Mixed Container Gardening

shade container
Impatiens, Japanese Painted Fern and Heuchera ‘Hercules’ in a mixed container

One of the great ways to dress up an entrance, walk or a yard without the effort of full fledged gardening is the mixed container. We find gardening in containers as rewarding as any of our creative endeavors. When the container looses its appeal, we can easily change the plants in it or move it where it will be less conspicuous.

color coordinated mixed container
Mixed Container with Verbena and Petunias

Annuals, perennials, and woody shrubs all have a place in container gardening. We prefer using foliage perennials over flowering perennials most of the time. Verbena ‘Homestead Purple’ is a flowering perennial that does well in mixed containers.

Mixed Containers give us a great opportunity to express ourselves. They bring rich color to areas that need to be brightened up. They have very little weeds or disease problems. Most plants will do well in partial sun.

The design aspect of container gardening has infinite possibilities. An industry favorite isĀ the Fill, Thrill, and SpillĀ design. In this design, the plants are laid out for height and interest with plants that fall over the edge of the pot. Also there will be at least one plant that really “wows” the viewer. There are plenty of great design possibilities with this approach. However, there is no need to limit ourselves. Any design and color combination is possible, especially if containers are grouped together for an over all landscape layout. If your first ideas look less than exciting, it will be easy to change.

Low Water Container Garden
Succulent Mixed Container with Blue Fescue
Perennial Mixed Container
Mixed Container with Perennials

In our containers we frequently use grasses, heucheras, lamium, pineapple lily, petunias, sweet potato vine, verbenas, impatiens, dichondra, and moneywort. Boxwood, hollies and elderberry are excellent choices as shrubs for pots. We use basic potting soil with a slow release fertilizer. Water is required more frequently than plants in the ground. In the hot summer days, water will be required every day.

Spring is a great time to try something new in the yard that is both easy and fun.

Perennial Mixed Container
Perennial Mixed Container with Pineaplle Lily, Guara, and Heucheras
Mixed Container Gardening
Mixture of Annuals and Perennials