Container Garden Design: Choosing Outdoor Plants

Love the idea of using container gardens to liven up your northern Utah landscape, but not sure which outdoor plants to display?

Actually, you as long as you choose the right planters, you can grow just about anything you like. That said, if you want exciting, eye-catching container gardens, you’ll need a design plan.

Container Garden, Outdoor Plants

Fortunately, creating a dramatic look isn’t difficult at all. For tips on how to choose outdoor plants and plan your container garden design, read on.

Consider Your Garden Containers

Before choosing your outdoor plants, choose your planters.

Whether you opt for unique upcycled containers or new pots from your local garden center, the planters you use must have drainage holes. Without proper drainage, the soil can become waterlogged and your plants may suffer root rot.

In addition, for container gardening success, your planters need to be large enough to accommodate the root systems of the plants you choose. To add an intense splash of color and interest to the landscape, bigger pots are usually best.

The Art to Choosing Outdoor Plants for Container Gardens

Once you’ve decided which planters to use, it’s time to think about your plant picks.

The tried-and-true thrill, fill and spill container garden design technique makes choosing outdoor plants much easier. Basically, the plan involves placing three types of plants in each planter:

  • Thrillers – Tall, upright plants that draw attention and act as a focal point
  • Fillers – Plants that cluster around the base of the thrillers and fill the soil space
  • Spillers – Plants that cascade over the container sides for added texture and color

Thrillers are usually placed in the center of the container, with the spillers around the edges and fillers in-between the two. However, if your planter will only be seen from one side, the thrillers should go towards the back.

As you consider your options for thrillers, fillers and spillers, don’t forget about their growing needs. When container gardening, you need to choose outdoor plants that require about the same type of care.

Finding Inspiration for Container Garden Design

Now that you know how to choose your plants, head to your local garden center for ideas and inspiration.

Garden centers feature a range of outdoor plants that are ideal for thrill, fill and spill containers – and, by shopping locally, you can trust that the choices offered can do well in your growing zone. As you browse, think about color and texture, and look for plants that will complement each other.

Or, if you want to take away the guesswork, you can ask the garden center staff for recommendations. An expert can guide you toward thrillers, fillers and spillers and offer ideas for showstopping container combinations.

When you’re ready to start shopping, stop by Millcreek Gardens. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff is always to help put northern Utah gardeners on the path to growing success.

As the leading local garden center for over 60 years, Millcreek Gardens is the region’s best resource for gardening advice and inspiration. For more tips on container garden design and to shop our vast selection of outdoor plants, visit us in Salt Lake City today.