Creative Container Gardens | Midwest Living

Creative Container Gardens

Gail Estka designs more than 100 container gardens each year for her Chicago-area yard. Here she shares some of her favorites.

Cascading color

Green, yellow and blue create a soothing color scheme in this garden urn. Calla lily, coleus and duranta offer vertical interest; ageratum, lobelia and lantana fill the middle ground; and trailing creeping Jenny drapes down like Rapunzel’s locks to steal the show. 

Think big

Bamboo palm underplanted with calibrochoa helps create upward movement and visual interest. 

Sitting pretty

A long planter chock-full of flowers and foliage substitutes for a window box on a porch railing. ‘Goldilocks’ creeping Jenny, ‘Burlesque’ pigeon berry, Madagascar dragon tree, calibrochoa and coleus create a lush mix of upright and trailing plants.

Clever and carefree

Tuck a mix of succulents and moss into a trug on the patio table and water once a week. 

Tap into texture

The fleshy blue-green trailing stems of burro’s tail provide enough visual interest to stand alone in a small- or medium-size container. This succulent perennial offers pink to red flowers in summer. 

Bright spot

Versatile containers can easily be worked into a larger landscape to create a focal point or fill in a blank spot. Here, a glazed blue urn filled with petunias, coleus and lantana brightens up a corner of the garden. 

Solo appearance

Using just one plant in a container creates an uncluttered look that lets that specimen shine. Here, ‘Dragon Wing’ begonia‘s densely mounded form easily fills a 10-inch hanging basket and blooms continuously from May until frost. This shade-lover tolerates heat, especially if given sufficient water. 

Mass appeal

Large container groupings give the effect of a garden border at the front door. Plant choices include easy-growing geraniums, petunias, marigolds, creeping Jenny, sedum, coleus, ferns, grasses and croton.

Continue for more container garden ideas

Add Your Comment