How to Design a Container Garden for Your Flowers

A few months ago, I decided my patio needed a serious glow-up.

I was tired of looking at those sad, empty deck with a table and chairs, and I knew it was time to create a container garden that’s totally Instagram-worthy.

After a bit of trial and error, and a few too many trips to the garden center, I finally turned those boring pots into fab floral masterpieces.

And guess what?

My friends are swooning over my backyard and I want to help you find some container gardening ideas!

Whether you’re a plant newbie or a green-thumb pro, this guide’s got all the deets to make your container garden pop with color and vibes.

So, grab your fav plants, flex those creative muscles, and let’s get our garden glow-up on!

Step-by-Step Container Garden Set Up

First up, let’s talk containers.

You don’t need to drop major coin to make your garden look lit.

Opt for containers with good drainage to prevent waterlogging – think terra cotta pots, ceramic planters, or even quirky thrift store finds like an old teapot or vintage tins.

Mix and match different sizes and shapes for visual interest.

I found a cool wooden crate at a flea market and turned it into a rustic planter that adds a charming touch to my patio.

Next, selecting the perfect soil is crucial.

Use high-quality potting soil for the best results, and consider adding compost or organic matter to give your plants extra nutrients. This makes a big difference in how well your flowers will grow and bloom.

When I started adding compost, my plants noticeably perked up and started thriving.

Here’s the compost bin I use.

When it comes to picking your plants, choose varieties that thrive in your climate and sunlight conditions.

Mix different types of flowers for a variety of colors and textures.

For example, I paired bright marigolds with trailing ivy and tall snapdragons for a dynamic look.

Consider plant height and growth patterns to create depth – taller plants like sunflowers can be the stars of the show, while medium-height plants like petunias and low-growing ones like alyssum can complement them beautifully.

Planning your color scheme is another fun part.

You can go for a monochromatic look, like all shades of pink with roses, geraniums, and petunias, or mix complementary colors like purple and yellow pansies with green foliage for a striking effect.

Think about seasonal blooms to keep your garden vibrant year-round.

For instance, I plant chrysanthemums in the fall and daffodils in the spring to ensure my garden always has some color.

Layering your plants can add more visual interest.

Place taller plants in the center or back of the container, medium-height plants around them, and finish with trailing or low-growing plants at the edges.

This creates a lush, full look that’s super appealing.

Maintenance is key to keeping your container garden looking fresh.

Water your plants regularly but avoid overwatering – a common mistake.

I use self-watering pots for some of my thirstier plants to make sure they get just the right amount.

Fertilize periodically with a balanced fertilizer to keep your flowers healthy and blooming.

Deadhead spent blooms to encourage new growth; it’s a small effort that pays off with continuous blooms.

Creative placement of your containers can transform your space.

Arrange them in groups for a lush, cohesive look and use different heights and levels, such as plant stands or shelves, to add dimension.

I love adding decorative elements like stones, fairy lights, or garden statues to enhance the aesthetic.

Consider mobility if you need to move your containers around.

Use lightweight pots or containers with wheels for easy rearranging. Arrange your containers in a way that allows easy access for watering and maintenance.

I have some of my containers on rolling stands so I can easily shift them around as needed.

Experimenting with themes can make your garden more exciting.

Create themed gardens like a tropical oasis with palms and hibiscus, a desert cactus garden, or a whimsical fairy garden with miniature accessories.

I recently started a herb garden theme with basil, mint, and rosemary in matching terracotta pots – it’s practical and looks adorable.

Finally, monitor and adjust as needed.

Keep an eye on your plants for signs of stress or disease, and adjust watering, lighting, and placement to ensure they thrive.

I regularly check my plants for pests and use natural remedies to keep them healthy.

So, now let’s get our inspo on with these 33 ideas!

Side Yard Ideas for Inspo

Ever looked at your side yard and wondered what to do with it?

You’re not alone!

Whether it’s a narrow strip of grass or a neglected corner, transforming your side yard can totally elevate your outdoor space.

If you’re searching for inspo to turn that overlooked area into something amazing, you’re in the right place.

1. Tropical Paradise Container Garden

Create a tropical paradise in your side yard with a lush container garden!

LOVE this theme!

Fill it with vibrant plants like hibiscus, bird of paradise, and palms.

