43 Cool Container Gardens

Beautiful container plantings for your deck, entryway, or yard.

Instant mini-gardenInstant mini-garden
Create an instant mini-garden
Start with the plants, then pick a container that will extend the color theme. Here, a 16-inch-wide olive green pot makes the brighter foliage pop.
>More: Wine punch container garden

Texture playTexture play
Texture play
This mix of (counter-clockwise, from top left) Kangaroo paws, Echeveria 'Afterglow', Adenanthos cuneatus 'Coral Drift', and Sedum reflexum provides a daring blend of textures.

Cocoa colorsCocoa colors
Cocoa colors
Deep bronze, burgundy, and plum shades mimic the colors of autumn right on your porch.
>More: Cocoa fall plant containers

Cool huesCool hues
Cool hues

A Chamaerops humilis palm (top left) and a 'Frosted Curls' carex (center) add texture to Aeonium 'Sunburst' (bottom left) and Goodenia affinis 'Little Luna' (bottom right).

Harvest gold huesHarvest gold hues
Harvest gold hues
Orange-striped blades of grass, apricot-tinged leaves with purple undersides, and matching gold containers make for autumn-inspired pots.
>More: Harvest gold fall containers

Calandiva Goldengirl Yellow kalanchoe (bottom left) pops between 'Silver Shadow' astelia (right) and Euphorbia characias 'Silver Swan' (top left).

Plant a pot of living colorPlant a pot of living color
Plant a pot of living color
Like a canvas waiting for paint, an empty garden planter can become anything you desire: a meditation in violet, a carnival of oranges and limes, or a quiet study of leaf shapes and textures.
>More: See the planting plan

Splash of whiteSplash of white
Splash of white

For a hint of spring on your patio, arrange several plants in a wide, low planter as you would in a garden bed ― layer by layer. Include pockets of green (grasses or ferns), bursts of color, and a soft carpet base (such as Irish moss).

Woolly pocket wall gardenWoolly pocket wall garden
Woolly pocket wall garden
Try a modern take on traditional hanging baskets with a wall of these Woolly Pockets. Since they're lined with moisture barriers, you don't have to worry about any leaking.
>More: How to make a hanging plant display

Colors that complementColors that complement
Colors that complement
Designer Kirstin Erchinger of Santa Fe is a horticulturalist with a floral-design background. She starts with a plant she falls in love with, then selects companions that flatter it, not compete with it.

Vertical container gardenVertical container garden
Vertical container garden
Containers don't have to sit on the ground. Here, cuttings of assorted succulents knit together to create colorful, textural living tapestries for a garden or entry wall.
>More: See how to make a vertical succulent garden

Maximum impactMaximum impact
Maximum impact
Container designer Mark Bartos likes to create maximum impact with a minimum number of plants. "Because this container was so narrow, everythying in it had to be [visually] strong," he says.

One-pot vegetable gardenOne-pot vegetable garden
One-pot vegetable garden
Not everyone has the room or time for a big edible garden. But even if you're limited to a lone container, you can still enjoy a summer's worth of homegrown produce for pasta, Gazpacho, and even garden-fresh Bloody Marys.
>More: How to plant this one-pot vegetable garden

Small potsSmall pots
Small pots

When speckled with blooms, Copia 'Gulliver's White' bacopa looks especially cheerful in 5-inch-wide, glossy green pots.

Potted bamboo and maplesPotted bamboo and maples
Potted bamboo and maples
Potted bamboos and maples dress the gravel-covered patio inspired by the architecture of Japan.
>More: See this Sunset reader's Japanese-inspired garden

One-plant potsOne-plant pots
One-plant pots

A single plant with a bold, sculptural shape is easier on the eye than a mixed planting. And a white pot allows it to shine.

Beach garden in a potBeach garden in a pot
Beach garden in a pot

If you yearn for the beach but live miles inland, you can re-create the look easily in a pot.
>More: Get our step-by-step

Lime green container potLime green container pot
Lime green container pot
Soft textures and bright chartreuse tones light up bronze-colored 17-inch-wide containers.

Country charmersCountry charmers
Country charmers
Nasturtiums are carefree creepers with a range of flower colors. Dwarf kinds form loose mounds about 10 to 15 inches tall ― suitable for hanging baskets, patio containers, and low borders.
>More: Our favorite nasturtiums

Compact lavendersCompact lavenders
Compact lavenders

Dwarf lavenders, which stay under 2 feet tall, are compact alternatives to the common varieties that can grow to 4 feet or taller. They're particularly suitable for small beds, border edgings, even containers.


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