Grow Glorious Grasses
Grasses are a no-brainer for fall gardens. Keep them in mind for your container plantings, too. Most grasses look great in pots. Here, purple fountaingrass and blue fescue create a lovely contrast for pink mums and yellow strawflower.
A. Blue fescue (Festuca glauca): 1
B. Chrysanthemum 'Cecilia': 2
C. Strawflower (Bracteantha 'Sundaze Golden Yellow'): 1
D. Purple fountaingrass (Pennisetum 'Burgundy Giant'): 1
Video: Container Garden Design Tips
Watch this short video and get tips from the Better Homes and Gardens garden editors on designing gorgeous container gardens.
Make an Accent
Small containers are great accents because you can easily move them for parties, to fill in gaps in the garden, or just to change up your yard's look. This container is a perfect match for a festive series of small pumpkins.
A. Zinnia (Zinnia 'Magellan Orange'): 1
B. Lamium maculatum : 1
C. Pansy (Viola 'Panola Orange'): 1
D. Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis): 1
E. Celosia 'Prestige Scarlet': 1
Great container gardens aren't always just live plants. Here, dried hydrangea flowers add grace and interest to a charming planting.
A. Pig squeak (Bergenia cordifolia): 2
B. Sedum 'Xenox': 2
C. Rubygrass (Melinis 'Pink Crystals'): 2
Perennials can be the highlight of the fall container garden, especially if you choose types with flashy foliage. Treat them as inexpensive annuals or get them in the ground as soon as you can before it freezes.
A. Euphorbia amygdaloides 'Efanthia': 1
B. Fountaingrass (Pennisetum 'Hameln'): 1
C. Diascia 'Flying Colors Trailing Red': 1
D. Coralbells (Heuchera 'Dolce Creme Brulee'): 2
Lots of fall landscapes rely on foliage for a big bang -- so why shouldn't your container gardens? Try plants with colorful leaves so the container sill looks pretty after blooms fade.
A. Swiss chard (Beta vulgaris 'Bright Lights'): 3
B. Flowering kale (Brassica 'Pigeon Purple'): 1
C. Coralbells (Heuchera 'Marmalade'): 1
Add Formal Flair
Make a statement at your entrance with a well-placed container or two. For classic gardens, it's tough to beat an urn filled with flowers such as the one shown here.
A. Purple Fountaingrass (Pennisetum 'Burgundy Giant'): 1
B. Coleus (Solenostemon 'Sedona'): 1
C. Zinnia (Zinnia elegans 'Zesty Scarlet'): 1
D. Annual black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia 'Cordoba'): 1
E. Calibrachoa 'Superbells Tequila Sunrise': 2
Keep it Cool
Asters and kale are surefire picks for a great fall show, and silvery foliage from 'Icicles' licorice plant is a perfect end-of-the-season accent.
A. Aster (Aster 'Purple Viking'): 1
B. Flowering kale (Brassica 'Kamome Red'): 2
C. Licorice plant (Helichrysum 'Icicles'): 2
Utilize Rich Colors
Deep, dark purples create garden intrigue, especially when they're paired with a bold, bright color. Create contrast for a stunning fall show.
A. Leatherleaf sedge (Carex buchananii): 2
B. Chrysanthemum 'Golden Andrea': 1
C. Purple millet (Pennisetum 'Jester'): 3
Go Bold with Color
Reds, oranges, browns, and yellows fill the fall landscape. Add color and contrast with pink, blue, or silver flowering container plantings!
A. Chrysanthemum 'Soft Cheryl': 1
B. Dusty miller (Senecio cineraria): 3
C. Purple kale (Brassica 'Redbor'): 1
Frost doesn't have to mean the end of your container plantings! Tough plants stand up to the cold and stay looking great.
A. Hens-and-chicks (Sempervivum tectorum): 1
B. Ajuga 'Mahogany': 1
C. Flowering kale (Brassica 'Kamome Red'): 1
Keep to a Color Theme
This container looks great because the natural terra-cotta hues echo through all the plants.
