Clever Containers for Small Spaces

old metal wheelbarrow
Try these fun and easy ideas for container gardens you'll love all season long.

Display Creatively

This classic topiary would look great anywhere, but it becomes a special focal point when grown on a salvaged-ladder shelf.

A. Myrtle (Myrtus communis): 1

A how-to guide to thriller-filler-spiller containers that will look great from the moment you plant them.

Video: Container Garden Design

Watch this quick video from Better Homes and Gardens® garden editor Eric Liskey for tips and ideas on creating beautiful container gardens.

Try Repetition

Landscape designers have long relied on repetition to give their gardens big impact. Here's a great way to do the same thing with containers (and low-maintenance since they use low-water succulents).

Test Garden Tip: If you repurpose a container without drainage, punch holes in the bottom so extra water can escape.

A. Ghost plant (Graptopetalum paraguayense): 6

Create a Centerpiece

Even on a small scale, it's smart to choose plants that grow up, around, and down. Here, coleus gives height, verbena depth, and creeping Jenny length -- and the mix of red, purple, and light green adds pop to the color combination.

A. Coleus (Solenostemon 'Plum Parfait'): 1
B. Verbena 'Quartz Purple': 1
C. Creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia): 1

Go for a Modern Look

Repetition is very effective -- a very simple item makes the whole more than the sum of its parts.

A. Feather reedgrass (Calamagrostis 'Overdam'): 3

Turn ordinary clay planting pots into works of art with just some masking tap and spray paint.

Paint Your Plant Pots

Add color and interest to your containers with just a little paint.

Mix Materials

Just about anything that will hold soil but let water drain can make for a cute container garden. This basket is perfect -- just line it with moss, fill with soil, and add a festive plant.

A. Ornamental pepper (Capsicum annuum): 3

Make It Movable

This plastic garden trug can carry more than garden tools. Pop in some drainage holes and it's a perfect portable container garden.

A. Wax plant (Hoya carnosa 'Variegata'): 1
B. Reiger begonia (Begonia 'Charisma Yellow'): 2
C. Brake fern (Pteris cretica 'Albolineata'): 1

Be Playful

Don't be afraid to make a statement. This container grabs as much attention as the plants it holds. Use your imagination to find pots that really suit your personality.

A. Sweet potato vine (Ipomoea batatas 'Margarita'): 2
B. Coleus (Solenostemon 'Copper Glow'): 1
C. Coleus (Solenostemon 'Smoldering'): 1

Use Vertical Spaces

Plop in a pot and you have instant decoration in your yard or on your deck, patio, or balcony. Attaching baskets to walls or railing is a quick, easy way to add a punch of color.

A. Lysimachia congesta 'Variegata': 2

Succulent gardens are low maintenance and make great container gardens -- they can withstand heat, neglect, and direct sunlight. Learn tips and tricks to create a gorgeous succulent container garden.

Succulent Container Gardens

Hardworking succulents are perfect for containers in sunny spots!

Enjoy Herbs

This is a fun way to recycle Grandma's battered old kettle. Basil, or any herb, is a perfect plant to grow right next to your back door so you can harvest it on the spot for summertime suppers.

A. Basil (Ocimum basilicum 'Sweetbush'): 1

Add Bright Colors

Here's another example of a simple but really wonderful planting. A single pentas in a boldly colored pot creates big impact!

A. Pentas 'Butterfly Red': 1

Use Fine Textures

Tweedia is an underused but great annual that works well twining around the metal support. The nierembergia creates a nice skirt to soften the edges of the container.

A. Tweedia caerulea: 2
B. Nierembergia 'Mont Blanc': 2

Container gardening is the perfect way to grow fresh salad vegetables. We show you why you should plant your greens in containers, and how to plant a vegetable container garden for delicious, fresh produce.

Herb Container Garden

No space for a garden? Try growing herbs in containers!

Create the Country Look

Recycle with flair to create eye-catching container gardens. This old wheelbarrow looks great planted up with begonias. We love how the red begonias echo the color of the faded paint.

A. Begonia 'Nonstop Deep Red': 3
B. Begonia 'Nonstop Salmon': 3

Try Mixing Styles

This very decorative container needs nothing more than the simplicity of pansies and violas to dress it up perfectly. Once spring fades and the heat comes on, try adding geraniums or angelonia for summer color.

A. Pansy (Viola 'Imperial Silver Blue'): 2
B. Viola 'Penny Deep Marina': 4

Grow Everlasting Flowers

Add extra appeal to your container gardens with everlasting flowers. Simply harvest them as they fade and then use them in dried-flower or other crafting projects.

A. Strawflower (Bracteantha 'Sundaze Golden Beauty'): 3

Do a Makeover

These inexpensive white pots didn't look like much, but a simple coat of paint gave them new life. Now they're perfect partners for a series of colorful plants.

A. Sweet potato vine (Ipomoea batatas 'Margarita'): 2
B. Gerbera 'Festival Semi Double Orange': 1
C. Gerbera 'Festival Yellow': 1
D. Pansy (Viola 'Majestic Giants Deep Blue'): 3
E. Viola cornuta 'Velour Blue Dawn': 3
F. Grape hyacinth (Muscari 'Cantab'): 3
G. Geranium (Pelargonium 'Score Red'): 2
H. Marigold (Tagetes patula 'Hero Gold'): 1
I. Dracaena marginata: 1

Recycle Your Wheelbarrow

This combination captures the exuberance of summer in a country garden. The loose, blowsy nature of the plants creates drama and interest that will continue to look great all summer long.

A. Snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus 'Solstice Yellow'): 2
B. Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia 'Prairie Sun'): 1
C. Verbena 'Defiance': 3
D. Pentas 'Butterfly Red': 3
E. Geranium (Pelargonium 'Maverick Orange'): 2
F. Zinna 'Crystal Yellow': 1
G. Monkeyflower (Mimulus cardinalis): 1

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