When the weather turns warm, I can’t wait to hit the greenhouses and garden centers for the most beautiful plants I can find.

I make it into a challenge to get the good stuff before anyone else.  I’m a competitor and my intent is to win. (But let’s keep that secret between the two of us, okay?)


9 Steps to create an extraordinary container garden. Wonderful inspiration images.


Have you always wanted to create an extraordinary container garden?  

You see them at the garden centers and in magazines.

Could you really create an extraordinary container garden?

My resounding answer is, YES!!


Inspiration for a cottage style window box container garden


Why not create one this weekend?


Create a container with a single plant for lots of drama.


Below are 9 steps to help you create an extraordinary container garden,
plus more inspiration too!


A rustic box placed on an old table filled with flowers for a sweet container garden



Simple elegance :: Steps to creating an extraordinary container garden


Create an Extraordinary container garden…
Nine Critical Steps to get you started!


1.  Decide where you want your container garden(s).

2.  Notice if that location is sunny, partly sunny, or mostly shady?

3.  Choose a container for your location.  Don’t skimp on the size…your plants need room to grow.

4.  Select plants for your sun/shade requirements.

5.  Select plants that will trail over the front of the container, some of medium height, and some that are taller.

6.  Be sure to mix up your plant selection with both flowers and foliage.

7.  Choose broad leaves as well as small finely textured leaves for interest.

8.  Perennials are a good choice for some containers.   They can share the glory with the annuals.

9.  Pick up a top quality potting mix with moisture retention properties.



A trio of color make a lovely container garden : Create an Extraordinary Container Garden



Are you inspired to create an extraordinary container garden?

Which container garden is your favorite?

What are your favorite or go-to plants each year?  Why?


I’ll be back soon with the important planting details. But these nine first steps will make or break your container garden.

Click here for a:  Detailed Window Box Garden Planting Tutorial.

Tips to Learn How to Plant a Window Box Garden - Tips & Tutorial


FYI…Flower gardening is my passion and creating pretty containers makes my heart sing.  If you have questions regarding those two topics…let me know and I can write a post to answer those questions.

Happy Gardening!


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in your inbox or reader, subscribe now.

I’d be delighted if you’d share the goodness here with your friends.


  1. I am TOTALLY inspired. Hope you share your plant choices with us!

  2. Ha ha…I plan to hit the garden centers before “all the good stuff” is gone, too! Same thing every year 🙂

  3. On Thursday afternoons one of the big box stores rolls carts of orphan plants to the back of the garden center at greatly reduced prices. I have had tremendous luck reviving them. Love the photography! I love container gardening. My favorite is the table with the small chair.

    • Oh Donna…that is wonderful that you have such a great green thumb. I think it takes a nurturing one to revive tired little plants, though. What a blessing!

  4. Your containers are lovely! I have a question…do you add anything into the pots other than soil? Like perlite or vermiculite to help with drainage? Just curious…I have just been using potting soil, but wondered what others used. Hopped over from Smart School House 🙂

  5. I have always done ALOT of pots on my front porch and back deck, plus my hubby made me 9 window boxes that I always kept filled. We are in a new house now so I will be doing alot of containers, soon. Thanks for the inspiration and tips. XO, pinky

  6. Glenda Kremer says:

    Diane I have to tell you about your best ever banana bread! we worked Monday morning preparing food for our food pantry at church Monday night. As I bagged very ripe bananas and there were 9 not good to give so I took them home, cut out the bad spots and made a double batch of your bread! it made 5 mini loaves and 12 cupcakes! yum! I split 2 of the minis and cut in small pieces with toothpicks in them to give as samples to the people who came for free dinner and food. I also put out 24 copies of your recipe–all recipes were taken! I quartered the cupcakes to give samples to the workers! everyone loved it! Thanks!
    Glenda Kremer

    • That is soooo cool, Glenda!!! God is so good! I’m so glad everyone enjoyed the bread/recipe. 😉 Thank you for sharing your heart-warming story…and for ministering joy to all those you served and served with. What a blessing you are!! [hugs]

  7. Ohmygosh…Glenda got me drooling over that banana bread….AGAIN!! How cool all the bread and recipes went!
    Yup! Drooling!!!
    And I’m a fan of potted flowers–42 pots are crowding the patio waiting their turn. LOL. I find great joy in hauling them in and out, mixing up the arrangements, and buying too many plants…LOL…which equates to ‘must buy another pot!’ And then here are the flower boxes. LOL. NOPE. I don’t do anything in moderation! I did get the buddleias out. I grew two of them from cuttings and I just can’t part with ’em, so we’ll be a buddleia jungle no doubt…..but we WILL have flutterbys and hummingbirds like crazy! Worth the jungle, I say.
    Bit of a task for me at the moment, I still had POTS and STUFF drug out so I could play in dirt…cuz it brings me joy! All I’m missing is the flowers……but that will be rectified! LOL. I’ll probably not snag the best of the crop….but I’ll sweet talk ’em into being the best they can be. 🙂

    • Oh my goodness….42 pots!! Hope your watering can arm is really strong!!!
      I am impressed and bow down to one who can grow a buddleia from seed. 😉
      We just had the bread tonight…splurged with some chocolate chips…and cocoa. Yum!!

