These unique container gardening ideas will give you plenty of creative garden ideas for your outdoor space. We’ve got flowers spilling over wheelbarrows, recycled buckets, wood planters, barrels, milkcans, boots, and more. There are so many possibilities!
These pictures will have you thinking outside the terra cotta pot.
For more also see these garden ideas galleries.
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The Secret to Great Plant Choices
Do you know the expression “thrill, fill, spill!” for choosing container plants? Whoever came up with that was right on the money for understanding what makes a plant container look great.
Choose plants that thrill you. The ones that make you say WOW in the garden nursery.
Surround them with contrasting plants that fill the container and make the thrillers stand out.
And don’t forget to get some trailing plants that spill over the edges.
We want colours, varying heights and textures to create a fabulous focal point. But it doesn’t stop there. The actual choice of container adds a whole new element.
Grab Ideas Wherever You Go
I collect garden ideas everywhere I go. If you see something inspiring, take a picture. I’ve gathered many images over the years and they have proven so valuable when I’m looking for garden inspiration or trying to solve a problem in the backyard.
I’m hoping to give you ideas for your own garden and encourages you to choose something unexpected.
Let’s get started.
30 Flower Containers to Make Your Garden Stand Out
Most of these photos were taken on local garden tours and within my own garden. I often have to shoot in a hurry (when tours are busy) so forgive the quality but please find ideas for your own balcony, patio, or garden.
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Hypertufa planters always give a wonderful rustic look:
Here’s instructions for How to Make Hypertufa Pots.
Welcome – curb appeal! Sometimes it’s good to put all your eggs / colour in one basket:
This started as a bad (dangerous) bird feeder and became a wonderful, self-watering flower planter. You can see how it’s done here.
This idea comes from the book, Big Ideas for Small Spaces. Grab some boards and create a hanging shelf for potted plants:
If you want to make one, the complete tutorial is here.
This metal bike is intended as garden art but there’s no reason why you couldn’t also use a broken old bike as a planter:
Containers are a safe place to grow vigorous plants that might be too invasive in the garden:
Got an old wheelbarrow? I converted this one into a rolling strawberry planter:
Cheap & Creative Container Ideas
Birdbath Planter – sometimes the concrete birdbaths crack, other times you just don’t want to have to wash them constantly. Either way, they make great planters:
Birdbath with Wish Stones – This gardener told each person on the tour they could take whatever stone they “needed”. I just took a photo instead:
Pick a theme – these containers were part of a blue-themed garden. You can tour the entire garden here.
You can see the gardener also kept to a strict palette of flower colours as well:
Keep Your Favourites Close – It packs a powerful burst of eye candy to keep your most beautiful planters close to your favourite sitting area:
This concrete planter adds interest to a swath of grasses:
Layered water feature – another way to use containers:
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Wall planters – I used these planters to add some colour and interest to a long, brick wall at the front of my house:
Old toy truck – I got this one at the curbside. Here it’s hauling wood. Eventually I planted it with succulents.
Window box – a classic way to pretty up an otherwise plain house:
Whiskey barrel – so long as there has been whiskey, there have probably been old whiskey barrels filled with plants and flowers:
Ye Olde Wheelbarrow – a favourite way to set a colourful, creative scene in the garden. I have an entire page of wheels in the garden here.
Old well becomes a water garden – often it’s better to work with what you have – in this case an old well has been converted to a beautiful water garden. It was actually filled with frogs!
Weird containers – there are no rules for the garden – if you love it, plant it!
Tipsy topsy turvy pots – there are so many possible variations for tipsy pots – try switching up the containers, sizes, styles – using watering cans, pots, pans, teapots, flower pots – anything goes. There are free instructions here.
Buggy planter – The opportunity to have an old buggy in the garden probably does not come along very often, but if it does and you have the room – snap it up!
Related: Creative garden path and walkway ideas.
Ceramic planters – this cluster of blue unifies the variety of plants. The solar charger illuminates the garden lights at night:
Table top displays – the obvious advantage to many garden containers is the fact that you can move them around and create interesting arrangements exactly where you want them:
Bucket of pansies – this is one of my favourites from my garden. I never spend much on annuals but pansies are always on the list. The straw helps keep the sun from drying out the soil.
Thrill, fill, and spill! Who came up with that anyways? It’s a useful way to remember what makes a planter look great:
Water feature containers – there are plenty of plant choices for adding plants to a water feature. Plus, water plant containers enable you to move the plants in the winter:
Twins! Repetition can be a very good thing when it comes to adding flower planter bling to the garden:
Varying heights – here the brown containers unify the collection, the plantings are similar amongst the containers, and the various heights add interest:
How many is too many? This is actually a commercial mum-growing operation. I found the layout rather mesmerizing:
Buggie & Baskets
Want more? 21 Gorgeous Garden Planter Ideas
Wowsers! That should give you some ideas.
~Melissa the Empress of Dirt ♛