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Container Garden Recipes #1

Just as I love to collect cookbooks and food recipes, I love to find beautiful container gardens and collect container garden recipes! 

This time of year we are all trying to get our yards, gardens, decks, and patios in tip-top shape for the summer months.  While I absolutely love working on the garden beds in my yard, both flower and vegetable, I also very much enjoy starting from a blank palate to create container gardens that really WOWs for the summer months!

I published a post several weeks back that detailed the theory of Thrillers, Fillers and Spillers as it relates to choosing plants and plant combinations that coordinate and contrast with each other. I also talked about how I collect examples of plants that work well in container gardens -a container garden recipe! 

Today I’m sharing with some ‘recipes’ that really caught my eye during some recent travels and that I’ve filed away to prepare in the future. While I am fairly certain of some of the plants I’ve included in my ‘recipes’, I’m guessing at some others.

I think my guesses are close enough to get the desired effect.  However, like many kitchen recipes, its fun to play with the ingredients and create your own container garden combinations to put your own personal spin on it. And while some of these containers are quite large, 4-5 feet diameter, remember that you can pull from these plant combinations in smaller quantities to use in your smaller container pots.  

None of these next 3 planters were grown in full sun but did receive sun on and off throughout the day, especially in the late afternoon as it began to set.

Container Gardens and Container Garden Recipes

Dracena Fragans (aka Corn Plant) is the thriller plant in this container garden. I couldn’t even estimate all the different varieties of hostas in the world, but ‘Twilight’ or ‘Afterglow’ are similar to the one shown here, which to me act as both Thriller plants and Spiller plants, as does the   ‘Electra Shocking’ Heuchera with its white flowers. The orange ‘Bonfire’ Begonia, ‘ White Christmas’ Caladium,  ‘Autumn Fern’ and ‘Kiwi Fern’ Coleus is the filler plant in this large planter.  I could easily see picking and choosing a couple of these plant combinations to create a similar look in a smaller container garden.

Container Garden recipes: Container Garden images and detailed examples including specific plants for several container garden recipes.

I love the pop of purple in the planter below. 

Container Garden recipes: Container Garden images and detailed examples including specific plants for several container garden recipes.

A Fiddle Leaf Fig anchors this large planter and is the clear thriller plant and is flanked by’ Lemon Lime’ Dracena.  ‘ Julie Morss’ Hosta and a variety of Caladium (‘White Delight’, ‘Moonlight’, and ‘Aaron’) as the filler plant in the box.  A shot of unexpected purple is provided by a purple leaf Heuchera, possibly ‘Chocolate Ruffles’.

 My favorite container garden recipe from this trip might just be this one below.  The Fiddle Leaf Fig is the Thriller but has competition from the Aeonium Black Jade, which provides such great color and texture contrast to the fig.

A pot of pink caladiums and a fiddleleaf fig.

The lovely pink Caladium, which I think is either ‘Sizzle’ or ‘Florida Sweetheart’, fills in the lower portion of the planter and spills over the edge. Adding the ‘Corkscrew Rush’ as another spiller plant also adds a great contrast to the Caladium. I really ❤ this container garden recipe.  

pin showing 2 container pots with nasturtiums, strawberries and begonia

And last but not least, during a visit to the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY, I was so tickled with their container garden recipes which incorporated fruit, vegetables, and herbs. The profusion of nasturtium (possibly ‘Alaska Variegated Scarlet’ and ‘Banana Cream’) will be both filler plant and spiller plant as the season progresses.

I love how the strawberries are spilling over one side during their peak; on the other side of the pot, a bunch of chives tumbles out. A lovely purple-veined and stemmed eggplant is the thriller in this lovely and kitchen-worthy pot.

We get most of our plants from our local Home Depot. They have an extensive variety of thrillers, fillers, and spillers from which to choose to create your own “recipe”.  They have a wonderful program by which you can Order Online Here and pick it up at your local store within hours or at your convenience.

Container Garden recipes: Container Garden images and detailed examples including specific plants for several container garden recipes.

