Simple-to-grow plants such as boxwood and begonias combine beautifully to make a great container for shade gardens. Create your own with this planter formula.

This 24-inch-wide container looks great from spring to fall and, thanks to evergreen boxwood, all winter too. Trim and train the boxwood, or leave it as it grows for height and texture. Three of each of the low plants are staggered to spread out the different foliage and flower colors, and fill in the bottom of the container with a dense layer of green.

Container Garden with numbers
Kritsada Panichgul
| Credit: Kritsada Panichgul

A: Boxwood (Buxus ‘Winter Gem’) — 1

B: Golden creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia ‘Aurea’) — 3

C: Dragon Wing Red Begonia — 3

A: ‘Winter Gem’ Boxwood

What brings people back to boxwood plants is their ability to be shaped into different structures. Because they can be pruned and manipulated, they are great for containers. ‘Winter Gem’ is a small-leaf variety that adds interest to the garden in every season.

golden creeping jenny
Denny Schrock
| Credit: Denny Schrock

B: Golden Creeping Jenny

Creeping Jenny is a dense, small-leafed plant that makes for great ground cover. In a container, it adds a bright trailing element. The three plants of the golden variety in this container add chartreuse trailing foliage for contrast and color.

Begonia Dragon Wing Red
Denny Schrock
| Credit: Denny Schrock

C: ‘Dragon Wing Red’ Begonia

Begonias come in many varieties that differ in size, flower color, and foliage color. Smaller begonia varieties are well-suited for container gardens, and they won't crowd out your other plants. Begonia ‘Dragon Wing Red’ offers large red flowers on big plants that can grow 18 inches tall and 12 inches wide.


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