Connect the ContainerI love the way the
Go MonochromaticIf you have trouble putting different colors together, make it easy by going monochromatic. We did that here by mixing different shades of purple. We started with a show-stopping purple-and-white petunia. It pairs perfectly with a lavender-and-white striped angelonia. In the smaller pot, we mixed a violet-lavender calibrachoa with the vertical blooms of veronica. The veronica spikes echo the angelonia, helping the two containers feel like they’re part of the same family.
Pot Up PerennialsWe tend to focus on using annuals in container gardens, but perennials can be a fabulous choice, too. And depending on which perennials you grow (and how you store your pots), they may even return to offer more interest next year. (Or, take them out of the containers and plant them in the landscape at the end of the season to enjoy the perennials in your yard next year.) Here, we started with long-blooming, easy-care veronica. Its lavender-purple spires look good with just about everything. We paired it with drought-tolerant lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) to add lovely fragrance. The lavender also brings in violet-purple flowers. As an eye-catching accent, we incorporated blue fescue (Festuca
Mix Things UpTexas sage (Leucophyllum) is a fun, low-water tropical shrub that deserves a lot more attention. It offers silvery foliage and airy lavender flowers throughout the summer. Because Texas sage bears such a fine texture, we paired it with lamb’s ear (Stachys
Enjoy Different TexturesWe usually notice color first when looking at a container garden, but
Keep It SimpleThis pair of window boxes offers a simple solution: Bold yellow gerbera daisies (Gerbera) and trailing golden creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia). The colors provide a lovely accent to the house, creating a classic look and feel. You don’t need a ton of different varieties to put on a bold show -- using just a couple of different types of plants can create as much impact.
Add Different Plant ShapesThere’s an old “rule” you often hear when talking about container garden design: You want a thriller, filler, and spiller. That means you first want an eye-catching focal point, something to fill in and provide lushness, and finally, a plant to spill over the edges of the pot. We’ve done that here. Lavender-pink angelonia is an elegant focal point that keeps going all season long. An adorable viola in a matching color plays the role of filler. And a pink petunia elegantly trails over the side.
Play Up FoliageFlowers are beautiful, but leaves can be, too, as you can see in this bold container we put together. A showpiece on our Trial Garden deck, it features only two plants: kale and lavender (Lavandula
Go TropicalHere’s another example of how foliage adds dramatic flair to container plantings. The focal point is elephant’s ear (Alocasia), a plant that thrives in summer heat and humidity. Lavender-pink angelonia, pink calibrachoa, and purple ornamental pepper (Capsicum
Repurpose PlantersThis old fountain sprung a leak, but we were more than happy to give it new life as a planter. It hosts Pop Stars blue annual phlox on the top tier and lush blue lobelia on the bottom. We think the effect is reminiscent of water -- and is a delightful way to give an old object new life.
Note: If you use birdbath or fountain as a planter, ensure there’s drainage so that excess water can escape. Otherwise, your favorite plants may drown after a heavy rain.
Plant with Everyone in MindThis stone planter makes a lovely vessel for pincushion flower (Scabiosa). This long-blooming perennial is delightful for its profuse display of lavender-blue flowers on wiry stems that dance in the breeze. But you’re not the only one who’s going to love it: Bees, butterflies, and other pollinators flock to this easy-care perennial. Want to enjoy it next year? No problem! Just pop it out of the pot and into a sunny spot in your landscape to attract more butterflies for years to come.
Be BoldThe white cushions on the patio furniture on our deck create a crisp, clean look that we accented with a white ceramic planter. But we decided to be bold and infuse in-your-face color with
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