Container Garden Picture Gallery

  • 01 of 27

    Container Garden Design at Coastal Maine Botanical Garden

    container gardening picture of container garden design at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens
    Thriller, filler, spiller container garden design Lunaform Container at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. Photograph © Kerry Michaels

    Looking at container garden pictures is a great way to get ideas

    Looking at container gardens is a great way to get ideas and inspiration. Look at the use of color palette, composition, textures and container choice.

    I'm not usually a subscriber to the "thriller, filler, spiller," container garden design theory. While it is popular and sometimes useful, I think that it has lead to a lot of containers that look the same, with one spikey plant in the middle, some "filler" type plant (something that fills in the space in the middle of the pot) and then a "spiller," which spills over the side of the pot.

    That said, after designing this pot at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, I realized that, thriller, filler, spiller is what I ended up with, and I think it's pretty successful.

    First of all, the four Lunaform pots that we were filling were enormous and needed something really big and bold so the pot wouldn't dwarf the plants. When I saw the big red banana plants (Ensete ventricosum 'Maurelii') in the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens greenhouse, I fell in love and knew that they would look fabulous in the huge containers. Then we had to figure out what would go with these behemoth plants, which can grow more than 12 feet tall.

    Fortunately there were some beautiful upright fuchsias ('Gartenmeister Bonstedt') nearby that looked like they would bring out some of the reds and pinks of the banana plants. We then added a red nemesia ('Serengeti') to fill in the space between the soil and the height of the fuchsia. We also added two varieties of sweet potato vine, to add some bright popping color and to hang over the side of the pot to show off it's beautiful patina.

    We used the classic 'Margarita' sweet potato vine for its large leaves and draping qualities and added some 'Sweet Caroline Sweetheart Light Green,' for it's bright colored leaves which have also a redish margin which fit with our existing colors.

    This container garden design was a cooperative effort between myself and floral designer, Liz Micheels, of Artful Blooms in Newton, Mass. With help and advice from Bill Cullina, Director of Horticulture/Plant Curator for Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens.

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  • 02 of 27

    Baby Crocs Make Super Cute and Unusual Container Gardens

    Baby Crocs with Lobelia and Hens and Chicks. Photograph © Kerry Michaels

    I have never been crazy about using shoes as container gardens, and never thought I would do it. That is, until I saw these purple baby Crocs at a yard sale for a quarter. I couldn't resist them.

    When I got them home, I thought I would do all succulents, but that kind of seemed like an obvious choice. I then spied a six-pack of lobelia I had lying around and thought they would look cool with the purple of the Crocs. Also, the plants were small enough so that they would fit into the small space I had to work with.

    To start with, I filled the foot part of the Crocs with potting soil (with a slow release fertilizer mixed in), filling it as much as possible, all the way to the back. I then planted the lobelia, kind of stuffing it in where I could. There were spaces left, where the soil was showing, so I planted hens and chicks, also stuffing some in the holes near the toes. Hens and chicks make great filler plants, especially when doing quirky container gardens.

    I put my Baby Croc planters on my back steps, but you can also hang these on a wall, by tying string to the backs. If you want your Baby Croc planters to look like they are floating, use nylon fishing line.

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  • 03 of 27

    Succulent Plants in Lunch Box Container Garden

    Succulent plant container garden in a lunch box
    Lunch Box Succulent Garden. Photograph © Kerry Michaels

    I filled this lunch box with a mix of succulent plants - playing with the different textures and colors.

    To make this succulent plant container garden:

    First I took the paper liner out of the lunch box. I then hammered holes into the bottom of the lunch box, using a screwdriver with a large head, so the holes would be pretty large. I then hammered the rough edges of the holes on a hard surface.

    I made a plastic liner out of an old bag of potting soil, cutting some holes for drainage. I did this so the lunch box wouldn't rust.

    I then filled the lunch box with a potting soil, formulated for succulents.

    I then planted the succulents - it took a fair amount of moving them around before I was happy with the arrangement.

