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Cool-Season Containers

fragrant flowers

Fill your landscape with spring color with these fresh and easy container gardens.

Go with Groups

One well-planted container looks great on its own, but a grouping can be stunning. Here, a colorful mix of pansies, violas, lobelia, stock, and kale creates lots of interest. Use them by a doorway, next to a path, or to add cheer to bare spots in your spring garden.
Hint: Use three different sizes of the same kind of container to give the arrangement a more put-together look.

 

Layering Pansies

A gorgeous spring container garden doesn’t have to be complicated. Here, a variety of pansies and violas add charm and color to a strawberry jar. Use a mix of colors for a flamboyant look, or limit your pansies to one color for a more elegant, soothing presentation.
Hint: Once summer heat arrives and the pansies start to fade, replace them with herbs or small annuals that don’t mind the warm weather.

 

Remember Fragrance

The best container gardens don’t just look good — they smell great, too. Incorporate a few fragrant plants into your containers and be sure to site them where you can enjoy them. For example, here dianthus hangs from a picket fence, bringing it that much closer to nose level.
Hint: Keep in mind that not all fragrances mix well, so try putting the plants together at the nursery before bringing them home.

Keep It Simple

This easy container features a rugged dwarf hemlock (Tsuga canadensis) and a pair of lavender violas for a simple, soothing look. A mulch of coarse stones accented by a single larger rock helps create a natural scene in miniature. It’s perfect for a partially shaded spot.
Hint: To keep this container looking good all seasons, pop out the violas when they start to fade and replace them with shade-loving impatiens, browallia, or wishbone flower.

 

 

Make Heavenly Hanging Baskets

One great thing about spring is that moss-lined baskets and other containers don’t dry out as fast — so you don’t have to water them as much. Here, a basket is filled with favorites including purple coralbells and yellow osteospermum and snapdragon. A mix of sweet alyssum and creeping Jenny cascades down the sides. As they get going, they’ll eventually cover up the moss.
Hint: Other trailing plants for spring include lobelia, diascia, and bacopa (Sutera).

 

 

Enjoy Edibles

While it’s easy to focus on ornamental favorites, edibles work just as well. A mix of spring greens will provide salads while looking great in the landscape. Accent both the container and your salads with the cheerful and tasty viola blooms. Here, chives tossed in the middle of the pot create a fun textural contrast.
Hint: Try the full range of spring greens, including spinach, kale, and red, green, and bicolored lettuce.