Outdoor Planters

June 6, 2014, In: Gardening, How-to

It’s growing season again! Every summer I look forward to filling the planters on my front porch and back deck with beautiful blooming plants.

For years I struggled when it came to purchasing plants, how large would they grow, would they thrive on my covered porch or burn on my sunny deck. Then, a couple of years ago I spent the summer working at a local greenhouse and quickly learned all sorts of valuable information that helped me put together the beautiful planters I had always dreamed of.


I highly recommend buying your plants at a local nursery. Most grow their own plants reducing the carbon print of your plants and you can be assured that the plants you are buying are hardy for your growing zone. To learn more about growing zones and what your is, check out the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map. When purchasing your plants, read the labels that come with them. They have all the information you need to make successful choices. If you still aren’t certain, ask! The sales associates can answer any questions and help make recommendations based on your specific needs.


I follow the “thrill, fill, spill” theory when choosing plants for my planters. For example, the spike plant in the picture below is a “thrill” plant. It adds height and drama to your planter. Your “fill” plants are those that fill up the planter. Begonias, Coleus, Million Bells, Lobelia, there are a ton of choices when it comes to filling your planters. “Spill” plants are those that spill or trail over the edge of the planter. Sweet potato vine, Creeping Jenny, Vinca, Ivy and Portulaca all make great “spill” choices.


Before potting my plants, I lay them out in my planter, making sure to leave a little growing room for the plants. I like to purchase my plants small, they are typically less expensive and will grow quickly to fill out the pot.


On my back deck I like to use traditional planters, on my front porch however, I like to switch things up a bit. Vintage watering cans, milk cans and buckets become unique planters. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box when it comes to your plant vessel choices. Anything that will hold dirt and is waterproof can become a planter.


One last tip, you don’t always have to put all your plants in one planter. Below, I’ve used the same “thrill, fill, spill” theory only I’ve placed them is separated planters and grouped them together to give the same effect.


Happy planting everyone!

Salute, Sharleen

  1. Reply

    omg, I love that first picture with Nigel looking out the window!

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Denise + Sharleen

Two sisters dedicated to living a creative and inspired life. Our goal is to share fresh ideas, connect with like-minded people, teach something new, and bring beauty to everyday moments.

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