Planter Projects How to Create a Beautiful Container Garden

container garden in a keystone barrel

A beautiful container garden is a pleasing focal point on any patio and includes varying elements such as color, size, and texture. Creating one that will last all season long shouldn’t take a ton of time and also should allow you to explore your creative side.  We used the Thriller, Filler, Spiller gardening method for this particular decorative pot and chose flowers with contrasting colors.

get started

Here’s What You’ll Need to Get Started

gather your materials

Gather Your Materials

When it comes to piecing together the elements of this container garden, choose a durable planter that will fare well in any weather condition. A bold, pink and white Curcuma was chosen for this container garden as the Thriller element to be positioned right in the middle of the planter.  The tulip-like Curcuma plant will definitely last all summer long with exotic color. For the Spiller element (any plant that creates a spilling effect) of the container garden we chose yellow Lantana flowers which require about six hours of sunlight.  For the Filler portion (any small plant surrounding the Thriller and Spiller) of the container we went with pink Vinca flowers which provide a nice contrasting color against the yellow Lantanas.  And of course, we picked up a hefty bag of potting mix to fill our container with.  It’s import to choose potting mix over any other type of soil when container gardening because it typically contains other important ingredients such as composted bark, peat moss, and other things that will allow a container garden to thrive.

drill a hole

Drill a Hole

It’s important to drill holes in the bottom of your planter if it doesn’t include any already. If your container garden is going to be placed outside, you do not want rain water to collect and create potential root rot to your plants. Here is a helpful article on how to drill holes in a planter.

pour a layer of soil at bottom

Pour a Layer of Soil

Pour a thick layer of soil, about ¾ of the way up the planter.

loosen up the roots of the thriller

Loosen up the Roots of the Thriller

Prepare your Thriller flower for planting by taking it out of its plastic container and loosening up the roots a little. Our Curcuma plant is going to act as the perfect Thriller for this container garden with its tall stature and beautiful coloration. Plant your Thriller in the middle of the planter.

do the same with your spiller

...the Same with the Spiller

Do the same with your Spiller plants; loosen up the roots a little. Our Lantanas create a small Spiller effect but there are definitely other plants that will provide a more dramatic effect. Plant your Spillers around your Thriller.

pour more soil and add filler plants v2

Pour More Soil and Add Fillers

Pour a little bit more soil around your Thriller and Spiller plants as needed. This will also create a nice, raised cushion for the more shallow Filler plants. Loosen the roots on the Filler plants and plant them around the Spiller flowers.

the finale

The Finale

Place your finished, beautiful container garden some place where it will get adequate sun according to the specifications of your flower types. Give it a good watering and follow up as needed as the top inch of soil gets dry.


Check out these other container gardening projects!

Spilled Flower Pot:  Gardening Outside the Container

How to Create a Fairy Garden