An Annual Container Garden
Quickly Brightens Your Yard

An annual container garden can be placed on your front porch, hung on a wall or placed under a window or even a fill a wagon.

annual flowers

A nice looking container filled with young annual flowers. By the end of the summer, the blue and yellow flowers will have trailed over the sides of the container and the red flowers will have gained some height.

Soil For Container Gardens

Soil from your garden is not good for filling up containers, unless you have just hauled in tons of processed top soil for your yard. The best soil to use for container gardening is a "planting mix" which is a prepared soil that contains top soil, peat moss and sometimes cow manure. Regular top soil by itself or garden soil will tend to clump up if you use it without ammending the soil.

What Types Of Containers To Use

Flower Boxes

Flower boxes that hang under windows have been around for a long time. Here are two different annual flower combinations that really look good together.

annual flower box This bright and cheerful window box has Petunias in two colors and in the center barely visible is a "Spike" plant.

The Spike gives the container some height. The two colors of Petunias (purple and pink) work well together and will continue to bloom until frost.

I'm partial to the color purple so this window box is one of my favorites.

petunia flowers This window box is going to be great once it fills in a little more.
The Lobelia flower (blue trailing annual) will gain a little more height and will also trail down over the edges of the container.

The pink and white Petunias will thicken up and cover the center of the box filling the planter in nicely.

Two window boxes, two different looks! A planting of Marigold along with the Lobelia would have also looked good in this container. The great thing about annuals is you can try various combinations without breaking your wallet.


patio flowersUrns or pots sitting on pedestals remind me of Colonial times for some reason.
They inspire a traditional or formal look and should be filled with flowers that will play along and enhance that feeling. A grouping of fragrant annuals will make sitting on the porch in the evenings an aromatic delight.

Annual Geraniums with Alyssum planted at the edges will look good in this type of container.

You may also wish to try Sweet Potato Vine along with Coleus and Impatiens.

Pots and Baskets

pansy flowersTerra cotta pots, glazed pots and even baskets make great containers for growing your annual flowers.

Here a gathering of yellow Pansies, purple Petunias and red Petunias help to brighten up a corner of a deck. One variety of flower per container, but interest is gained by putting different types and textures of containers together along with the different but complementing colors of the flower.

Fun Items For Annual Container Gardens

Don't limit yourself to the typical type of container everyone uses. If an item can hold soil and drain water, you can plant an annual container garden in it.

pink petunias

annual flowers in wagon On the left you see a bicycle basket filled with pretty pink Petunias. What a unique and fun way to show off the old bike but also add some flare to your yard with annual flowers.

One the right is an old farm wagon that has been loaded up with Wave Petunias in a variety of colors. The wagon is another way to show off an item that is neat enough to keep, but not practical to be put to use.

Arranging Plants In Your Annual Container Garden

Try to use one or two tall plants of the same variety, a couple of medium sized plants of the same color or variety and a couple trailing or low growing plants that are the same varity.
This will give your container an organized layered effect. Too many different plant and colors will muddy up the container and look disorganized.

You may want to use just one variety per container and thats fine too. You can create visual interest by arranging 3 or more containers in a grouping.

Planters that are going to be viewed from all sides should have the taller plant in the center of the container and have the plants symmetrically arranged around it.
Planters that will be viewed from one side will look good with the center having some height.
See my list of annual plants page to see common and botanical names of plants you can use to fill your containers.
Here is a list of summer annuals for your annual container garden, these are plants that deal well with the heat of summer.

A garden is never so good as it will be next year - Thomas Cooper

There is always music amongst the trees in the garden,
But our hearts must be still to hear it.

green thumb A green thumb is nothing more than hard work and the desire to make things grow.
Albert E. Tuttle

Step by step gardens are the easy way to create beauty in your yard.

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