Rustic Container Gardening

Vintage Funnel PlanterThere are many reasons to create a container garden.  Container gardening is a good way to dabble in gardening without throwing all your time into it.  Some common reasons why people choose to start a container garden are:

  •  Outdoor space limitations.
  • Physical limitations – can’t bend down or are wheelchair bound.
  • Your patio or deck needs that extra something.
  • You want fresh herbs in your kitchen for cooking.
  • The soil in your yard is less than desirable.
  • And the best reason … you have a pile of “treasures” you have collected at garages sales.
I made this hanging planter above from a vintage funnel I picked up at a Flea Market.

Chicken Feeder PlanterAlmost anything that can hold soil can be used for container gardening.  Just make sure you put drainage holes in the bottom to prevent soggy roots and rotting plants.  The planter above is made from an old Chicken Feeder.  It is sitting on an old sawhorse to give it more visibility in my garden.

Wine Press Container Garden

Once you have your containers picked out, it’s time to choose what plants you want to put in them.  Whether you’re planting vegetables or flowers, consider what the plant will do as it grows.  Some plants are viney and will grow down the side of the pot so obviously taller containers are better for these.

Deciding on which flowers to plant is where a lot of people become overwhelmed.  Start by looking at the big pots the nursery already has planted.  You can see they have more than one type of flower and might actually have quite a few.

Also note the color combinations, the height of the plants and if any spill gracefully over the edge of the container.   Pick tall for the middle, surround it with medium height, and finish the outside rim with some trailing plants.  In gardening circles this is know as “thriller, fillers, and spillers“.

While you’re at the nursery picking out plants, select a good potting soil mix to fill your pots.  When planting, leave room at the top of the container so soil doesn’t spill out when you water.

Give special attention to your newly planted pots, especially if it’s very hot out.  They’ll need extra water and maybe even some additional shade to recover from the shock of being replanted.  Don’t forget to fertilize regularly.

There are many different reasons why people start a container garden such as physical, space, or time limitations.  Container gardens can be moved around the garden to fill in bare spots and add a splash of color.  Deciding on the right pots and choosing some great flower combinations makes for some beautiful containers and a very rewarding experience.

Want to learn more about creating beautiful container gardens?  Check out the following books at

Succulent Container Gardens: Design Eye-Catching Displays with 350 Easy-Care Plants




Easy Container Gardens (Pamela Crawford’s Container Gardening, Vol.2)




Container Gardening: 250 Design Ideas & Step-By-Step Techniques