      • Oh now….don’t start sounding like he-who-had-to-haul-’em-out! LOL Some of them are small pots that get put in bitty places. The big ones we have a handy dandy pot movery thingy for–and I supervised their move, gleefully noting where they’d go on the patio…and quickly changing my mind. LOLOL
        There’s only 8 really BIG pots. And they’re mostly spoken for with the returning buddleias. Noxious weeds, he tells me….pshaw! 🙂

        • Hahaha! Oh…I created some major issues for my arm and shoulder one year hauling around a water can. Plan B is now.
          And just so you know…if I had the places to put them and the funds to fill them…I’d have 100 and 42!!!!!!!!!!!!! 😀
          A weed????? They are way too temperamental to be weeds. 😉 (Did you ever notice…that means that have a temper and they’re mental…I just noticed that for the first time…funny!)

  8. you have some lovely plants and containers there! 🙂 I usually have a few containers…on the porch, and then perhaps a vegetable or two in larger containers along with the plants in the ground.

    Right now I have seeds started everywhere in containers and am watering like crazy! 🙂

    • Oh Debra, I so wish that I could have started seeds this year. But…we had/have no idea if we are moving or not…so there isn’t any point to going through the effort and not being able to enjoy the ‘spoils’ of our work. Enjoy yours double for me. 🙂

  9. Yes! Yes! We already have a good start, having grabbed up some pansies, violas, and petunias FOR CHEAP after a frost! They weren’t in bad shape — and we couldn’t resist that price!

  10. Thanks for the inspiration and tips. Container gardening gives so much pizazz in one spot ,,,,my favorite way to garden. Visiting from Wow Us Wednesday.

  11. This really is inspiring.

  12. My front yard, by necessity has to be a container garden – long story. It has taken several years to get to its present state. Each day when I return home from work, I just smile at all the wonderful colors of flowers in bloom.

    I will use your ideas to improve on my container garden.

  13. Beautiful.. I am glad to know that I am not the only one that likes to go right before the big sale day. and get the really good stuff…your planters are wonderful…never thought about putting elephant ears in a container…nice..
    Love, Mona

    • Thanks Mona!
      Haha! It’s the best!! Though….I discovered one garden shop that keeps on bringing out good stuff for several weeks. That means…I’m never done…cause I would keep checking back. Maybe it’s good I moved away from there! HAHA!

  14. As a new gardener, this is fabulous advice! This would be perfect to link-up to my new series – “Create It Thursday.” It’s live now! http://www.lambertslately.com/2013/05/create-it-thursday-1.html

  15. Wow…I like that competitive streak in you!!! That’s fun! I get that way, too, on occasion. I wish I had the green creative thumb to do container gardens. Mine always end up looking…skimpy. I’m not quite sure how to get all of those plants in there without making a mess and disrupting root growth. I have a pair of evergreens in huge planters on our front porch. I like to plant colorful flowers around them every year, but the root system for the evergreens has grown so thick that it makes it almost impossible now. Maybe they need to be repotted into larger containers. I do NOT want to be responsible for that!!! 🙂

    Your container gardens are beautiful! Thanks for sharing them, and Happy Mother’s Day weekend to you and to your Mom!

    • If you really want to give it a shot….let me know. I’m planning another post…but will be happy to give you some tips that will make it easy for you. But….one thing…don’t worry about disturbing those roots. Just like stress in our lives that make us dig down and trust God more and grow…roughing up the roots is a good thing so the plants take up nutrients and thrive.
      Repotting the evergreens sounds like a job for Mr. Muscles. [wink]
      Thanks for the kind words… 🙂

  16. Your plants look wonderful and great advice here! I am so glad you shared at Open House!

    • Thanks so much Bernideen!!!
      I love stopping by and seeing all the lovely progress you are making as you “shabbify” your space.

  17. Hello Diane,
    Lots of inspiration here and your plants look lovely and healthy. Thank you for sharing at my HOME. Happy Mother’s Day weekend.


  18. I love making my own containers of flowers. It saves so much money too. These examples are beautiful! Thank you for sharing this and your yummy banana bread and free printable at What We Accomplished Wednesdays. Have a lovely weekend my friend 🙂


    • It can save a lot of money Deborah…I’ve been known to purchase unusual plants which are more expensive. 😉 It’s live sculpture for me. 🙂

  19. Wow! So beautiful! Thanks for sharing those tips!

  20. How beautiful…and such great ideas and helpful tips. I live in an apartment, so I’ve never been blessed with a flower garden or any garden, but I’d love one…and seeing yours reminds me why.
    Visiting from In the Studio

  21. I love those containers. They are all beautiful. Great tips.

  22. Wonderful tips, especially for an amateur gardener like me! Your photos and flowers are lovely

    • Yay! Mission accomplished! You are precisely who I created this for. Be watching for more detailed info coming soon. 🙂
      Hope your weekend has been Extraordinary!

  23. Your plantings are lovely – far nicer than an overpriced bouquet of flowers that will only last a few days. Stopping by from Life On Lakeshore Drive – have a great day!!

    • Thank you Kim! I hadn’t even thought of that…but you’re right with an average bouquet coming in around $50…wow…I could make a big splash with those dollars for the whole summer.
      Thanks for stopping by. Hope your week is extraordinary!

  24. Wow! Such gorgeous inspiration! Thanks! I can’t wait until it gets warm enough so I can get started outside! 🙂

    • We have a freeze warning tonight! Yikes!! The upside…containers can come in or pulled into sheltered areas.
      Thanks for stopping by, Kim…hope your containers are Extraordinary!! 😉

  25. Diane, your gardening is truly extraordinary! Thank you for sharing your remarkable talent and passion at A New Creation. I too love container gardens, but haven’t done them the past few years. I used to have a deck full of beautiful potted gardens, but found that once my kids were born I couldn’t seem to remember to water them. Guess I only had enough in me to keep one thing alive and the kid won that battle!!

    Anyway, your garden is so beautiful you’ve inspired me to get going again. I’ll just leave a watering can at the back door so I don’t forget 🙂

    • It’s like feeding pets…it becomes a habit/routine…and one that I enjoy.
      Thank you for your kind words….I am blessed that you have been inspired. Maybe we will see a post or two?

      By the way….these are not current photos… they are “before” we moved here. Living in limbo now…there will not be any container gardening this year….I’ll have to enjoy by remembering the past. 🙂

  26. I, too, have been haunting the garden centers for the good stuff — if only the weather would cooperate now! Great tips and your arrangements are lovely. I would love it if you would consider linking to Busy Monday at A Pinch of Joy, a link party for ideas that make life better, easier or more fun!

    A Pinch of Joy

    • Ha! The weather! Oh how unpredictable she is!!! Tonight we have freeze warnings.
      Thanks for your kind words and for your sweet invitation, Charlene!

  27. Wonderful!! Thanks for the tips. I’ll be showing my container plants soon also. I love the plant that looks like an octopus! 🙂 Would love to have you share this at What to do Weekends Party, too! Thanks for showing your gorgeous plants. Nice job. Linda

    • Thank you Linda! 😉 I look forward to seeing your plants too!
      And thank you for the sweet invitation.
      Hope your day is Extraordinary!

  28. lovely pictures and ideas….love the table and chair composition, would love to have tea sitting among the beautiful flowers

  29. Great tips – I’ve pinned this, Alice x

  30. Retirement is allowing me time to garden again. I love the idea of container gardening and have started a garden of containers. Hopped here from the Creative HomeAcre and have ‘liked’ this post there.

    Marie @ 123craftcafe.com

  31. Thanks for linking up to Whimsy Wednesday! Your project has been featured this week!


    Also, you can add your project {or any project} to my website. I feature them on my main slider on the home page…follow this link to submit your project!

    Be sure to stop by and grab a button…


  32. I can’t wait to get starting on my container garden!

    Thanks so much for sharing this at The DIY Dreamer.. From Dream To Reality!

  33. These are great tips. I love how containers can emphasize entries and fill empty spaces on patios and even in borders. Mother’s Day weekend is a great time for rounding up container candidates. I’m a little late (sigh). Lynaea @ EveryDayBloom.com

    • Yes…it can be late. But, then again, I have discovered that some of the specialty garden shops often have more to come and sometimes they are really special. I hope you discover unexpected lovelies along your greenhouse path. 🙂

  34. I usually have a ton of things in pots since the weather is so warm here, that way I can move them around when need be. Your garden is looking fabulous. Beautiful pots. Thanks tons for joining Inspire Me. Hugs, Marty

    • Haha!! I bet you do have to move them around. I’m pretty sure that sun must just about cook everything to a crisp.
      Thanks for your sweet remarks Marty!!

  35. Your tips are excellent and your containers stunning. Thanks for sharing!

  36. would love to have you share this week (Thursday) at the garden party over here at Fishtail Cottage! xoox, tracie

  37. Came back fro The Scoop.. Lovely examples of container gardening for sure. I have so many pots but no deck yet or patio. Both are coming this summer. XO, Pinky

  38. Such great tips ~ I used to have the yard loaded with containers and flowers ~ I need to do that again. There is nothing like flowers to put a smile on my face.

    Pinning ~ thanks for sharing at Project Inspire{d}

    • I agree, Mary Beth, there’s nothing better to put a smile on my face, especially coming home.
      Hope your day is Extraordinary!

  39. Hi ! It’s y first time visiting your blog, and I felt right at home here as we have a similar outlook on life and our blogs :). I pinned this. I love love love flowers, and this is a neat idea. Found you on Kathe with an E’s link up!

    • Thank you so much for your kind words Rebekah!! I must visit my new kindred spirit!! 🙂
      Wishing you an extraordinary weekend!

  40. Great tips. I’m pinning this for future reference.

    I tend to buy the pre-made container gardens at the home improvement store, but I’m never in love with the containers they use or the flower mix. You’re empowering me to create my own.

    • You do need to make your own Amy! Later this week I’ll have more container gardening info up too!
      Thanks for stopping by and leaving your kind words!

  41. Hello Diane, your blog is very inspiring. You’re blessed with a great talent & agree with you, instead just as an ordinary; We create an extraordinary out of it. Thank you for sharing these beautiful ideas.
    Visiting from http://www.sewcando.com/2013/05/mothers-day-love-craftastic-monday-link.html

  42. Beautiful! I LOVE that angel, too.
    I’m visiting you today from a Stroll Thru Life. I co-host a Linky Party Tuesday (open thru Sat). I hope you get a chance to stop by my blog, leave a comment and Link Up, too!
    ~ Megin of VMG206
    Join me each Tuesday for Brag About It Link Up Party

  43. Fabulous tips – we actually did this for my Mother-in-Law. You’d be pleased – we did all the steps! I appreciate you sharing with Home and Garden Thursday,

  44. Great tips for starting a container garden! Thanks for sharing at Silver Pennies Sundays. x

  45. How lovely are all your plants. I find that the more the better.
    Have a great day,
    @ Eclectic Red Barn

  46. Nice round-up! Thanks for sharing at the Shady Porch! I shared your post on my Facebook page today. Have great day! Blessings, D

  47. These are beautiful, Diane! Thanks for stopping by and sharing at Marvelous Mondays. Pinned to my MM board.

  48. LOVE that table with the chair vignette, perfect!!

  49. Thank you for sharing you have been featured at One More Time…hope you will be able to join in again this week.

  50. Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. says:

    Great tips and so many wonderful container gardens! You have a green thumb for sure! And I sure hope you come link up at our new garden party Diane!

    • Thanks Sharon! I know many like you are pros…but I’m hopeful to inspire a few others to try their hand.
      Thanks for the reminder of the the garden party. 🙂
      Wishing you An Extraordinary Day!

  51. Gorgeous planters! I’m featuring you on The Creative HomeAcre Hop today! Thanks for sharing! Hope to see you again today!

  52. These photos are amazing! You clearly have a green thumb. I bought petunias to plant this weekend, and they look great now, but I suspect they won’t be looking so hot in a few months, and yours will be thriving.

    Thanks for sharing and reminding me I need to be a better gardener. 🙂

    • Haha! Petunias can drive me crazy in hot weather. They absolutely need to a faithful watering can carrier and someone who doesn’t mind sticky fingers from deadheading. I love the Wave and other varieties…they make life just a little bit easier. I hope yours surprise you and are beautiful all summer long.
      Hope your day is extraordinary!

  53. LOVE IT!! We worked on our potted garden yesterday! I was hoping to work on it again today.. but it’s raining! 🙁

    Thanks so much for sharing this at The DIY Dreamer… From Dream To Reality! I can’t wait to see what you link up tomorrow evening!

    • Rain! We love it and we hate it! Hope you can get your sweet gardens finished soon. 🙂
      Thanks for your kind words Christine!

  54. Come party with APIMP!

    I would love for you to share and link up at my TGIF Link Party.

    The party is open every Thursday night and closes Wednesday’s at midnight.

    Hugs, Cathy

  55. I can’t just choose one – all your pictures were beautiful. This is an area I struggle with – we are getting ready once it cools down here in AZ to give container gardening another. I am book marking your 9 tips so I have it when we go shopping for plants. Thanks.

    • Container gardening is definitely my favorite, Debbie.
      I am truly blessed that you found this post helpful.
      I’d love to find out what plants you end up using. Since I’ve live at the other end of the country, I would be intrigued by the plants you have available in your area. Have fun picking your plants & planting. 🙂

  56. thank you so much for these tips! And for your gorgeous photos…I’m inspired xo


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