Container Gardening


The not so ordinary… can give some inspiration, whether the siting, the container or the plants.


All examples are designs done in Ontario, Canada.


Some are fanciful, some extravagant, and some very, very large. Many of the container designs are created by professionals.

Click through the galleries for some creative planting combinations.

In my own garden, I have containers using both perennials and annuals and also a mix of annuals. I plant containers for wildlife, ease and drought tolerance. Being a busy designer all summer, my focus is always elsewhere and ease of care is first and foremost. But I do have some containers of annuals only.

Hydrangea, Torenia fournieri, hosta and painted fern (hosta and fern overgrown by Torenia by season’s end), with a side of Coreopsis ‘Zagreb’ in the bottom photo above.

About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at:
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26 Responses to Container Gardening

  1. I love seeing containers that are clever in the placement, the types of plants or the style of the container. These are great examples Donna. This year I pulled out a few older containers and used them instead and was most pleased. And I placed some in new locations. I actually have reduced the number of containers I am using as they are so much work here as we can’t leave any of them out in winter.

  2. Visitors may not focus in on a container in a garden, but it can add a lot to the landscape.

  3. I find containers somewhat romantic in a garden. I love the fact that one can turn almost anything into a container for flowers. Some time ago, walking by a fish shop I saw they had converted a small boat to a container full of geraniums and various other colorful plants. it looked really nice!

    • Containers are great like on your balcony. I also have a balcony off the rear bedroom but don’t have planters there anymore. Too much to care for. I have seen rowboats planted as you mentioned, they look wonderful.

  4. Some great examples. I remember some of these! 😉 I also remember thinking I could do some of these things with objects and containers I have at home. I have quite a few container plantings, but I would like to add more next year.

  5. arlene says:

    Gives me an idea on what to do next to propagate some of my plants here.

  6. Not usually a fan of Torenia, but I like that blue Torenia in the last picture.

  7. Loretta says:

    Beautiful! We were in Toronto last week and I couldn’t help but notice the gorgeous planters all over. We did take a ferry ride to Wards Island too, I need to get my photos together for a post on that 🙂

    • I hope you get those images posted. I will be away starting tomorrow at 4am for a week, so I hope I get to it. Let me know when you have it up. I will be sure to view.

      • Loretta says:

        Righto, enjoy your trip Donna. I’ll send you a note after I’ve put them up. There’s not too much emphasis on the gardens itself, as it pretty much was all spent at this time of year, but enjoyed the quirkiness of it all, nothing had changed since we lived in TO and frequented Wards Island.

  8. debsgarden says:

    These are some inspirational containers! The green lantern in the first photo is a lovely accent. I think of containers plantings as “mini-gardens.” They can contribute a lot to the over-all effect of a garden, especially since one can control the soil and other requirements more easily than when planted directly in the garden and can therefore broaden the garden horizon, so to speak.

    • I liked the lantern too. It made little sense there except as decoration. Good point on the “mini gardens”. I just moved all my containers since I am leaving tomorrow, and seeing the garden without them was like seeing a new garden. With or without, the garden looked good. It just needs a good cleaning though.

  9. A very inspiring post, Donna! I mix annuals and perennials in my containers, too. I’ll write a post on them soon. Looking forward to your posting about leaving them out during the winter. P. x

    • Thank you, Pam. I have had that post written from Spring, but have not gotten around to the images. My time slips away so fast in summer for how busy I am. Now travel is my priority again, and posts are sitting in the hopper waiting for me to illustrate. I have to get the container images I already used together I guess.

  10. I love containers and can never pass up a good one I see. The problem is that I am terrible at creating arrangements in pots. I like to use a mix of perennials and annuals but they never look as good as the professionals. For our demonstration at the Fling I am sure that I am not incorporating enough plants. The containers you show here are lovely!

    • Those containers at the Fling were already too overcrowded at creation. He does containers for events and then there is a reason for the overcrowding since events are usually very short-lived. I overcrowd in the beginning of the season, but in a short time, the containers need to be dismantled and replanted with half the original plants. Then the leftovers go into the garden or more containers. You can see in my hydrangea container how the mini hosta and painted fern got covered over. At season’s start, the hosta and fern took up the space. Now the color from the annual and hydrangea fill the huge copper log carrier. I prefer to let the plants fill out (like the verbena and petunia containers) rather than to replant, but some containers do get a seasonal make-over.

  11. A.M.B. says:

    The pictures are beautiful. I’ve tried to do annual (or herb) containers, but for some reason, it’s never worked out well for me. It’s not easy!

  12. I just read this paper I thought you would like…do you have access to it? I can send the pdf:

  13. Drought toleration will be my goal next year. I’m struggling trying to keep multiple containers alive, especially in the heat of August. Yours are beautiful.

  14. bittster says:

    Beautiful containers, the elephant ear in the urn is my favorite by far, but they all work in their own way and in their own location.
    I was kind of happy with my own containers until reading this post… the bar has just been raised lol

  15. wonderful pictures, wonderful flowers 🙂 thank you

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