Use colorful pots and add fun accessories like tiki torches or bamboo fencing.

Your tropical oasis awaits, right in your own backyard!

2. Contain, Contain, Contain

Even though these are raised garden beds, you can take this as inspo for your side garden container project.

Mix and match raised beds with pots and other containers for a eclectic feel.

3. Mix Hanging Baskets with Container Plants

Turn your side yard into a stunning retreat with hanging baskets and container plants!

Fill the baskets with trailing flowers like petunias and ivy, and arrange colorful containers with vibrant blooms and greenery.

Mix heights and textures for visual interest.

It’s a simple way to add charm and beauty to your outdoor space!

4. Show Off Your Container Tree

Show off your side garden with a stunning container tree as the centerpiece!

Choose a striking tree like a dwarf citrus or Japanese maple.

Surround it with colorful container plants and hanging baskets filled with cascading blooms.

This focal point will elevate your side yard, making it a lush and inviting space everyone will admire

5. Contain Lattice Plants

Love this look!

Create a beautiful flower arch with lattice plants!

Use sturdy containers to grow climbing plants like clematis, roses, or wisteria.

Arrange the lattice to form an arch and guide the plants to weave through it.

This stunning floral feature will add a magical touch to your outdoor space, perfect for impressing guests and enjoying peaceful moments.

6. Container Kitchen

I know my twins would like this!

Use containers to plant a bountiful side yard garden with herbs, tomatoes, peppers, and more!

Select a variety of pots and planters, and fill them with rich soil.

Grow fresh herbs like basil and rosemary, juicy tomatoes, and colorful peppers.

This setup not only looks charming but also provides you with delicious, homegrown produce right outside your door.

7. Vertical Container Garden

Why not create a vertical container garden on the side wall of your house?

It’s a brilliant way to maximize space and add a lush, green touch to your outdoor area.

Use wall-mounted planters or a vertical garden system to grow, flowers.

This eye-catching garden will turn a plain wall into a vibrant, living masterpiece

8. Comfortable Seating

If there’s room in your side garden, why not add some cozy seating?

A charming bench or a couple of comfy chairs can turn your side yard into a relaxing retreat.

Surround the seating area with container plants and hanging baskets to create a lush, inviting space where you can unwind, read a book, or enjoy a cup of coffee.

Your perfect outdoor oasis awaits!

9. Rocks + Container Garden = Chill Vibes

For a chill vibe, use rocks as your side yard bed and place terra cotta containers filled with succulents.

The rocks create a low-maintenance, modern look, while the terra cotta containers add warmth and charm.

Succulents, with their unique shapes and colors, are perfect for creating a laid-back, stylish outdoor space that’s easy to care for.

10. Uniform Container Pots and Plants

Go for a modern look by choosing uniform container pots and planting the same type of plant in each.

This creates a sleek, cohesive appearance.

Opt for white pots with lavender or succulents for a polished, contemporary side yard.

Types of Container Plants

Container gardening is a versatile and rewarding way to grow plants, whether you have a large backyard or a small balcony.

The key to success is choosing the right plants for your containers.

Here are some popular types of container plants, along with tips on how to care for them.

1. Herbs

Herbs are among the most popular choices for container gardening.

They are easy to grow, require minimal space, and can be used fresh in cooking.

Popular herbs for containers include basil, parsley, mint, rosemary, thyme, and chives.

  • Basil: Requires full sun and well-drained soil. Water regularly but avoid waterlogging.
  • Mint: Prefers partial shade and moist soil. It spreads easily, so growing it in a container helps contain its growth.
  • Rosemary: Needs full sun and well-drained soil. It’s drought-tolerant, so avoid overwatering.

2. Vegetables

Growing vegetables in containers is an excellent option for urban gardeners. Many vegetables thrive in pots and can provide a bountiful harvest.

  • Tomatoes: Choose determinate varieties (bush tomatoes) for containers. They need full sun and regular watering. Support with stakes or cages.
  • Peppers: Both sweet and hot peppers grow well in containers. They require full sun and well-drained soil.
  • Lettuce: Ideal for containers, lettuce prefers cooler temperatures and partial shade. Water consistently to keep the soil moist.

