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Inspired by the Coastal Maine Botanical Garden
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.Continue to 2 of 27 below.
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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.Continue to 3 of 27 below.
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Succulent Plants in Lunch Box
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:
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- Take the paper liner out of the lunch box.
- 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.
- 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.
- Fill the lunch box with a potting soil, formulated for succulents.
- Then plant the succulents and arrange them however you'd like.
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Bold Flowering Container GardenContinue to 5 of 27 below.
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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.Continue to 6 of 27 below.
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Clementine Box With Pansies and Violas
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.Continue to 7 of 27 below.
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Wooden Basket With Wishbone Plant
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.Continue to 8 of 27 below.
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Blue, Pink and Yellow Combination
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:
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- Superbells® 'Yellow Chiffon' Calibrachoa
- Lucia® 'Dark Blue' Lobelia
- Supertunia® 'Bermuda Beach' Petunia
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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.Continue to 10 of 27 below.
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Old BucketContinue to 11 of 27 below.
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Stone Container Garden With Nasturtiums
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.Continue to 12 of 27 below.
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Terra Cotta Jar
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.Continue to 13 of 27 below.
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Hanging Basket With Purple Sutera
Sometimes a single plant in the right container makes a perfect container garden. This "Cabana, Trailing Blue," sutera looks great in this hanging basket.Continue to 14 of 27 below.
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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.Continue to 16 of 27 below.
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Formal Hanging Basket
The verdigris color of this ornate hanging basket works well with the pinks and sage colors in this container garden.Continue to 18 of 27 below.
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Coleus and Ivy in Strawberry Pot
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.Continue to 19 of 27 below.
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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.Continue to 20 of 27 below.
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A Big Bucket
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.Continue to 21 of 27 below.
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Container Garden With an Attitude
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.Continue to 22 of 27 below.
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Small Hanging Basket With Hens and Chicks
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.Continue to 23 of 27 below.
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Million Bells in Zinc Pot
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.Continue to 24 of 27 below.
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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.Continue to 25 of 27 below.
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Great Container Idea by P. Allen Smith
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:
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- 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.
- 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 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.
- Fill the second pot with soil and repeat if you are adding more pots.
- Plant your pots and water well.
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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