Container Gardening Design Guide

Tired of the same old, same old when it comes to fall and winter pots? Here are 13 tips for container gardening design. 

Photo By: Image courtesy of Atlanta Botanical Garden

Photo By: Image courtesy of Atlanta Botanical Garden

Photo By: Image courtesy of Atlanta Botanical Garden

Photo By: Image courtesy of Atlanta Botanical Garden

Photo By: Image courtesy of Atlanta Botanical Garden

Photo By: Image courtesy of Atlanta Botanical Garden

Photo By: Image courtesy of Atlanta Botanical Garden

Photo By: Image courtesy of Atlanta Botanical Garden

Photo By: Image courtesy of Atlanta Botanical Garden

Photo By: Image courtesy of Atlanta Botanical Garden

Photo By: Image courtesy of Atlanta Botanical Garden

Photo By: Image courtesy of Atlanta Botanical Garden

Think Spring

Turn fall/winter containers into three-season combinations by under planting with spring bulbs such as tulips. 

Winter Container Gardens

Evergreens such as conifers make great anchor plantings for container gardens, especially when combined with colorful annuals.

Let There Be White

White flowers always add a little sparkle to any container planting, especially during the evening hours.

Bank on Yellows

Catch the season's limited sunlight with plant combinations that include bright yellow flowers, such as these pansies.

Repeat Yourself

In container groupings, repeat plants and plant colors, such as this combo that contains a peach-colored Heuchera and bright yellow violas.

Plan Beyond Winter

Think ahead to spring. When planting bulbs, choose colors that will complement container combinations, in this case orange tulips and orange pansies.

Create Stairsteps

When grouping containers, choose pots of varying heights to create a more interesting effect.

Thinks Threes

Odd-numbered groups of pots can make a statement during the drab, brown days of winter. Repeat plantings in each pot, such as kale, parsley and pansies, for a unified effect.

Winter Container Gardens

Add height to a container planting with not only small shrubs but also garden ornaments, such as this trellis supporting Carolina jessamine -- an evergreen vine that blooms in early spring. 

Broaden Your Options

For containers, not all evergreens need be conifers and boxwoods. For a twist, add a long-leaf pine, such as the one in this center pot.

Go for Bold Textures

Colorful cool-season vegetables such as Swiss chard (foreground pots) add some big-leaf plant texture to plantings.

Don't Obstruct Views

One good choice for an evergreen anchor plant is variegated Euonymous. When using large shrubs like this avoid planting one in the lowest pots because the plant can block the view of other pots behind it.

Winter Container Gardens

Some eye-catching containers can be had by simply adding colorful winter annuals to potted shrubs, such as the pansies and Heuchera that surround this conifer.