Create a pretty spot in your garden with a tall, attractive container bursting with dynamic plants.

When designing your container, begin with a tall plant for the center. Plan on using at least one type of trailing plant to cascade over the edge. Then, fill in spaces with plants of varying heights and leaf shapes. Choose a color scheme that fits your location.

We planted our container, an elegant urn on a pedestal, in shades of pinks, blues, whites and silvers. It needs about six hours of full sun per day. At the end of the season you can transplant the perennial salvia and bellflower into the garden.

The mandevilla vines need to spend winter inside, since they're not hardy through Midwest winters. We used curly willow twigs as a support, but a decorative trellis would look pretty.

Annuals fill out the rest of the urn, which is 22 inches wide and 12 inches deep, with a 12-inch-tall pedestal. Mostly, you'll need only one plant, but you'll want three phlox and about four dusty millers.

Cut a 4-inch pot of vinca vine into two pieces to dangle over the container.

Plant List

1. Vinca trailing vine

2. Lavender bacopa

3. Phlox '21st Century White'

4. White daisies

5. New Guinea impatiens 'Pure Beauty Purple'

6. Campanula 'Birch Hybrid' (bellflower)

7. White mimulus

8. Lobelia 'Rosamunde'

9. White phlox

10. Pink gerbera daisy

11. Two mandevilla vines in hot pink and light pink or white, supported with thick, curly willow twigs

12. Delphinium 'Magic Fountains' white

13. Dusty miller 'Silver Dust'

14. Salvia 'Blue Queen' (perennial meadow sage)

15. Morning glory vine (convoluuvus)

Quick Tips

  • Check that all your plants have the same sun requirements. Don't mix shade-loving plants with sun plants, or some of them will be unhappy!

  • All containers holding flowering plants need almost daily watering, plus a fertilizer added to the water every other week to keep them blooming.

  • At the same time, don't overwater. Be on guard to ensure that water doesn't stand inside the container.

Click here to read more about mandevilla vines in the Plant Encyclopedia at our sister publication, Better Homes and Gardens.