Thrilling Container Gardens

Container gardens are currently all the rage. Filled with perennials and annuals, herbs and kale, and any other small plant, container gardens add bright splashes of color anywhere you can fit a pot! But as complicated as they seem, there’s a trick to a successful container garden. And I’ll even share the secret formula: thriller, filler, and spiller.

Thriller: The star plant. It stands leaf and stem above the rest. Literally. Your thriller is your tallest plant, meant to catch attention and draw the eye down to the arrangement.

Filler: The meat and potatoes, if you will.  These are the plants that take up the majority of the pot. Here is where you can play with colors that complement and contrast. Bright colors accented by darker backgrounds, various flower shapes and leaf sizes to create texture, layers of plants to create depth. Creativity is the key.

Spiller: The spiller should cascade over the side of your pot. Not only does this serve to accent the beautiful pot you laboriously chose for your container garden, but it creates dimension. It brings your pot into the real world, making it look full and whimsical.

The pot above is a very classic example. The single grass Thriller is simple yet effective and the begonias Fill the middle space completely while the (white flowers) Spill daintily over the sides.

This pot is an amazing example. The tulips are dramatic, some might even say thrilling. They grab your attention and draw you in. The kale, dianthus and violas are the perfect fillers for this potting arrangement. The dark curling leaves of the kale create the perfect backdrop, making the lighter colors pop. The dianthus and violas create the textures and depths we were talking about earlier. The yellow violas and grass contrast beautifully with the purples and dark greens of the rest of the plants, while the trailing grass pulls your eyes to the speckled teal pot. Over all this is a fantastic design. The photo was taken at the Atlanta Botanical Garden in Gainesville.

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