A. Euphorbia amygdaloides 'Efanthia': 2
B. Coleus (Solenostemon 'Ulrich'): 2
C. Indiangrass (Sorghastrum nutans): 1
D. Chrysanthemum 'Festive Ursula': 2
Play Up Texture
Frost-tolerant flowering kale is a perfect choice for adding color and texture to late-season containers. Try a handful of varieties to create a bold look.
A. Flowering kale (Brassica 'Osaka White'): 2
B. Flowering kale (Brassica 'Pigeon Purple'): 1
C. Flowering kale (Brassica 'Redbor'): 1
Use an Interesting Container
Top off a set of great plants with a fun container, such as an old, cracked birdbath. Or consider an old bushel basket, wooden crate, or other material with character.
A. Lysimachia 'Golden Globe': 1
B. Coleus (Solenostemon 'Tiny Toes'): 1
C. Chrysanthemum 'Blushing Emily': 2
D. Kale (Brassica oleracea): 2
E. Plectranthus 'Mona Lavender': 1
F. Coralbells (Heuchera 'Dolce Creme Brulee'): 1
G. Rubygrass (Melinis 'Pink Champagne'): 1
Give your fall container gardens a bit of whimsy by adding artistic elements. A candle, for example, ties into the colors and gives the container additional height and texture.
A. Chrysanthemum 'Cheryl': 2
B. Sedge (Carex flagellifera): 1
C. Golden creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia 'Aurea'): 1
D. Pansy (Viola 'Icicle'): 3
E. Purple fountaingrass (Pennisetum setaceum 'Rubrum'): 1
Select Soft Colors
Contrast autumn's bold and bright reds, oranges, and yellows with soft shades of pink, lavender, and burgundy.
A. Flowering kale (Brassica 'Osaka Purple'): 1
B. Pansy (Viola 'Icicle'): 4
C. Chrysanthemum 'Debonaire': 2
D. Purple fountaingrass (Pennisetum 'Red Riding Hood'): 1
Create Instant Charm
Fall container gardens can be any color. Mix your favorites for a look that suits you. Here, a deep red mum makes a great contrast for a blue calibrachoa in a galvanized container.
A. Calibrachoa 'Cabaret Purple': 2
B. Chrysanthemum 'Brandi': 1
C. Flowering kale (Brassica 'Osaka Purple'): 1
D. Fountaingrass (Pennisetum 'Hameln'): 1
E. Sage (Salvia officinalis): 1
Keep It Simple
Even just a couple of plants creates a stunning container. This one offers a bonus of the strong fragrance of the flowering stock.
A. Sweet alyssum (Lobularia 'Wonderland Mulberry Mix'): 6
B. Flowering kale (Brassica 'Osaka Purple'): 1
C. Flowering stock (Matthiola 'Vintage Lavender'): 2
Even against the bright colors of fall, yellow shines in the landscape. Pansies are some of the best plants for fall because they flower well past the first frost.
A. Pansy (Viola 'Panola Yellow Blotch'): 3
B. Licorice plant (Helichrysum 'Icicles'): 2
Create a Wonderful Window Box
Mums are among the most widely used fall plants. Use them to fill your window boxes for a burst of autumn color.
A. Chrysanthemum 'Draga': 2
B. Chrysanthemum 'Denise': 4
C. Flowering kale (Brassica 'Osaka Purple'): 2
D. Variegated ivy (Hedera helix 'Glacier'): 1
Red, white, and blue never go out of style -- so celebrate autumn with these festive colors.
A. Annual vinca (Catharanthus 'Titan Pure White'): 2
B. Pentas 'Starla Red': 2
C. Variegated feather reedgrass (Calamagrostis 'Overdam'): 1
D. Salvia 'Mystic Spires Blue': 1