5 Easy Container Recipes for Your Garden Design

by Jennifer Smith, Horticulture‘s managing editor
All photos credited to Tracy Walsh

Container gardening has many benefits—small-space gardeners still get to play in the dirt, containers add focus or emphasis in garden beds, and easy container recipes are low maintenance. Here are 5 easy container recipes you can replicate for your own space. These were created by Minnesota gardener Jean Morrison in collaboration with Tangletown Gardens.

5 Easy Container Recipes for Your Garden Design

easy container recipes

#1 Photo credit Tracy Walsh

#1: Classic plants like red-leaved Aralia, ‘Madame Queen’ Begonia, ‘Orange Drops’ Fuchsia, ‘Angelface Pink’ Angelonia, million bells and ‘Suzi Wong’ Nephrolepis exaltata gracefully spill from a traditional planter.

easy container recipes

#2 Photo credit Tracy Walsh

#2: Use an overturned, taller container as a stand to support a wider but shorter container for the plants. Succulents take center stage in this planting. Paddle plant (Kalanchoe thyrsiflora) is the focus of the design. The tall ‘Red Rooster’ Carex buchananii adds additional height and movement to an otherwise still design. ‘Blue Chalk’ Senecio vitalis, ‘Purple Heart’ Tradescantia pallida, ‘Coppertone Stonecrop’ Sedum nussbaumerianum and creeping thyme complete the design.

easy container recipes

#3 Photo credit Tracy Walsh

#3: Unexpected items, like this claw-foot vessel planted with paddle plant ‘Topsy Turvy’ Echeveria runyonii and mistletoe cactus, make a charming centerpiece on the antique marble server originally from an English garden.

easy container recipes

#4 Photo credit Tracy Walsh

#4: In contrast to the limited number of plant varieties in the garden beds, the idea for this container is the more plants the better. Diminutive leaves and tiny flowers of the white Bacopa give way to bold foliage of the Melianthus major and Salvia argentea. ‘Autumn Moon’ Acer shirasawanum and star jasmine (Trachelospermum jasminoides) draw the eye up and toward the three orange pots tucked against the home.

easy container recipes

#5 Photo credit Tracy Walsh

#5: Even tiny containers can support a number of different plants. These plants blend to add a rich array of color and texture in this small space along the garden’s edge. Planted: Melianthus major, ‘Purple Rain’ coleus, jewels of opar (Talinum paniculatum) and million bells.

The full article this guest post is excerpted from ran in the September/October 2015 issue of Horticulture magazine. Subscribe for regular expert ideas delivered right to your mailbox.

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