Garden Photo of the Day

Howard’s Spring Container Displays

long plant centerpiece pot with chartreuse foliage

Hey GPODers!

We asked, and Howard delivered! A couple weeks back we received photos of gorgeous window box designs from Howard Nemeroff (check those out here: New Creations From a Window Box Expert), and today he’s back with some fabulous spring containers.

Howard is the the owner of Plant Parenting, a Chicago-based interior plant and container design service. Since 1986 he has been crafting award-winning container arrangements for residential and commercial buildings, adding curb appeal and pops of colorful flowers and foliage through the seasons.

A unique and iconic part of Howard’s designs is his use of branches as accents or fantastic, swirling forms. As a true woody-plant lover, I find this use of under-appreciated garden material swoon-worthy, and they certainly make Howard’s spring displays stand out from the rest.

Below you’ll find some of Howard’s favorite creations from this spring, many featuring those signature branches. To get even more inspiration from Howard, follow him on Instagram: @plant_parenting

urn container planting with green plants and swirling branchesElegance and whimsy all in one! The swirling pussy willow (Salix discolor, Zones 8–10) gives the formal urn a playful vibe, while the monochromatic color scheme keeps the large pot subdued and naturalistic.

container planting with fake yellow flowers and daffodils before bloomingRelatives, but not twins. It is quite challenging to create containers that coordinate but aren’t exact replicas, and Howard makes it look easy. The bright green foliage and signature swirling branches were complimented perfectly with cheerful pops of yellow flowers. I can’t imagine how breathtaking this was when the daffodils finally bloomed.

long plant centerpiece pot with chartreuse foliageYet again proving that green is anything but boring. This bright chartreuse color is like sunshine on those earliest spring days, and creates a stunning center piece for any kind of occasion or gathering. Howard uses some faux plants in some of his earliest spring designs, but can you tell which plants from the above are actually fake?

two container plantings with blue and purple flowersWhile I was just singing the praises of Howard’s complimentary designs above, there is a classic beauty in two matching containers flanking an entryway that never gets old.

Case in point again—two baby blue pots sporting the tried-and-true container recipe: thrillers, fillers, and spillers.

White tulips and those signature pussy willow branches are elegant thrillers, it appears to be delicate pansies that are filling out the pot with some more flowers, and English ivy is (Hedera helix and cvs., Zones 5–11) spilling out from all sides.

Lastly, two giant bowls of spring color. Many gardeners might feel like they need to use a multitude of different plants to create impressive container displays, but don’t forget the power a a mass planting. These citrus mix pansies are mounded up to look like giant scoops of flowers. YUM!

Thanks again for sharing your incredible designs, Howard! Who is feeling inspired to create something completely new in their container garden? 🙋‍♀️


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View Comments


  1. btucker9675 05/29/2024

    I am speechless at the creativity and beauty of these container arrangements... those swirls of pussy willow!!! Wow - again all I can say is that this is true artistry!

  2. janetsydoruk 05/29/2024

    They are just fab. So artistic! Thank you.

  3. User avater
    simplesue 05/30/2024

    Your container garden designs are fabulous, so refreshing to see- so natural and not overly full of too many different colors...such a nice use of twigs in the long rectangular planter, and love those hydrangea/pansy/pussy willow arrangements!

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