.
Plants: Mini petunias are sold under names like Supertunia Mini and Million Bells. Whatever you call them, they never need deadheading and can take sun or a mix of sun and shade.
Define Your Space
Edgings or walls made of potted plants visually delineate and define spaces. These plants help separate the lawn from the patio.
Design concepts: Six evenly spaced, identical faux terra-cotta pots are arranged in an L shape at the far corner of the patio. A selection of rowdy herbs explodes from the smooth, clean lines of the classic pots, providing contrast in color and texture.
Plants: An assortment of culinary herbs is ready for harvesting (see Grow Herbs in a Potted Arrangement for specifics).
Make a Path
Plant-lined paths can help link spaces and direct traffic patterns.
Design concepts: Matching contemporary pots that are evenly spaced and planted with ornamental grass dramatically accentuate the length of the path.
Plants: This arrangement remains engaging, despite the repetition of plant and container, because light reflects off each blade of Morning Light Maidengrass. The wind is also a key natural element, adding movement and sound.
Use the Stairs
A porch landing is often too small to stage a grouping of containers. The stairs, however, can be a perfect spot for flowerpots.
Design concepts: These side-entrance steps connect the house and the driveway. Identical whitewashed terra-cotta pots emphasize the connection between the areas, while the earthy tones of the pots and the flowers warm up the cool, neutral colors of the porch and the house.
Plants: Zagreb Thread-Leaf Coreopsis is a perennial that likes sun. It will keep blooming into the fall if deadheaded occasionally.
Try the Walls
Don't forget vertical spaces. Plants can enliven a bare wall, and bringing them up to eye level makes them easier to enjoy.
Design concepts: Using an even number of plants results in a formal look; odd numbers appear more loose and natural. Here, five glazed ivory pots are planted with trailing white flowers. The white-on-white color scheme is clean and relaxed.
Plants: Cabaret White Calibrachoa makes an excellent hanging plant, thanks to its overflowing flowers. It requires full sun to thrive.