How to Create a Stunning Container Garden in an Hour

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Container Gardening

With all the loss of trees and landscaping near me and across the country from the recent tornados I thought a quick summer project to create a stunning container garden in an hour would be fun.

create a stunning container garden today.

This verse made me think about the destruction we’ve witnessed creating what looks like a wilderness now, yet the Lord makes beauty from it in His perfect timing.

The wilderness and the desert will be glad, And the Arabah will rejoice and blossom; Like the crocus It will blossom profusely And rejoice with rejoicing and shout of joy. The glory of Lebanon will be given to it, The majesty of Carmel and Sharon. They will see the glory of the LORD, The majesty of our God.

Isaiah 35:1-2

First, recall the rule of three, which means the container needs 3 kinds of plants to make a statement; 1) tall, 2) medium and 3) cascading plants. Yes, that is how many plants of each kind I plant in a container. Is it a rule? No, it’s just a convenient guideline.

Some call the tall plants thrillers, the medium plants fillers, and the cascading plants spillers. The thriller goes in the middle or towards the back of the pot, the fillers go on either side of or around the thriller, and the spillers go towards the outside edge across the front, if against a wall, or surrounding the container, if in an open area.

Plant in 14 inch to 20 inch pots with good drainage, so there’s room for lots of plants to make a splash of color. Want permission to pack in as many plants as possible into your container? Go for it!

You may opt to plant in three containers, each with different height plants including tall, medium and cascading, or use staggered size containers, taller, medium height and shorter. Let your space and personal preference reign as the arrangements are for your enjoyment. Pick a container that complements your plants and personality, plop in the potting soil, pop in the plants. Voila! Oh yea, pour in water occasionally.

An attractive combination for a sunny spot includes angelonia (Angelonia angustifolia ‘Serena Series’), which are beautiful tall thrillers, with white verbena as the filler, and calibrachoa as the spiller. Everyone can create a container that pleases themselves with all the flower colors available.

Or substitute common zinnia (Zinnia elegans), SunPatiens® (Impatiens), or a tropical hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis) in place of the angelonia.

Want your planting to pay tribute to the USA on Independence Day? Plant mealy cup sage (Salvia farinacea ‘Victoria Blue’) or any blue salvia, as the thriller, red verbena as the fillers and white bacopa (Sutera) or fan flower (Scaevola) as the spillers.

A sunny spot winner for the LSU fan (my husband!) is a gorgeous yellow Gerbera daisy as the thriller, white bronze leaf wax begonia (Semperflorens) as the filler and purple sweet potato vine (Ipomoea batatas ‘Blackie’) as the spiller. Add purple and yellow calibrachoa for a lively color pop.

A strawberry planter is an easy container to plant. Fill it with one kind of plant such as bronze leaf wax begonia (Semperflorens) for sunny spots or impatiens (Impatiens walleriana) or green leaf wax begonias for shadier locations. Grab a couple of 6 packs of plants in your favorite flower color. Place one plant per opening.

Want a strong statement for a shady spot? Plant Tropicanna® canna (Canna indica ‘Phasion‘), a Kong coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides ‘Kong Series’), and green sweet potato vine (Ipomoea batatas ‘Sweet Caroline Light Green’). Add some pizzazz with purple, pink or coral impatiens (Impatiens walleriana) between the coleus and the cascading plants. Stunning!

For a spectacular shady display, choose caladium (Caladium bicolor) or New Guinea impatiens (Impatiens hawkeri) as the thriller, add impatiens (Impatiens walleriana), wax begonia, or wishbone flower (Torenia) as the filler and English ivy (Hedera helix ‘Variegata’) for the spiller. Wow!

I wonder. What if I poke holes in some old boots and buckets to plant in them? Bet it would work. Here’s the rule. Have fun!

The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever.

Isaiah 40:8

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12 thoughts on “How to Create a Stunning Container Garden in an Hour

  1. Beautiful post with helpful tips! Thanks for linking up to Best of the Weekend! Your post was our most clicked of the week! We will be pinning and sharing on Instagram stories this weekend. Congrats and enjoy your weekend!

  2. Thanks for sharing.

    For Mother’s Day my son got me a plant that is container ready and contains the rule of 3. Who ever came up with this idea was a genius! lol. My barrel looks beautiful and all I had to do was transplant from the pot to my container. Everything else was thought through for me. lol.

  3. I love how you work Scripture into the everyday details of life Susan! Now, if these plants only knew you were inviting me to invest in their very short lives— which is what it would be if I created a container garden… I love container gardens, as long as they belong to someone else. I’d even love if they belonged to me if someone else would be responsible for them. I’m just no good at it! *a moment of silence for all the plants I’ve killed* LOL Thanks for linking up at InstaEncouragements!

  4. Thanks for your gardening tips! I love container planting and yours look beautiful! You make me want to get dirt under my fingernails. 🙂

  5. I finally planted my containers last week and I am enjoying them so much. I haven’t spent much time in my actual flower beds, so the pots are getting all my love. 🙂 I planted hens and chicks in my strawberry planter; I hope they make it. Thanks for sharing these tips, Susan!

  6. Thanks, Susan! I love container gardens — I have bad soil and it’s so easy to compensate with good container gardening!

  7. Hi Susan.

    Thank you for this post! I planted a few perennials, but still need to get to my containers. This was very helpful and made a great addition to my Pinterest board. 🙂


    P.S. I enjoyed seeing you this way at the Inner Circle meeting. 🙂

  8. This is so encouraging for someone like me. I do not have a natural green thumb and while I see many ideas that inspire me, I’m overwhelmed by the thought of attempting them myself. You’ve described container gardens in such a practical, gentle way. Thank you!

  9. I just love the way you are putting a practical and loving post out there for those who are mourning the loss of their spring landscape!
    Blessings to you, Susan. So grateful for His Word that never fades or fails.

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