Container Gardens – Over 200 Fresh Ideas for Indoor and Outdoor Plantings 

By the Editors of Southern Living

We’ve all seen them. Gorgeous images of lush lawns, beautifully kept gardens and within them, hanging from porches, decorating front doors and such – container gardens. Just how do they put those plant combinations together? You and I have walked into garden centers in spring and in summer to the sea of color and variety of plants. What do I get this year? How can I combine these flowering and/or evergreen plants to recreate the image I saw online, in a magazine or in a book? Is there a formula for these things? Are there certain plant types and colors that best work together? 

The answer is yes and the good Editors of Southern Living have put this together for us!

And now is a good time to read and review their steps, their color combination wheels and their step-by-step suggestions to create that amazing container garden, or two or three or…This is the best time to plan. When the chilly air is still upon us, the landscape seems stark and bare. This is the time to see the bones of your garden, to imagine, to dream and most especially to plan. 

I’ve created container gardens before. Some were successful and some were not. I even have difficulty choosing just the right indoor plant. Because, let’s face it, all our indoor environments aren’t the same. What indoor plant or plants can handle low light and low watering (I have one now that’s drooping telling me – Hello! I’m thirsty!) Fortunately, this is one of those endearing, long-suffering plants that can take a little neglect and bounce back! There are wonderful suggestions for all types of light, care and environments in this book!

But, how about outdoor gardens?

Well, in this book, you’ll begin with the basics: 

  • Pots
  • Potting Mix
  • Plants
  • Color (the color wheel)
  • Form 
  • Texture 
  • Foliage

Once you’ve reviewed the basics, you can begin your planning!

You’re guided as to how to plant the container, there’s their ‘All-Star’ suggestions-plants that are commonly available and perform beautifully! You’ll be guided as to arranging and even tips on ‘breaking the rules’. This book even gives us tips on ‘designing as you shop’. Because, even if you’ve researched and planned, these garden centers are ready to tantalize with their varieties and colors; ones you’d love to try!

The Care and The Keeping of Container Gardening

Once you’ve selected your plants, arranged them and placed them in that perfect spot. They need you continually to review them. You’re given guidance on watering and on grooming – until it’s time to change over the plants for a new season. 

image from container gardens

The Suggestions and Ideas

The title states there are 200 fresh ideas…they do give you these ideas and suggested locations or scenery for your imagination. They also give you the names of the plants in these groupings! There are a few color wheels in there to aid you in your search and placement of plants for color palates and foliage. 

Hanging and Window boxes

I couldn’t resist…they don’t leave us hanging for ideas there too! They give amazing suggestions for beautiful combinations that will draw the eye to windows and porches… simply gorgeous ideas! 

Small Spaces

I have a dear friend who moved from a beautiful home and garden to a townhouse…he now has to be very creative in his small-space garden – container gardens are ideal in this situation….

So much more…

This is a very comprehensive book that covers indoors, outdoors, vertical, wall gardens, seasonal gardens and edible gardens. Container gardens can be a wonderful addition to any one’s garden. With these fresh ideas, color wheels and step-by-step care instructions we all can add amazing beauty to our gardens. 

So, get a cup of coffee or tea in a warm cozy corner of your home. Settle down to read through and bookmark this wonderful book. Dream and plan your garden. Spring is just around the corner, these garden centers will be ready for us and with these ideas, plans and tips from Container Gardens by Southern Living, we can have our own amazing container gardens! Yes we can!


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