    If you want more information, click here for step-by-step instructions for making a succulent plant container garden

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  • 04 of 27

    Bold Flowering Container Garden

    container gardening picture of container garden with passion flower, monkey flower, flowering maple
    Passion Flower, Monkey Flower and Flowering Maple. Photo © Kerry Michaels

    This large terra cotta pot holds a purple passion flower, orange monkey flowers and a flowering maple. The choice of colors it pretty bold, but I think it works well in this flowering container garden. The passion flower climbs up a trellis which gives the design some needed height.

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  • 05 of 27

    Silver Elegance Container Gardens

    container gardening picture of two formal container gardens flanking a red door
    Formal container gardens from White Flower Farm Silver Elegance Container Gardens.

    These formal arrangements look stunning flanking a front door.

    These formal container gardens add a perfect elegance to this front entry. The urn looks like it is made from concrete, but is made of polyethylene so it is lightweight and durable. It and can even be left out all year. The urn and container garden kit comes from White Flower Farm.

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  • 06 of 27

    Clementine Box Container Garden with Pansies and Violas

    container gardening picture of clementine box container garden filled with pansies and violas
    This container garden is super easy to make. Easy Clementine Box Container Garden. Photo © Kerry Michaels

    Pansies and violas are great container garden flowers. They're hardy and cheerful and can withstand the cold nights of spring and fall.

    Buy a box of Clementine oranges and you have a great, free container for spring or fall. This little garden makes a cheerful centerpiece for a picnic table or looks great on a deck. You can do multiples and put them on your outdoor stairs. It takes almost no time and is incredibly easy to make your own clementine box container garden.

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  • 07 of 27

    Wooden Basket With Wishbone Plant

    container gardening picture of wishbone plant or torenia
    Wishbone Plant in Simple Wooden Basket. Photo © Kerry Michaels

    This simple container garden is one of my favorites. It features a simple wooden basket with a torenia hybrid ( Summer Wave® Large Violet) also known as a wishbone plant. A single plant in a simple container can make a corner of your yard or garden a focus point.

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  • 08 of 27

    Blue, Pink and Yellow Combination Flowering Container Garden

    container gardening picture of flowering container garden
    Flowering Container Garden Combination by Proven Winners. Photograph © Kerry Michaels

    I was given this flowering container garden as a gift. It came in a large hanging basket, but I didn't have a great place to put it and I wanted it to get huge - big enough to fill this large blue pot.

    I filled the blue pot with potting soil, mixed with good all-purpose, slow release, fertilizer. This combination of flowering plants will need a lot of feeding to stay happy for the whole summer. That said, you want to follow the directions on your fertilizer and be careful not to over fertilize.

    After I took the arrangement out of its plastic hanging nursery pot, I planted it in it's new pot and watered it in. After watering, I saw some places that needed additional soil, so I added that.

    The combination is by Proven Winners and is made up of:

    • Superbells® 'Yellow Chiffon' Calibrachoa
    • Lucia® 'Dark Blue' Lobelia
    • Supertunia® 'Bermuda Beach' Petunia
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  • 09 of 27

    Coleus Container Garden

    container gardening picture of coleus container garden
    This container garden was made for the shade Coleus Container Garden.

    Coleus is a great container garden plant.

    Coleus is a great container plant for shady areas. Coleus are disease resistant and low maintenance and come in a staggering number of varieties. Coleus is a perfect plant for beginners because it is super easy to take care of and is very forgiving. This gorgeous container garden is from a White Flower Farm kit.

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  • 10 of 27

    Container Garden in an Old Bucket

    Container gardening picture of an old bucket turned into a container garden
    An old bucket can make a great container garden Old Bucket with Ornamental Grass, Portulaca and creeping Jenny. Photo © Kerry Michaels

    I love old buckets. All you need to do to turn one into a great container garden is to pound some nail holes in the bottom for drainage. I filled this one with an ornamental grass, blue fescue, some creeping Jenny, to spill over the sides, and portulaca, also known as moss rose.

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  • 11 of 27

    Stone Container Garden with Nasturtiums

    Container garden picture of nasturtium in large stone container garden
    Nasturtiums are a great container garden plant Nasturtium in Stone Container Garden. Photo © Kerry Michaels

    Nasturtiums are great container garden flowers. They come in many colors and are easy to grow and very hardy. They thrive in poor soil and you can eat the flowers and leaves. The round leaves are beautiful and are very spicy - a great addition to a summer salad.

