A VERY Simple Piece of Gardening Advice

We have all walked by those beautiful container gardens at the local plant and garden center.  Not only are they usually in pretty (not spectacular) containers, but they have such stunning visual variety that we often instantly covet them for our own decks or patios.

What makes them special is the variety of textures and colors. This is easily achieved for VERY little money by following a simple formula:

  • Pick a pot that is large enough to hold 3 plants (not large ones). I am partial to plain clay pots, but fancier pottery or urns work well, too.
  •  Pick a flower that is well suited for the amount of light in the location where you plan to place your container garden (this information is always available on the little insert stuck in the plant that identifies what it is). For the example below I selected Geraniums because they work well in the amount of sunlight I get on my front porch and they continue to bloom all summer--as long as you remove the spent flowers.
  •  Select two accent plants. These plants should grow differently (ie. one should grow up and one should grow over the side of the planter),  Two of my favorites are the Dracaena Spikes and Asparagus Ferns, but your local garden center can point you in the direction of accent plants and you can just pick your favorites.
  •  Plant the three plants together in the pot and water as needed.
  • A larger pot can support more plants; keep to odd numbers for visual interest. Remember, however, the plants will grow as the Spring and Summer wear on, so don't overcrowd them.

That is all there is to this!  I started doing this about 15 years ago and have never been disappointed.  My front porch planters always look great and it takes me just minutes to do. This is a GREAT way to dress up your listings or a home that you are selling very inexpensively.  I save a bunch of money by assembling the groupings myself rather than buying a pre-assembled container.

Below are some photos I took Before and After. The first shows the pot with just the Geraniums and the second shows it with the accent plants added.



Pot beforepot after



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Comment balloon 6 commentsHolly Weatherwax • May 29 2009 02:22PM


Hi Holly,

I just may try this. I love gardening and don't have a garden right now. Thank You for the Ideas!

Have a great week!!

Posted by Judy Schneider (eXp Realty) over 9 years ago

Holly: Love the B & A to show how just a tad more can make a huge difference. I too love to garden and to make my own. Thanks for sharing.

Posted by Debra Valentine, Utah Home Staging for, Bountiful, Salt Lake & Surrounding Areas (Designing Details ~ Staging & Design, LLC) over 9 years ago

Holly, Thanks for the visuals.  I have always seen different types of plants but never felt i had to know how to pull it all together.  Thanks to your hints, I'm ready to give it a try.

Posted by Janelle Fisher, Instinctive Staging & Design, Seattle Wa. (Instinctive Staging & Design, LLC) over 9 years ago

Great idea.  I'm really good at putting flowers in the bed and having them look great.   The learning about planters is still going on.


Can you write all the flowers and pots off on your income tax because you will wisk them off at any time to stage a home?

Posted by Virginia Tatseos (Stage-Show-Sell) over 9 years ago

Thanks Holly-- love how such a simple change makes it so much more attractive!  What a nice, finished look!  We should never neglect staging the garden and patio!

Posted by Michele Rose, Burlington County Home Staging & Redesign (Rose-Colored Staging) over 9 years ago

How great are red geraniums. They make everything pop!

Posted by Jennifer Zammit, A.C.C.I. (Realty Executives Elite Ltd.) over 9 years ago

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