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Creative Uses of Containers in the Landscape

Brighten your landscape, create an inviting entryway, or add vertical interest to one of your garden beds with a container.

Now don't stop with petunias or geraniums. Mix it up a bit. Use vines, tropicals or trees and shrubs for vertical accents. Try color echoing, its the repetition of one color in one plant to that same color repeated in the flowers or foliage of others, it unifies the arrangement.

And look for new or unusual plants to try. I like to grow one or two specimens of new plant varieties in container first to see how they perform. Then I can move my favorites into the landscape and try something new next season.

Stack your containers for added impact. The added height brings drama and the mass of plants is perfect for creating a focal point, softening a wall and screening a view.

A bit more information: Not sure where to start. Use the simple formula of thriller, filler and spiller. The thrillers are vertical plants like spike, Swiss chard, fennel, fountain grass and cannas. These plants help keep the planting in scale with the pot, provide vertical interest and create a focal point. The spillers are trailing plants like golden moneywort, silver falls dichondra, vinca and licorice vine that soften the container as they spill over the edge. The fillers help tie the thriller and spillers together while adding color and texture in the spaces between them. Classic zinnias, diamond frost euphorbia, greens, coleus, ageratum and begonias are a few plants often used as fillers.

Upcoming Appearances


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Pollinator-Friendly Perennials for Difficult Situations 
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Green Bay Botanic Garden
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Shade Gardening for Beauty and Pollinator Appeal 
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Oct. 9, 2021
Everything Hydrangeas
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Kid & Pet Friendly Houseplants
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Oct. 23, 2021
San Diego Fall Home & Garden Show
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Oct. 27, 2021
Pruning Tips for Shrubs
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