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…

container planting elements

Tropicanna is a great thriller, with geraniums and angelonia as fillers and fragrant French marigolds as the spiller.

To start with, regardless of where and how you’re using them, for maximum impact, garden containers 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). However, some plants like Tropicanna canna with it’s colorful foliage, can stand alone in a container, which makes life even simpler!

easy container plants

This single planting 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.

1.  Brighten dull spots.

Colorful container gardens can be used to fill an otherwise 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 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.


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.


Creating mixed containers

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


Creating mixed containers

By planting multiple varieties of canna you can be assured of a very filled container (shown here, Tropicanna and Tropicanna Black).


3.  Groupings are great!

By grouping several containers together, you can create a sense of fullness and 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.


Using containers on the deck

Containers can hold single plants or multiple plants.

4. An easy way to mark transitions

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

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

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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One Response 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!!

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