Container garden
Jane Colclasure

Instant Garden

Slip some plants into a container and what do you have? An instant garden that's an easy weekend project. With just a few pretty plants, a bag of soil, and a container, the front stoop comes alive with splashes of color and fragrance that can last all season long.

Container garden
Jane Colclasure

Premium Soil

Using premium container-soil mix, fill your container about two-thirds full. Premium mixes contain water-retaining polymers and fertilizers; if the product you buy doesn't have these extras, add them yourself. I add water-saving gel crystals, which swell up when wet then slowly release water.

Container garden
Jane Colclasure

Planting Arrangements

Arrange potted plants to determine the best position before planting. Spear-shaped leaves of cordyline make an impressive focal point, while heart-shaped caladiums add shape and color. Soften the sides with trailing plants. Follow the three-shape rule, seen on the next slide, when choosing container plants.

Flower box
Jane Colclasure

Three-Shape Rule

Create a focal point with something tall and spiky, add mass with something round and full, and soften the edges with something trailing or cascading. Choosing from each of these three groups makes for a more dynamic design. In fact, they'll complement one another so well, it doesn't really matter if the plants ever bloom. This method lets you use plants that have great-looking foliage as well as those with colorful flowers.

Window box
Jane Colclasure

Step 3

Fill in the holes between the plants with more soil, keeping it an inch below the top of the container; then give the window box a good drink to settle the plants. The 1-inch gap allows water to pool on top without spilling over the sides.

Plant List
Rex begonia hybrid
Coleus 'Midnight Train'
Impatiens 'Firefly'
Golden creeping Jenny 'Aurea'
Caladium 'Gingerland'
Algerian ivy 'Gloire de Marengo'
Cordyline 'Red Sensation'
Torenia 'Duchess Burgundy'
Coleus 'Trailing Plum'

Container for sun
Jane Colclasure

Great for Sun

Alocasia 'Frydek'
Coleus 'Show and Tell'
Golden creeping Jenny 'Aurea'
Impatiens 'Xtreme Pink'
Variegated dracaena (Dracaena marginata 'Tricolor')

Container for shade
Jane Colclasure

Great for Shade

New Guinea impatiens 'Vision Yellow'
Coleus 'Big Blonde'
Torenia 'Blue Moon'
Alocasia 'Hilo Beauty'

Pink blooms
Jane Colclasure

In the Pink

Large container
Argyranthemum 'Summersong Rose'
Columbine 'Origami Pink and White'
Nemesia 'Vanilla Sachet'
Ivy 'Glacier'
Lamium 'Pink Pewter'

Small container
Argyranthemum 'Summersong Rose'

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