    This container garden picture was taken in Ireland, where nasturtiums grow almost like weeds. Made of rough stones, this container garden, looked fabulous with nasturtiums spilling out from between them.
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  • 12 of 27

    Container Garden in Terra Cotta Jar

    container gardening picture of terra cotta jar with verbena, calibrachoa and creeping Jenny
    Great low maintenance container garden Container Garden by Kim Brix. Photo © Kerry Michaels

    This simple container garden filled with million bells, verbena and creeping Jenny will bloom all summer. It is super easy to take care of and would be a great container garden for a beginner. Be careful though: Creeping Jenny can be pretty aggressive and will grow wherever it falls.

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  • 13 of 27

    Hanging Basket Container Garden with Purple Sutera

    Container gardening picture of hanging basket filled with
    A simple hanging basket can make a great container garden Sutera in Hanging Basket Container Garden. Photo © Kerry Michaels

    Sometimes a single plant in the right container makes a perfect container garden. This "Cabana, Trailing Blue," sutera looks great in this hanging basket.

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  • 14 of 27

    Container Garden with Colorful Foliage and Flowers

    container garden picture with flowering maple, chameleon plant and snow in summer
    Container garden in large terra cotta pot Large Terra Cotta Pot with Foliage and Flowers. Photo © Kerry Michaels

    This flowering plant container garden has flowering maple, chameleon plant and snow in summer. Be careful though, both the chameleon plant and the snow in summer can be invasive.

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  • 15 of 27

    Herb Container Garden with Golden Sage

    Container gardening picture of golden sage in terra cotta pot
    Sometimes even a small container garden can have an impact. Golden Sage in Terra Cotta Jar. Photo © Kerry Michaels

    This lovely golden sage is a wonderfully fragrant plant. It looks great on its own or can be used in mixed container gardens. This container garden would also work well grouped with other terra cotta containers.

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  • 16 of 27

    Flowering Container Garden in an Old Basket

    Container gardening picture of old basket with pink flowers and ivy
    This old gray basket sets off the different shades of pink in this container gar Container Garden by Boothbay Region Greenhouses. Photo © Kerry Michaels

    Pink petunias, pink and purple verbena and lantana, along with some ivy, and two colors of calibrachoas give this container a great "country" look.

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  • 17 of 27

    Formal Hanging Basket Container Garden

    Container garden picture of formal hanging basket with calibrachoa, sutera and
    Container Garden by Boothbay Regional Greenhouses. Photo © Kerry Michaels

    The verdigris color of this ornate hanging basket works well with the pinks and sage colors in this container garden.

    The pink and purple calibrachoa, also known as million bells, looks fresh and elegant with the purple sutera and sage green of the lamb's ear foliage in this ornate, hanging basket.

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  • 18 of 27

    Coleus and Ivy in Strawberry Pot Container Garden

    Container gardening picture of coleus and ivy in a Strawberry Pot
    Strawberry pot without the strawberries Coleus and Ivy in a Strawberry Pot. Photo © Kerry Michaels

    Strawberry pots make great container gardens for many different kids of plants.

    Strawberry pots are great for planting strawberries, but they are also wonderful for many other plants. A combination of coleus, "Big Red Judy." and English ivy make for a container garden that presents a strong visual statement. This container garden is easy to care for and thrives in shade or partial shade.

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  • 19 of 27

    Pastel Patio Container Garden

    container gardening picture of
    This beautiful container garden says country casual Pastel Patio Container Garden.

    This container garden uses silvers with muted pink to great affect. The dark purple gives the composition just a little punch. The synthetic terra cotta planter is understated and enhances the colors of the flowers. This container garden comes in a kit from White Flower Farm.

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  • 20 of 27

    Container Garden in a Big Bucket

    container gardening picture of container garden in large utility bucket
    Turn a galvanized steel bucket into a container garden Container Garden in a Bucket. Photo © Kerry Michaels

    You can turn almost anything into a container garden. You just need to punch or drill drainage holes - a hammer and a big nail did the trick on this galvanized steel utility bucket. You can fill the bottom with empty plastic bottles, non-biodegradable packing peanuts or a product called Better Than Rocks," so the container doesn't get too heavy.

