More in Garden Planning

Plans for 10 Container Gardens

Use these ideas to bring nature a little closer to the house

pots tout
Photo by Saxon Holt
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Whether you have acres of space or a tiny courtyard, container arrangements add color and character to your garden. So, here are 10 garden plans, all designed by Violet Johnson, owner of Coyote Garden Center in Morgan Hill, California. Each selection, which is designed for a 12-gallon container, uses readily available varieties that will flourish in most parts of the country as annuals. The right column indicates the coldest zone for these choices as perennials. Our first combination is great for busy gardeners who need hardy plants that can withstand a little benign neglect.

Low-Maintenance Favorite
Put this combination in a well-drained, sandy soil mix and a sunny location, and it will thrive even with very little watering.
What Plants? How Many? Hardy to Zone:
Oleander
Nerium 'Petite Pink'
1 8
Catmint
Nepeta x faassenii
2 4
Osteospermum
Osteospermum 'Whirligig'
1 8
Ivy Geranium
Pelargonium peltatum 'Red Cascade'
3 9

 


For additional information on zones, go to www.usda.gov or www.arborday.org. For more information on the Coyote Garden Center, visit www.coyotegardens.com or contact Violet Johnson at 408-463-0439.

 

Whether you have acres of space or a tiny courtyard, container arrangements add color and character to your garden. So, here are 10 garden plans, all designed by Violet Johnson, owner of Coyote Garden Center in Morgan Hill, California. Each selection, which is designed for a 12-gallon container, uses readily available varieties that will flourish in most parts of the country as annuals. The right column indicates the coldest zone for these choices as perennials. Our first combination is great for busy gardeners who need hardy plants that can withstand a little benign neglect.

Low-Maintenance Favorite
Put this combination in a well-drained, sandy soil mix and a sunny location, and it will thrive even with very little watering.
What Plants? How Many? Hardy to Zone:
Oleander
Nerium 'Petite Pink'
1 8
Catmint
Nepeta x faassenii
2 4
Osteospermum
Osteospermum 'Whirligig'
1 8
Ivy Geranium
Pelargonium peltatum 'Red Cascade'
3 9

 


For additional information on zones, go to www.usda.gov or www.arborday.org. For more information on the Coyote Garden Center, visit www.coyotegardens.com or contact Violet Johnson at 408-463-0439.

 

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temperature zone map
National Arbor Day Foundation <a href="http://www.arborday.com" target="_blank">www.arborday.com</a>
The hardiness zone map divides the country into regions based on temperature.

Sunny Spaces
These three combinations are great candidates for the sunniest spots around the house.

 

The Tall and Short of It
The mixed heights and colors of this combination make for an especially pleasing display. Use well-drained soil to keep plants happy.
What Plants? How Many? Hardy to Zone:
Delphinium
Delphinium elatum 'Blue Bird'
1 3
Black-Eyed Susan
Rudbeckia hirta
1 3
African Lily
Agapanthus 'Rancho White'
1 8
Salvia
Salvia x superba 'May Night'
2 4
Cat Thyme
Teucrium marum
1 9
Madwort
Alyssum montanum
1 7

 

 


 

 

High Drama
Plant this colorful combination in moist, rich soil and provide ample watering.
What Plants? How Many? Hardy to Zone:
Phormium
Phormium 'Rainbow Warrior'
1 8
Chinese Fringe Flower
Loropetalum 'Burgundy'
1 7
Daylily
Hemerocallis 'Stella d'Oro'
1 5

 

 


 

 

Diminutive Pleasures
Give this combination a bed of well-drained soil, and trim older Phormium leaves to maintain shorter growth.
What Plants? How Many? Hardy to Zone:
Dwarf Golden Arborvitae
Thuja orientalis 'Aurea Nana Berckmanii'
1 6
Japanese Garden Juniper
Juniperus procumbens 'Green Mound'
1 2
Phormium
Phormium 'Jack Spratt'
1 7

 

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Afternoon Shade
These combinations do best when they get gentle morning sunlight, with afternoon shade to protect them from the harshest rays.

 

Ornamental Shrub
This shrub bears delightfully fragrant flowers that vary in color as they age. Plant in well-drained soil, keep moist, and protect from frost.
What Plants? How Many? Hardy to Zone:
Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
Brunsfelsia Australis
1 9
Million Bells
Calibrachoa 'Trailing Blue'
3 8
Nemesia
Nemesia 'White Innocence'
3 8
Spotted Deadnettle
Lamium maculatum 'Orchid Frost'
2 4

 

 


 

 

An "English Cottage" Look
Enjoy an explosion of color with this combination. Plants require well-drained, organic soil; keep moist, and deadhead regularly. Use the impatiens and lobelias as filler plants for a lush look.
What Plants? How Many? Hardy to Zone:
Fuschias
Gartenmeister (upright)
Snowburner (trailing)
1 each 9
Tuberous Begonias
Red (upright)
Yellow (trailing)
1 each 10
Plectranthus
Plectranthus coleoides 'Veriegata'
1 9
Double Impatiens
Impatiens wallerana 'Victorian Rose'
2 1 (annual)
Bacopa
Sutera cordata 'Snowstorm'
1 9
Torenia
Torenia hybrid 'Summer Wave'
1 8
Trailing Lobelia
Lobelia erinus 'Regatta Rose'
Lobelia erinus 'Regatta Blue Splash'
3 each 1 (annual)
Impatiens
Impatiens wallerana 'Elfin Mixed'
6 1 (annual)

 

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Year-Round Glory
These combinations were chosen for their ability to delight in every season.

 

Ornamental Tree
This variegated holly provides year-round interest. Plant a companion male plant in the yard to ensure bright red berries in winter. Add spring bulbs in winter, overplanted with white cyclamen. Follow with any mix of summer annuals in late spring. Plant in well-drained soil, with high organic (manure or guano) content. Choose a sunny location in cool climates, and light shade otherwise.
What Plants? How Many? Hardy to Zone:
English Holly Standard
Ilex aquifolium 'Aurea Marginata' (female)
1 6
Ivy
Hedera helix
3 5

 

 


 

 

Acid Dwarfs
Use azalea potting soil with high acidity for this short-stature combo. All three plants are dwarf varieties; the Skimmia is self-fruiting.
What Plants? How Many? Hardy to Zone:
Japanese Skimmia
Skimmia japonica reevesiana
1 7
Gardenia
Gardenia 'Radicans Verigata'
1 8
Azalea
Rhododendron Robin Hill 'Watchet'
1 6

 

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Sweet Smell of Success

 

Sweet Smell of Success

Keep these two combinations close at hand to enjoy their delightful fragrance.

Mixed Colors
This aromatic combination requires well-drained soil. Be sure to give it partial shade in hot areas.
What Plants? How Many? Hardy to Zone:
Cherry Pie
Heliotropium arborescens
1 9
Helichrysum
Helichrysum thianschanicum 'Icicles'
3 6
Swan River Daisy
Brachyscome 'Moonlight'
3 9
Verbena
Verbena tamari 'Bright Red'
3 4

 


 

 

Lattice Climber
These sweet-scented flowers require rich, well-draining soil as well as protection from the sun. Keep moist in a shady location. Use a support structure for the hydrangea, and cut back when dormant.
What Plants? How Many? Hardy to Zone:
Climbing Hydrangea
Hydrangea petiolaris
1 5
Sweet Violet
Viola odorata
5 4

 

 
 

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