In The Garden Now… Container Gardening in Garden Beds

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Planted Containers in Garden Beds 

Text and photo by Victoria Gilleland

When we consider container gardens we usually think of those placed on decks, patios, porches or other hard surfaces. 

They add color and structure that would be hard to duplicate in another way in those locations.

One of the best ways to bring additional interest and color to the garden is to place a planted container in the actual garden bed.

The purple pot pictured is sitting on a stump, and is nestled among shrubs and trees.

The pot itself is colorful year round and the container planting has year round interest considering the winter structure and texture offered by the Full Moon Maple and the Soft Shield Ferns.

It’s important to make sure that plants in the container work well with those planted in the garden.

In the combination pictured the ‘Full Moon’ Maple foliage picks up the color of the ‘Golden’ Japanese Barberry.

The ‘Pink Elf’ Hydrangea color echoes the undertones of the Purple Pot. The Royal Purple smoke bush leaves are very close to the hue of the pot. 

For contrast in texture and color consider the variegated hosta, ferns and ‘Blue Surprise’ Port Orford Cedar. This has turned out to be one of my favorite year round garden beds…. in large part due to the addition of that planted purple pot.

If you’d like to give this concept a try start with a container you already own. Plant it and try it out in a garden bed.

One of the beauties of container planting is that it’s easy to make changes. If you don’t like one location try another. If there’s a plant or plants you don’t like growing in the container swap them for others. Don’t be afraid to combine annuals with perennials, shrubs and trees. The possibilities are endless.

Go ahead. Give Container Planting In Garden a try!

In Container
  • Acer shirasawanum aureum Full Moon Maple 
  • Polystichum setiferum Soft Shield Fern 
  • Hosta mediovariegata Variegated Hosta

In Ground
  • Berberis thunbergia ‘Aurea’ Golden Japanese Barberry 
  • Chamaecyparis Lawsoniana ‘Blue Surprise’ Blue Surprise Port Orford Cedar 
  • Cotinus coggygria ‘Royal Purple’ Royal Purple Smoke Bush 
  • Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Pia’ or ‘Pink Elf’ Pia French Hydrangea 
  • Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Little Lamb’ Little Lamb Hydrangea 
  • Polstichum munitum Western Sword Fern 
  • Rhododendron ponticum Ponticum Variegated Rhododendron 

Victoria Gilleland is the owner of Cottage Garden Designs, a Garden Design company specializing in Redesign of Residential Gardens, Garden Consultation and Coaching. She has been designing gardens in the northwest for over 25 years.


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