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  • 21 of 27

    Container Garden with an Attitude

    Container garden picture with ornamental grass, euphorbia and sutera
    The ornamental grass gives this container garden a little bit of 'tude Container Garden by Boothbay Region Greenhouses. Photo © Kerry Michaels

    The droopy, ornamental grass planted in the center of this container garden gives it a little bit of humor and some attitude. The white euphorbia and purple sutera also fit with the playful look of this container garden.

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  • 22 of 27

    Small Hanging Container Garden with Hens and Chicks

    Container garden picture of old basket with hens and chicks
    Hens and chicks are wonderful container garden plants that are hard to kill Small Basket with Hens and Chicks. Photo © Kerry Michaels

    This small hanging basket container garden is filled with sempervivum, also known as hens and chicks. Traditionally, these succulents were grown on roofs to guard against thunderbolts, storms and sorcery. This basket would make a great house present.

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  • 23 of 27

    Million Bells Container Garden in Zinc Pot

    container gardening picture of calibrachoa or million bells
    Million Bells or calibrachoa is a great container garden plant. Million Bells in Zinc Pot. photograph (c) Kerry Michaels

    A single plant can make a beautiful statement if it's in the right container. The contrast of the pink million bells with the dark gray of the zinc pot makes a great looking container garden.

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  • 24 of 27

    Pansy Bowl Container Garden

    container garden picture of pansy bowl container garden
    Simple can be beautiful Pansy Bowl Container Garden. Photo © Kerry Michaels

    This container garden couldn't be simpler -- a bowl with pansies. This is a good example of an easy, almost instant container garden that is just plain lovely.

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  • 25 of 27

    Red Hot Container Garden

    container gardening picture of Lechuza self watering garden pot
    Lechuza Self Watering Garden Pot. Photograph © Kerry Michaels

    I'm a big fan of self-watering garden pots and this is my favorite by far. It's a Lechuza Cararo - and I have to say it is the Ferrari of garden pots, self-watering or not. I have filled it with Persian Shield, creeping Jenny, coleus and, 'Sweet Caroline Sweetheart Purple,' sweet potato vine. Review of Lechuza Self Watering Containers

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  • 26 of 27

    Great Container Idea by P. Allen Smith

    container gardening picture of growing strawberries in containers
    Container Idea from P. Allen Smith. Photograph © Kerry Michaels

    I saw this pot at P. Allen Smith's farm in Arkansas and loved the idea. It works well with strawberries, but it would work well with almost any plants, though on the bottom tier or tiers I would include some plants that drape over the sides, which strawberries do so well. You could mix strawberries and mint, or use a mix of calibrachoa, petunias, creeping Jenny or wirevine.

    You could also make a tower stacking four, even five pots up. Just make sure that the tower is stable enough so that a stiff wind wouldn't blow the whole thing over.

    To construct the pot within a pot tower:

    • Choose pots of graduated size, making sure there is enough of difference in the diameters, so that there will be plenty of room to plant in the space between the pots
    • Fill bottom pot with potting soil up to 2 inches below the rim
    • Hollow out a small indentation in the center of the soil (you can also put the pot off-center if you prefer)
    • Set second pot inside the indentation you made in the soil in the first pot and pat soil around the second pot to give it stability
    • Fill second pot with soil and repeat above instructions if you are adding more pots
    • Plant your pots and water well
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  • 27 of 27

    Container Garden in a Metal Basket

    container gardening picture of flowering container garden in a metal basket
    Flowering Container Garden in a Metal Basket. Photograph © Kerry Michaels

    When I saw this large metal basket on sale at T.J. Maxx, I thought it would be perfect for a container garden. I brought it home and lined it with a plastic bag, with a large hole cut into the bottom for drainage. I then filled it with potting soil, mixed with an organic, all-purpose fertilizer.

    I then planted:

    • White Superbells® Trailing White Calibrachoa hybrid
    • Lobelia, Laguna™ Heavenly Lilac
    • Lobelia, Laguna™ Sky Blue
    • White zonal geranium, Daredevil® Snow