Creating Mix-and-Match Container Gardens

Opposites certainly attract in these container gardens that pair together a wide range of plants.
Colorful Plants Clash in Decorative Crock

Colorful Plants Clash in Decorative Crock

Colorful plants clash in color with a dramatic and eye catching display for patio or deck.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

For a dramatic and eye-catching container display, well-considered color clashes can produce the best results, although the careful use of texture and form is even more important in such schemes. Here, yellow variegated foliage contrasts harmoniously with the dark glazed pot, while the rich red mini petunias (Calibrachoa) clash. Touches of  red in the linear foliage of the grass Hakonechloa, though, help to tie the planting together. The gently arching growth of the grass is complemented by  the trailing periwinkle (Vinca), which mingles well with the petunias that spill over the sides of the pot.

Choosing a Container 

A glazed pot that is approximately 16 inches (40 cm) in diameter will help show off this beautiful mix of bedding plants and garden perennial. Use a good-quality, multipurpose potting mix and keep plants in a sheltered, sunny spot.

Types of Plants

  • Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’ 
  • Calibrachoa Million Bells Cherry 
  • Calibrachoa Million Bells Red 
  • Vinca minor ‘Illumination’ 

Planting and Aftercare

Place a good layer of crocks in the base of the pot for drainage, and add the soil. Position the grass centrally and then plant the Vinca and mini petunias around the outside. The petunias are frost-tender, but they will flower for a long season in a sunny position, provided they are kept well fed and watered. In a  more shaded spot, the petunias can be  replaced by a red busy Lizzie (Impatiens) or a bedding begonia. After frost has browned the bedding, surviving plants can be planted out in the garden, or kept in the pot and used again the following year. 

Keep Reading

Next Up

Garden Design: Connect Your Indoor and Outdoor Spaces

Let your indoor space inspire your landscape design plans.

Define Your Outdoor Space With a Garden Fence

Discover the materials and design that will work best for your garden boundary, whether it is a fence, wall or hedge.

Garden Design: Small Spaces

Tiny garden rule number one: Keep it simple.

Small-Space Vegetable Gardens

Make room on your fire escape or pot up some tomato plants—you can grow delicious fruits and veggies even if you don't have much space.

Outdoor Living Spaces: Ideas for Outdoor Rooms

Learn about options and ideas for outdoor rooms and outdoor living spaces.

Ideas for Small-Space Gardeners

Whether you have a a patio or a windowsill, start a thriving garden with these space-saving ideas.

Outdoor Rooms Add Livable Space

Spend less money on vacations and more time with friends and family on your deck or patio.

Edible Gardening in Small Spaces

Make the most of a small garden space by mixing flowers and vegetable plants in an ornamental edible garden.