How To: Container Gardening

It is growing season and garden nurseries are overflowing with plants. I have been spending a great deal of time outdoors sprucing up my back porch and planning for my vegetable / herb gardening bed. One of my to-do list items for my back porch was to create a shade loving planter. My back porch has a roof over it so not much sun light gets back there.
Container gardening is a fun way of bringing instant impact to your space that will add living pops of color and texture. If you live in an apartment or don't have much space to garden, container gardening is a way of dealing with this. Here are some tips that will give you an professional looking planter every time.

Tip 1
For starters, it is extremely important to use a good quality soil. Many nurseries will be able to guide you in choosing a good quality soil. I use Miracle Grow Organic Choice which is good to use with vegetables  fruits, flowers and herbs. I have noticed a big difference in my plants since I switched to this soil vs the top soil I was using before.

Tip 2
Add about an inch or so of rock to the bottom of your pots to insure proper drainage.
Tip 3 
Do not fill to the top of your pot with soil, leave the soil level at least an inch or two lower than the top of your pot.
Tip 4
Now, the fun part, plant it up with a tall, dramatic thriller plant, a hardworking filler and a trailing spiller.

Here is the anatomy of my 'made for the shade' planter:
Thriller - Coleus Solenostemon scutellarioides 'Vino' / Maidenhair Fern
Filler - Begonia (bronze leaf pink) / Alyssum (white)
Spiller - Glacier Ivy Hedera helix

I chose two thrillers, I just couldn't pass up that fern. I had never seen anything like it. It is so soft to the touch and airy in appearance. This is my first shade loving planter and I can't wait to see my plants grow and fill out.
My back porch to-do list is almost complete. I have done everything on the list that I wanted to complete for this year! I have installed my outdoor curtains, we actually hung them early last month, but I haven't gotten around to taking any pictures. :( Lets revisit my to-do list, shall we.

Back Porch To-Do List
Plant some shade loving plants in colorful planters
Hang outdoor curtains - need to take pictures
Paint concrete
Install a ceiling fan

If you want to create instant impact on your porch, patio or deck, follow these simple planting tips and you will have a lush, gorgeous, professional looking planter in no time flat! Have you planted anything lately? Do tell! See ya soon!

Linking up with Our Fifth House!


  1. I love the plants you used. I have 4 large pots filled with ivy that need flowers too. I am definitely going to keep your ideas and tips in mind. Pinning for later!

  2. Love the combo in your pot! I am a huge fan of coleus, they add interest and color all season long!
    Cathy @ Room Rx

  3. What a terrific mix of plants you used in your container. Great tip on the drainage too. Love the diamond pattern on the pot too :) Your space looks really great!

    1. Thanks Katja! Funny tidbit, I almost threw that pot away. I am so glad I kept was the perfect size for this project!

  4. Great plant combo! I just finished planting all my annuals last week and had to throw in some begonias and coleus as well. I LOVE this time of year!

  5. HI there, what a lovely container! I have a very small yard that I am trying to cheer with some plants. I haven't tried mixing more than one plant per container though, I should really try it. It definitely makes a container more interesting.

    Thanks for sharing.

  6. The planter looks so pretty! I love the mixture of plants you used! Thank you for the tip on add rocks to the bottom of the planter! I haven't planted anything yet, but can't wait too add some color to our out door areas :)

    1. Thanks Mrs. Chic! I can't wait to see what you are planning for your outdoor space as well as see the house complete. Things are looking fantastic!

  7. Well of course your planters looks so much better than mine. Great tips for me to follow next time. I really just ran in Lowe's bought some flowers and soil and threw them in the pot. Ill take your advice for my next project.

  8. Your planters look fabulous! I need to get my planted ASAP! Thanks for linking up to our party!

  9. Great post.Your pot looks beautiful. I just finish my spring flower bed yesterday. I also love the coleus and begonias. They add such great color to any bed or pot and they are easy to care for. I planted some caladium this year which is also great for shade.

    1. Miss Lady you need to text me a picture of your front yard. I would love to see what you did to the space. I love caladiums as well, they are so pretty. I am thinking about putting a variety of them in the very back of my yard with some hostas.

  10. Great post! I love many of the plants that you used in your shade container, especially Coleus. This year I tried a new type of Begonia - Dragon Wing - have you ever seen those? I love it so far!

    I really like your maidenhair fern. I've not come across those at the nurseries around here. I've seen them though in pictures and really want one (I have a whole Pinterest board dedicated to ferns as I'm slightly obsessed)!

    Thanks for linking up!

  11. These are great tips! And I love the combination of flowers you chose -- looks great.
    - Lora


Your comments make my day! Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

{If you have a question, I’ll try to answer you by email, but if you are a no-reply blogger I will answer you in the comment section}

Professional Blog Designs by pipdig