5 Truths and Tips for Amazing Container Gardens

‘Tis the season for gardeners to plan and dream, so we’ve collected some of our best insights, practical tips and design truths about container gardening to inspire you.


1. Color Isn’t Everything

Craig Bergmann Landscape Design

The eye sees form before it sees color. You can make a container just as exciting (and often more so) with a contrast between texture and plant shape.  Here, we’ve combined perennial flowers with woody plants, a combination that is less expensive and easier to maintain. The color is just an accent. We used Dwarf Mugo Pine, Procumbent Norway Spruce, Prairie Smoke, Boxwood, Variegated Cotoneaster, Sedum Blue Carpet, Gold Leaf Juniper, Myosotis, and Armeria.

For winter pots, remember to use plant material that’s hardy in your climate. For inspiration and tips, see 3 Tips for Outdoor Décor that Will Survive Winter.


2. The Bigger the Pot, the Bigger the Drama

Craig Bergmann Landscape Design

Use the scale of your architecture to guide the scale of elements in your landscape. If you are using containers in a large space, use large pots. In a big space, groups of small containers will visually disappear or look cluttered. At this home, we used one plant per container and grouped them for dramatic effect. Their texture, size and forms are what make these containers so bold.


3. Get Creative: Don’t Limit Yourself to Traditional Containers

Some of our favorite options for planters include antique wellheads, wash barrels, strawberry pots, and horse troughs.

shell strawberry jars barrels antique wellhead


4. Repeat Simple Containers for Unity

Simple Planters


Repetition helps knit a space together. Here, we punctuated the end of each architectural column with a large-scale container and repeated the plantings within them. The design helps give a little more weight and rhythm to the porch’s simple and modern style.


5. Treat Container Plants Like Sculpture

Container style


Nothing highlights distinctive plants and their unusual shapes as well as grouping them as a collection. The key is to treat each plant as a sculpture of its own. You’ll need a consistent container style for the entire group to keep your eye’s focus on your plants and to give the group unity. Consistency in the planter style allows you more freedom to vary your plant palette overall.


Looking for just the right container with character? Contact Garden Care about having us create unique seasonal container designs for your home. Sign up for our Garden Market announcements or follow us on Facebook to find out where to find our pop-up garden markets.

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