A beautiful container composition can bring the cottage-garden look to a deck or patio. Here, foxgloves, petunias, and sweet potato vine combine to create a beautiful vignette. Posted by HGTV fan countrygrl125
For colorful leaves that thrive in shade, it’s tough to beat caladium. This variety, Artful Fire and Ice, unfurls leaves that look like a painter crafted them with splashes of green, pink, rose and white. Give caladiums a spot in full to part shade, although in northern gardens, plants can withstand more sun. Keep soil consistently moist for best growth and color. You’ll know you’re failing if leaves turn yellow and drop. Fire and Ice caladium grows 18 to 30 inches tall and12 to 18 inches wide. The other annuals in this container thrive in part shade: Diamond Frost euphorbia and Black Cherry Supertunia.
Choose containers with low water use in mind. Glazed terra cotta containers don’t just look great. They also don’t lose water through the pot sides, so need watered less often than porous unglazed pots.
Fill spring and fall with eye-catching color and sweet floral perfume by planting a container overflowing with fragrant annuals. This pot features a trio of plants that thrive in the seasons when days and nights are cool. Perennial ‘Lucius’ snowy woodrush (Luzula nivea ‘Lucius’) is the grassy green plant in the center of the container (hardy in Zones 4-9). It’s surrounded by Cool Wave Lavender Blue Trailing Pansy, which has a light floral fragrance. Clear Crystal white sweet alyssum offers a sweet perfume. This group of plants beckons early and late season pollinator insects.
Combine indoor houseplants, like this Majesty palm, with pots of tropical flowers for a south-of-the-border container garden. In this pot, mandevilla blooms in front of the palm, with taller Tropic Escape hibiscus adding color behind.
You can still grow a tasty crop of spring peas even if you don’t have a big yard. Look for container pea varieties, like this yummy sugar snap type, Little Crunch. With container peas, you may or may not need a trellis; it depends on how tall plants become. Little Crunch grows 24 to 30 inches tall, which makes it a perfect fit for a typical tomato cage. When growing peas in pots, don’t forget to water. Consistent soil moisture—especially once flowers start appearing—helps ensure a sweet harvest. If you battle rabbits in your yard, growing pots of peas can make it easier to beat the bunnies without having to fence a pea patch. Just know that rabbits (and deer) love peas, so you may need to protect pots on an open patio.
Edamame is great to grow in small spaces and can produce multiple crops in one season, says garden designer Cameron Watkins of C. Watkins Garden Co. He grew this edamame in a container garden for a millennial friend.
Dress up spent summer and fall container gardens with boughs of fresh evergreens for a colorful winter display. Greens like spruce, fir, mountain hemlock and Virginia pine retain color and needles to provide a long winter display. Treat cut greenery with an anti-transpirant to help stems retain moisture. Use bunched ornamental grass stems or bundled branches to add a strong vertical element to designs.
Shady spots explode with color when you draft botany’s big guns for shade: caladium, begonia and ivy. This pot showcases classic container garden design. A white and green caladium stands in as thriller, with Dragon Wing Pink begonia as filler and green ivy as spiller. It’s a blend that easily fits on any porch or deck to bring season-long color. Dragon Wing begonias are a shade all-star, strutting their stuff in part to full shade. These begonias are low maintenance, heat tolerant beauties that pump out flowers until fall’s first frost. This planting combination looks great in a pot, but would transition easily to planting beds, too.
Coleus is an old-fashioned favorite for shady locations, and modern varieties deliver even more. This trio of ColorBlaze coleus boasts beautiful leaves on plants that don’t set flowers easily, which means no more endless deadheading. Mix and match coleus varieties for containers or planting beds by choosing complementary and contrasting leaf colors and patterns. Make sure the coleus you choose is not a full-sun variety if you’re growing it in the shade. Pinch out growing tips when plants are young to increase branching.
Trade out your tired patio tomatoes and peppers for cool season spinach, lettuces, kale and parsley. Mix them with pansies for an edible fall container planting, says Cameron Watkins of C. Watkins Garden Co.