Container Garden Picture Gallery

Three wooden crate container gardens on patio table
Westend61/Getty Images
  • 01 of 27

    Inspired by the Coastal Maine Botanical Garden

    Thriller, filler, and spiller container garden
    Kerry Michaels

    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.

    This particular design is based off the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens and uses the "thriller, filler, spiller" container garden design theory. This is when you plant something in the middle that is the star of the show, a.k.a the "thriller". Then there is the "filler" plant that compliments the area around the center plant but doesn't overwhelm it. Then finally add another plant that grows over the edge otherwise known as the "spiller".

    This one uses a Lunaform pot with a red banana plant (Ensete ventricosum 'Maurelii') paired with upright fuchsias ('Gartenmeister Bonstedt'), red nemesia ('Serengeti'), a 'Margarita' and 'Sweet Caroline Sweetheart Light Green' sweet potato vine.

    This container garden design was a cooperative effort between Kerry Michaels 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

    Baby Crocs with Lobelia and Hens and Chicks
    Kerry Michaels

    It is a little crazy, using shoes as a garden container, but who can resist these cute bright purple crocs? They're perfect for succulents or other small plants.

    First, stuff them with potting soil and slow release fertilizer in the foot part. Then add your plant of choice. Lobelia was used in the photo above. Hens and chicks were used to make filler plants to cover up the rest of the soil. They make great filler plants, especially when doing quirky container gardens.

    You can place these on your back steps or hand them on a wall by tying some string to the backs. If you want them to look like they're floating use nylon fishing line.

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  • 03 of 27

    Succulent Plants in Lunch Box

    Succulent plant container garden in a lunch box
    Kerry Michaels

    You don't have to stop with your shoes. There are plenty of other household items you can use for a mini garden, much like this lunchbox. Here it's filled with a mix of succulent plants—playing with different textures and colors.

    To make this succulent plant container garden:

    1. Take the paper liner out of the lunch box.
    2. Hammer holes into the bottom of the lunch box, using a screwdriver with a large head, so the holes will be pretty large. Then hammer the rough edges of the holes on a hard surface.
    3. Make a plastic liner out of an old bag of potting soil, cutting some holes for drainage. This is to prevent the lunch box from rusting. 
    4. Fill the lunch box with a potting soil, formulated for succulents.
    5. Then plant the succulents and arrange them however you'd like.
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  • 04 of 27

    Bold Flowering Container Garden

    container garden with passion flower, monkey flower, flowering maple
    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

    Two formal container gardens flanking a red door
    White Flower Farm

    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 With Pansies and Violas

    Clementine box filled with pansies and violas
    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.

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  • 07 of 27

    Wooden Basket With Wishbone Plant

    Wishbone Plant in Simple Wooden Basket
    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

    Blue, pink, and yellow flower container garden
    Kerry Michaels

    You can brighten up any place by using your container garden to add a pop of color. This combination was originally in a hanging basket but it was transferred to a bigger pot to encourage it to bloom big. 

    It's filled 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.

    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

    Coleus container garden
    White Flower Farm

    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

    Old Bucket

    An old bucket turned into a container garden
    Kerry Michaels

    Old buckets are your best friend. All you need to do to turn one into a great container garden is to pound some nail holes in the bottom for drainage. This one is filled with 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

    Nasturtium in large stone container garden
    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

    Terra Cotta Jar

    Terra cotta jar with verbena, calibrachoa and creeping Jenny
    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 With Purple Sutera

    Hanging basket filled with "Trailing Blue," sutera
    Kerry Michaels

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

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  • 14 of 27

    Colorful Foliage and Flowers

    Pot filled with flowering maple, chameleon plant and snow in summer
    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

    Golden Sage

    Golden sage in a terra cotta pot
    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 Old Basket

    Old basket with pink flowers and ivy
    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

    Formal hanging basket with calibrachoa, sutera, and lamb's ear
    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

    Coleus and ivy in a Strawberry Pot
    Kerry Michaels

    Strawberry pots make great container gardens for many different kinds 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

    "Pastel Patio," container garden from White Flower Farm
    White Flower Farm

    This container garden uses silvers with muted pink to great effect. 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

    A Big Bucket

    Container garden in large utility bucket
    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

    Ornamental grass, euphorbia and sutera
    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 Basket With Hens and Chicks

    Old basket with hens and chicks
    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 in Zinc Pot

    Calibrachoa or million bells in zinc pot
    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

    Pansy bowl container garden
    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

    Who isn't a fan of self-watering garden pots? This is a Lechuza Cararo pot filled with Persian shield, creeping Jenny, coleus and, 'Sweet Caroline Sweetheart Purple,' sweet potato vine.

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  • 26 of 27

    Great Container Idea by P. Allen Smith

    Growing strawberries in containers
    Kerry Michaels

    This container was inspired by P. Allen Smith's farm in Arkansas. It works well with strawberries, but it would work well with almost any plants, though it's best to include plants that would drape over the side. 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:

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

    Metal Basket

    Flowering container garden in a metal basket
    Kerry Michaels

    This large metal basket from T.J. Maxx is perfect for a container garden. Line it with a plastic bag that has a large hole cut into the bottom for drainage. Then fill it with potting soil, mixed with an organic, all-purpose fertilizer.

    This container is filled with:

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