3. Flowers

Flowers add color and beauty to any container garden. Here are some popular flowering plants for pots:

  • Petunias: These vibrant flowers come in a variety of colors and need full sun. Deadhead regularly to promote continuous blooming.
  • Geraniums: Known for their bright blooms, geraniums thrive in full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil.
  • Marigolds: Easy to grow and pest-resistant, marigolds need full sun and regular watering.

4. Succulents

Succulents are perfect for containers due to their low water needs and unique appearance. They are ideal for busy gardeners or those who prefer low-maintenance plants.

  • Aloe Vera: Requires bright, indirect light and well-draining soil. Water sparingly.
  • Echeveria: Known for its rosette shape, it needs full sun to partial shade and infrequent watering.
  • Jade Plant: Prefers bright light and well-drained soil. Allow the soil to dry out between waterings.

5. Fruits

Some fruits can also be grown in containers, making fresh, homegrown produce accessible even in small spaces.

  • Strawberries: Ideal for hanging baskets or pots, strawberries need full sun and regular watering.
  • Lemon Trees: Dwarf varieties are suitable for containers. They require full sun, regular watering, and occasional feeding.
  • Blueberries: Choose dwarf varieties for containers. They prefer acidic soil and full sun.

6. Ornamental Grasses

Ornamental grasses add texture and movement to container gardens. They are often used as focal points or to create a backdrop for other plants.

  • Feather Reed Grass: Needs full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil. It adds height and structure.
  • Blue Fescue: Known for its blue-green foliage, it prefers full sun and well-drained soil.
  • Japanese Forest Grass: Ideal for shade, it has a cascading habit and adds a soft texture to the garden.

7. Foliage Plants

Foliage plants are grown primarily for their leaves, which can be strikingly beautiful. They add a lush, green element to container gardens.

  • Hostas: Prefers shade and moist, well-drained soil. Known for their large, decorative leaves.
  • Caladiums: Known for their colorful foliage, they need partial to full shade and moist soil.
  • Ferns: Prefer shaded areas and consistently moist soil. They add a tropical feel to any container garden.

Potted Flowers for Patio

If you have a patio and not a side yard or small garden or yard, then let’s look at how you can dress up your patio with some pretty flowers.

8. Small Patio Set Up

Turn your small patio into a vibrant flower haven with a variety of containers.

Use vertical planters, and colorful pots to maximize space and add visual interest.

Fill them with bright blooms like petunias, geraniums, and marigolds.

Enjoy a cozy, colorful retreat right at home!

9. Vegetable and Flower Patio Garden

Create a cozy patio with flowers and vegetables by using a mix of colorful pots and planters.

Arrange them to maximize space and visual appeal.

Fill the containers with bright blooms like petunias and marigolds alongside veggies like tomatoes and peppers. Enjoy your vibrant, productive retreat!

10. Small Corner

If you have a small patio, use a corner and raised platforms to create depth and height in your container garden.

This setup maximizes space and adds visual interest.

Arrange colorful flowers and vegetables in tiered planters, turning your patio into a vibrant, lush retreat.

11. Egg Chair Heaven

Your patio can become a cozy oasis with an egg chair and a vibrant container garden.

Place the egg chair in a corner for a comfy seating spot.

Surround it with colorful containers filled with flowers and veggies, using raised platforms to add depth and height. Enjoy your charming, relaxing retreat!

12. Patio Deck

Decorate your patio deck with stylish lounge furniture and vibrant container plants.

Arrange comfy seating like sofas or egg chairs for relaxation, and use a mix of colorful pots filled with flowers and veggies.

Try raised platforms to create depth and height, transforming your patio into a lush, inviting retreat

Garden Borders (Ideas and Inspo)

I’m loving all these container gardens I’m seeing!

I have a patio/deck and a garden by the home and then a yard.

So let’s see all these lovely garden boarders for some inspo!

More Container Gardening Ideas

Ready to bring a burst of greenery to any space, no matter how small?

Let’s look at a variety of container gardening ideas that will inspire you to transform your space into a lush, thriving garden.

Yes, there’s even more for you!

Container Garden and Planter Ideas Galore!

I hope you found these ideas helpful for you container garden design.

Remember to alway plan out your container garden and if in doubt, start at a corner and work your way out, or up!

Make sure to follow me on Pinterest for even more home decor, organizing and cleaning advice!