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Liven up your outdoor living space with colorful container gardens. These creative ideas show you how.
Dress up a casual outdoor dining table with a grouping of three matching ceramic containers. Here, purple globe amaranth underplanted with trailing variegated licorice vine sets the tone for an elegant but simple spread featuring tossed salad and cheeses.
Swiss chard, flowering kale, and 'Marmalade' coralbells make a colorful combination with their foliage alone. The tarnished surface of the galvanized bucket plays on the veining of the coralbell leaves, and the faded red label echoes the hue of Swiss chard stems.
Test Garden Tip: Drill several holes in the bottom of the bucket before planting to ensure good drainage.
Adorn a tabletop in seconds with a window box planter and several cell-packs of annual flowers. Here, begonias tuck into a miniature picket fence planter for a charming centerpiece.
Get a classic container look by placing a shallow pedestal-style iron urn on a tabletop. Fill the planter with red coleus, purple verbena, and chartreuse licorice vine. These plants act as thriller, filler, and spiller, respectively, in the combo.
A cool, shady retreat is the perfect spot for this tabletop grouping of a fern and moss enclosed in cloches. The glass covering keeps the moss moist and makes it a low-maintenance choice.
Test Garden Tip: Keep the cloches out of direct sun to prevent plants from overheating.
Fill a wooden crate with colorful impatiens for a blast of color in a shady seating area. Use light or bright colors for greatest visual impact.
Place tumbled pieces of cobalt-blue glass in a strip down the center of the table (remove any sharp pieces). Line both sides with individual containers of coleus to create the illusion of a tree-lined stream. You could also place polished stones on the table for a more refined look.
The sleek lines of this metal container resemble a spaceship. White orbs of ornamental onion (Allium karataviense) continue the extraterrestrial theme, appearing as orbiting satellites hovering over the craft.
You know your herbs are fresh when you harvest them yourself right at the table! A terra-cotta container planted with savory herbs such as chives, marjoram, oregano, sage, and thyme makes a practical and beautiful tabletop centerpiece.
Fill wire topiary forms with sphagnum moss. Tuck in succulents such as sedum, hens-and-chicks, echeveria, and graptopetalum for an easy-care container garden. Because succulents require little moisture, you'll only need to spritz them with water occasionally.
Test Garden Tip: If the topiaries dry excessively, dunk the entire pot, top and all, into a large tub of water to soak up the sphagnum moss.