How To Plant A Container Garden

Container Gardening

How To Plant A Container Garden
by Rob Sproule

So you wanna plant a container garden? It can be intimidating, especially if you’ve been surfing the net looking for inspiration on professional gardening sites. Stop being intimidated. Professional designers make the containers on these sites so keep that in mind.

You’re going to make your own container gardens and they’re going to be awesome. Blending colours and textures is about artistry, so here are 3 approaches which vary on how artistic you’re feeling (1 being not at all and 3 being downright ambitious). Remember that container gardening is the most colourful, zany, and non-committal gardening there is. Leave your inhibitions at the door and have some fun!  Advantages of Planting in Containers

The Recipe Method

If you’re just starting out, or if you just want a showy container without worrying about what clashes with what, download a grab and go container recipe. They’re available across the net, but and Better Homes and Gardens do it best.

Sites like these provide planograms and glossy pictures of manicured showstoppers to get you started.

While these recipes feel like your next great container is just a print button away, keep a few things in mind. First, the big money in gardening is in the Eastern and Southern US, and plants that thrive there are rarely survivors here. Make sure the ingredients are right for our dry air, chilly nights and short seasons.

Second, these sites are often selling their own plants, typically using their popular planograms to encourage people to buy lesser known or newer plants in their lineups. Often 1 or 2 items in the recipe will be hard to find. Instead of exhausting yourself on the phone, substitute with something that’s the same approximate colour and habit.

At Salisbury we release our own recipes every season in early May. I put them together with plants that thrive in our climate and which are readily available. Watch for it on our Facebook page  and homepage. You can find our 2016 recipes here.

Napkin Planning

If you want more freedom than a planogram gives you, but aren’t ready to walk into a garden centre cold turkey, sketch it out first. Look at your particular situation and likes, then go from there and make the choices that you like the best.


I always encourage this one! This is where you muster your creative forces, saunter into the garden centre and let beauty guide you. Gardening is about expressing yourself after all, and the most gorgeous container gardens are always those that make you, their creator, smile. Trends in Container Gardening

Begin with love. Look for a plant that calls out to you like a puppy at the pound. Once you’ve found the one you need to have, build your container around it. It doesn’t have to be the biggest element in the container or even the showiest, but you do need to love it.

Put it on the top layer of your cart. As you keep shopping, pair plants with it that you think blend well. Contrary to what many people think, we all have strong innate artistic instincts. Container Gardern Yard Interview If it looks good to you, it’s probably going to look good to others (and if it doesn’t look good to others but you love it, remember that it’s your expression). Create the container on your cart within an area about the same as your pot diameter.

Try to pair plants together that have the same growth habits (aggressive with aggressive and passive with passive). Try to limit yourself to 3-5 different plants so things don’t spiral out of control.

Read More Articles

Keep in Touch with what’s happening at Salisbury Greenhouse


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply