Garden Photo of the Day

Creating Container Garden Art

A pot full of plants or a container planting of precious memories?

close up of colorful container planting

Hi GPODers,

This submission hit close to home for me, so though it was short, I just had to share. Today we’re hearing from Jerrica and learning about the beautiful container planting (aka “masterpiece”) she made with her mother:

My name is Jerrica Lawry, and I am from Lodi, Wisconsin. I have only been gardening for the last three years. It is something me and my mom enjoy doing together, and something she enjoyed doing with my grandma. My late grandma loved all kinds of flowers, and gardening makes us think of her and talk about her—how she would love all of our creations.

A couple weeks ago we went flower shopping and bought so many flowers that the trunk, the seats, and my lap were full on the way home! I sat down and picked through the flowers until I had all the exact ones I needed for this “masterpiece” as we called it! Every time my mom and I look at it we’re just so happy with how it turned out. We both think it’s the perfect masterpiece display of flowers.

metal container filled with various flowersA rainbow in a pot! Jerrica and her mom utilized so many gorgeous plants of so many beautiful colors and still managed to compile a cohesive design.

close up of colorful container plantingThe closer you get to this creation, the more impressive it becomes! The range of flower colors, sizes, and forms is fantastic, and I always appreciate when foliage plants are carefully considered and not just an afterthought.

Getting this submission made me reminisce about all the time I’ve spent gardening with my mother and grandmother. I would not have had my love for plants, and in turn my deep appreciation for all of nature, without the influence of these two important women. The power gardeners have goes way beyond the ability to grow things.

With all this in mind, I decided to go on a little trip down memory lane and share some container plantings that my mom and I have created together. If you have the time today, look back at gardening memories you have made with your loved ones, or invite someone into the garden and create some new ones.

container plantings with colorful flowers and silver foliageIf you’re not already, make sure to take and save pictures of your plantings every year. Browsing through old photos allows you to see how much your garden, and your tastes, have changed over the years. These plantings are from about 5 years ago and featured all classic annuals: begonias, geraniums, petunias, and dusty miller (Centaurea cineraria, Zones 8–10 or annual).

container planting with black and red flowers with purple kaleA few years later, inspired by beautiful black petunias (Petunia ‘Black Magic’, annual), we experimented with a darker color palette and included edibles for the first time. The kale was a fun addition, but got a little scorched in our full-sun backyard.

various container plantings on stands and tables to prevent pests from eatingMore than just our combinations have changed over the years, too. Our backyard has become home to more and more hungry critters and all of the containers now get put on a pedestal to stop all the flowers from being munched.

woodchuck sitting in front of garden shedOne of the culprits looking for their next snack. A family of woodchucks does the most damage around our yard. Even a mass planting of expensive lavender (a plant that supposedly deters woodchucks) had no chance against these grazers.  When you’re dealing with persistent wildlife in your garden, you eventually learn to live with them rather than fight them off.

close up of window box with bright colored flowers and variegated vineAnd a close-up shot of those beautiful Rieger begonias (Begonia x hiemalis, annual) that get planted in the shed window boxes every year with trailing vinca vine (Vinca major ‘Variegata’, annual).

dog laying next to a container of flowersFinally, another loved one we enjoy the garden with, enjoying a concrete pot bursting with calibrachoa. You can’t see it from my artful cropping, but the other side of this pot was not so bursting… another snack enjoyed by our woodchuck neighbors.

Who is your favorite person to garden with? Let us know in the comments, and feel free to share some creations you’ve made together be sending us an email ([email protected]).


Have a garden you’d like to share?

Have photos to share? We’d love to see your garden, a particular collection of plants you love, or a wonderful garden you had the chance to visit!

To submit, send 5-10 photos to [email protected] along with some information about the plants in the pictures and where you took the photos. We’d love to hear where you are located, how long you’ve been gardening, successes you are proud of, failures you learned from, hopes for the future, favorite plants, or funny stories from your garden.

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  1. User avater
    simplesue 05/28/2024

    So much beauty and inspiration here! Great looking and creative planting in containers!

    1. khayes22 05/29/2024

      Thank you, Sue! I'm already day-dreaming about new container designs for this summer 😍

  2. btucker9675 05/28/2024

    I love the metal container Jerrica and her Mom used - gorgeous! Guess your ferocious dog doesn't scare the woodchucks??? : )

    1. khayes22 05/29/2024

      Same here! The container added so much more character than any regular pot. And I wish!! She'll give them a good chase once in a blue moon, but for the most part cataracts stop her from being an effective guard dog hahaha

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