5 Simple Garden Container Ideas

Although many people simply use filled garden containers on their deck or patio to add impact, they can be used as problem-solvers! Let’s look at five examples below…

To start with, regardless of where and how you’re using them, for maximum impact, garden containers of mixed plants should include a “Thriller” (usually a tall plant), a “Filler” (something bushy to fill empty spaces) and a “Spiller” (something that gracefully spills over the pot).

award winning container designs

Created by award-winning container designer Todd Holloway, these containers include the 3 essential elements for mixed containers:  thriller (Tropicanna); filler (coleus) and spiller (sweet potato vine and calibrachoa)


However, some plants like Tropicanna canna with it’s colorful foliage and dramatic Festival™ cordlylines can all stand alone in a container and still make a great statement, which makes life even simpler!


Festival cordyline

The strappy foliage on Festival ‘Burgundy’ cordyline softens any garden spot.


easy container plants

This single planting of Tropicanna canna provides loads of color.


Once you’ve created a container, you’ll find plenty of ways to use them to solve an array of garden, deck or landscape problems.  Here are 5 simple ideas:

1.  Brighten dull spots

Colorful container gardens can be used to fill dull or colorless spots in the garden.

easy container gardening

Tropicanna Black with Sweet Potato vine and other mixed annuals fill an otherwise boring spot. (Photo by Denise Pierce).


container plant ideas

When filled with bright white Snow Storm agapanthus, this cobalt blue container provides the perfect combination to add interest to any dull spot.


container garden uses

Complete with a thriller, filler and spiller, this container can be moved around the garden as needed to fill in “dead” spots throughout the season.


bulletproof roses

This single-color filled container of Flower Carpet Yellow, Lady’s Mantle and carex is the only flowering plant within this otherwise dull landscape.


2. The great disguiser!

Containers can be used to cover or take attention away from an unattractive wall or bare spot around a deck or porch.

uses for garden containers

This container helps to cover a cement chimney.


good container plants

A single planting of Blue Storm agapanthus welcomes visitors to an otherwise dull entryway.


Creating mixed containers

A blank deck wall is instantly brightened up with this mixed container.


3.  Groupings are great!

By grouping several containers together, you can create a sense of fullness; you can also rotate containers around, depending on what looks best during any particular time of year.

container groupings

Containers of varying sizes, colors, textures and shapes can be grouped together for a pleasing overall effect.


Sweet Spot The Decorator Rose

Limited space? You can still do small groupings with a colorful assortment in small pots.


container gardens

This groups of containers featuring Tropicanna cannas and Flower Carpet Yellow  serves as a second garden, providing season-round interest and color once the yellow evening primrose in the background have gone by.


Using containers on the deck

Grouping several containers together gives a sense of fullness to any spot.


4. An easy way to mark transitions

Containers can be used to mark transitions in deck levels, stairs or even walkways.

great landscape roses

Containers filled with Flower Carpet White clearly define a stone walkway.  Their bright white flowers add a little extra safety for evening strollers as well.


flower carpet roses

A container filled with Flower Carpet Pink is a nice reminder to step carefully around the pool!


ways to use garden containers

This mixed container is a nice way to mark the division between a driveway and walkway.


creating colorful containers

This brightly filled container alerts guests to a step down from one deck level to the next.


5. Add a tropical touch to your water feature!

Containers filled with Tropicanna cannas and other water-loving plants can be used in water gardens to add color, texture and interest.

water gardening

Tropicanna mixes nicely with water lilies in this small water feature.


creating water features

Mixed textures add interest to this small water garden. (Photo by Denny Schrock).


Here are a few other posts and videos that offer simple container tips:

Designing Containers Using Flower Carpet Rose

Containerology: How to grow a good-looking plot in a pot

Designing an easy container garden

Container Gardening

How to Make Self-Watering Containers  You Tube video

Successful Self Watering Containers: Converting Your Favorite Container to a Self Waterer book by Lorraine Ballato

Un-holey Containers Provide Freedom from Watering

Have you used containers as problem-solvers?  If so, we’d love to hear about it!  Until then, Garden On Good People!












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3 Responses to 5 Simple Garden Container Ideas

  1. Sharon Bryant May 25, 2015 at 6:15 pm #

    Moving to FL this year and the ideas for potted plants to add color to my Florida room and screened patio are very helpful!!

  2. Jackie Lynch April 17, 2018 at 12:54 pm #

    Would any of these be a good solution for pots at the cemetery?

  3. Your Easy Garden Team April 18, 2018 at 3:16 pm #

    sure, as long as you keep them well watered.

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