Additional Plant Combinations / Container Garden Recipe Ideas

So my friends, if you are collecting ‘recipes’ for your container gardens, I hope that I have added to your collection; I’m excited to incorporate some of these ‘recipes’ in my container gardens this summer.

pink calladium and fiddleleaf fig in container garden
container garden with pink calladium

And, don’t forget! Container gardening isn’t just for the outdoors! You can do indoor container gardens as well.

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Until next time…


Thanks for making my day by SHARING!!

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    1. Mine too! I am chomping at the bit to get a bunch of caladiums planted…love those pink ruffly ones.
      Thanks for coming by today friend.
      Have a great weekend.

  1. These containers are all lovely, but, like you, I find the pink caladium container combining whirls and swirls of color, shape, and lines almost hypnotic! Thanks for the inspirational visual delights.

    1. Thanks Rosey! I’m ready to come home and get planting. Hope all is well and you got your girl’s weekend in.
      Hugs, Lynn

  2. What a lovely trip Lynn! One day I’ll be there! I’ve only ever been at airports in the US, one time in Buffalo for a swim meet for Stella and that’s it! Crazy hey! I love container gardens, I am planning something similar for my desert weather here, so I have to go to my fave garden center and see what I can do. Also remember my bunnies, I need a container for plants! All the containers you saw are so lovely and just perfect, my favourite is the one with the fig and the purple touch! Although I bet your garden is a paradise as well!!!

    1. So funny…a swim meet in Buffalo of all places! My Kate swam on year round teams, but we never made it to Buffalo! I’d imagine your climate demands special, hearty plants. I’m sure you could create some beautiful succulent container gardens that would thrive in your weather. Oh and the bunnies…they are so darn cute though…worth the extra thought to keep it safe for and from the bunnies!
      Hugs and Kisses my friend,

    1. Hey Sherry…I know..I really think I need to get a fiddle leaf fig. I’ve been a bit nervous as I’ve read they can be difficult to grow…but I might just need to throw caution to the wind and tackle it. Wishing you and your family a lovely Fourth of July weekend. I’m guessing that you will be spending it at your lovely lake house!? Enjoy.
      Hugs, Lynn

    1. Thanks Sarah…I do love putting them together and it’s so nice to have ‘recipes’ to fall back on.
      Have a wonderful weekend.
      Hugs, Lynn

  3. It is really hard to pick a favorite because they are all beautiful! I love the pink Caladiums but then I love the long planter with the fiddle leaf fig, and the one with the corn plant. They all iffer a variety of color. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Hey Linda…I know…it is hard to pick a favorite. I saw so many during my travels, now I just need more planters and more places to put planters.
      Hope your Fourth of July weekend is wonderful!
      Hugs, Lynn

    1. I’m a big fan of quirky and that corkscrew rush is just that…isn’t it? I haven’t put this one together yet, think I might need to wait until next year. But it’s definitely on my ‘want to do’ list.
      Hope your Fourth of July weekend is fantastic!
      Hugs, Lynn

  4. Lynn, these containers are beyond gorgeous! All these plants are blending beautifully together! The wild strawberries are too pretty!

    1. Hi Ilka…I know! I am so glad that i was able to add to my container ‘recipe box’. I think I’ll have to wait until next spring, but I definitely have a plan of what I want to do.
      Wishing you a wonderful, fun-filled and fireworks-full Fourth of July weekend.
      Hugs, Lynn

    1. You are right Mary, there are quite a few similarities…guess it’s all about color composition! I do love when I find planters that just get the whole thing ‘right’. Thanks for coming by and wishing you a lovely weekend.
      Hugs, Lynn

  5. Hello Lynn, Your blog is wonderful. Your garden cum decoration is too good. The combinaton of color of flowers and leaves are marvelous. I like your blog too much. Thanks!

    1. Hi Mike, thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your kind words. I do love a good container garden and am always on the look out for new recipes. I hope you are enjoying a nice weekend.


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