Outdoor Containers- Basic Design

Good morning everyone!  We sure are getting a spot of rain this weekend, aren't we?  It's a bit gloomy for us, but just think how happy the dry landscape is right about now.  I know that my grass was feeling the strain of the heat already. Last post I shared with you all a few tips on selecting the right pots and potting mixes for your outdoors containers. Now that you've gotten started, here are a few hints on basic design principles to create a stunning impact with your pots.

For a good basic design, just remember three words- thriller, spiller and filler. Combine an upright plant, a trailer that spills down the pot's sides, and a filler to add fullness and color.

Good choices for your thriller plants include yucca, cannas, fountain grass, and the 'spikes' shown here, among others. Try ferns, hostas or heucheras for your shady container garden.

False Dracaena 'Spikes'


Options for the spiller feature include creeping jenny, sweet potato vines, calibrachoa, and bacopa, to name a few.

Callie Brights Calibrachoa

Calibrachoa, available in multiple color choices, provide an abundance of brightly colored blooms all season long.  They are easy to grow and very rewarding.  Perfect for all kinds of containers, including window boxes, hanging baskets and combination planters.

Giant White (suteracordata) Bacopa

Hundreds of beautiful flowers cover the bacopa trailing plants all summer.  The Giant White variety continues to bloom even after other bacopas have stopped, making it another perfect choice for your containers.

Filler plants are available in all different color choices and foliar interest.  Look for flowers in the annuals section, any number of which will be perfect for the filler feature.

To make a real impact with your container garden, remember there is power in numbers.  Combine three, five, or even more pots in varying sizes and styles on steps, in a corner, or at an entry.  Containers that are unremarkable by themselves take on greater impact in groups.

If you're looking for a real star of the show, know that pots with single plants can be stunning accents.  Choose a larger container and a plant with striking features, and this stand-alone will take center stage.

Hope these basic design tips help you create the container garden of your dreams.  Remember that our helpful experts are on hand seven days a week to assist with all your planting needs, including tips on choosing the right plants for your containers.  I'll be back soon with hints about TLC for your newly planted pots.  See you all soon!