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Fall Container Gardens

Brought to you by Lowe's Creative Ideas

Container gardens aren't just for summer. Fall is a great time to update a container garden or start a new one using plants that prefer the cooler temperatures. Read on for some examples.

1000023572 LCI_GGA_Aug2011_Fall Containers_A Wee Bit o' Contrast

A Wee Bit o’ Contrast
Imagine this arrangement (above) without the burgundy-leaf kale. All of a sudden the POW is gone. The contrasting color and shape of the kale really delivers a needed focal point.

Purple Dome

In Tip-Top Shape
The variegated sedge injects some light into this grouping, but it’s the plant’s cascading shape that really makes this design. It softens the edges of the container while adding a counterpoint to the rounded shapes of the ‘Purple Dome’ asters and flowering kale.

on stage

On Stage
Small containers can be overwhelmed by the amazing colors of the season. Two ways to prevent that: raise the container up and create a stage. Notice how the vine-covered fence opening makes the perfect perch for a windowbox full of mums, kale, and dusty Miller.

Moveable Masterpiece

Moveable Masterpiece
If you’ve got a covered porch, deck or patio, you might consider creating a moveable arrangement. This classic garden cart has everything from bittersweet vines (Celastrus) and blackberry lily seeds to miniature pumpkins, gooseneck gourds, and Indian corn. Wheat and feathertop grass add ornamental seedheads, while dried marigolds and statice are used as colorful fillers. Curly willow adds an architectural element.

More than Mums

More than Mums
Potted mums are a traditional way to decorate for fall. Make them look a bit more at home by pairing with ornamental grasses. The height and habit of the grasses help balance the rounded shape of the mums, while the medium green color is a calming note alongside the bold flowers. The result is more natural-looking.

Dusty Perfection

Dusty Perfection
Sometimes, an understated approach is best. From the faded cedar windowbox to the blue fescue and sedum to the dusty hues of the kale, asters and Calibrachoa, this planter whispers the words “understated elegance” just loud enough to be heard.

Pale Imitation

Pale Imitation
Not sure where to start with a fall container design? Take a cue from the container by echoing or contrasting with its color. Or do both. The Nemesia ‘Sunsatia Mango’ and Osteospermum echo the pale hue of the pot while Heuchera ‘Amethyst Mist’ and Euphorbia ‘Efanthia’ bring contrast.

Keep it Simple

Keep it Simple
Too many species in a container can look contrived and busy. When in doubt, go with simple. This elegant look has just three species: purple fountaingrass (Pennisetum setaceum), violas and coralbells (Heuchera).

On Background

On Background
These vibrant asters would catch the eye almost anywhere. But they’re particularly captivating against the pleasing gray-green hues of Helichrysum ‘Icicle’. An added benefit: the Helichrysum and ornamental cabbage will hold the design together after the asters fade.

Star Power

Star Power
There’s no doubt who’s the star of the show here. Dark foliage, upright habit, and intriguing seedheads make this ornamental millet stand out. Complementary hues of gold mums and tan carex add rich color.

Foliage Rules

Foliage Rules
Crinkled petals and chartreuse-on-burgundy hues make a striking pot. Note how the veins of the ornamental cabbage bring out the burgundy of the flowering kale behind it; this connects the plants visually.

Old-Fashioned Charm

Old-Fashioned Charm
Where’s the windowbox? Who cares when you have a display like this. From ornamental cabbage and dried hydrangea to loops of bittersweet fruit and bunches of rose hips, this display oozes charm. And best of all, it will still look good after frost!

Pumpkin Surprise

Pumpkin Surprise
Two mainstays of autumn come together in a whimsical design sure to raise a smile. Cored pumpkins make a fetching, if fleeting, receptacle for these colorful mums. Place the mums, plastic pot and all, inside the pumpkins. And be sure to poke a drainage hole in the pumpkin.

With or Without Plants

With or Without Plants
Although we stuck a small potted mum into the design just for the heck of it, this windowbox would do just fine without it. The birdhouse and pot of birdseed beckon to winged visitors nearly as much as the crabapples and bittersweet fruit call to our visual senses.

So Happy Together

So Happy Together
Tie containers together by coordinating pots and plants. The pots match, while the plants stick to a color palette of mainly yellows and whites. Variegated sweet flag (Acorus gramineus) is joined by Calibrachoa, Diascia, Nemesia, coralbells (Heuchera), and petunia.

Room for Growth

Room for Growth
A repurposed wash bin, painted and stenciled, offers plenty of growing space for plants. This grouping includes purple fountaingrass (Pennisetum setaceum), ornamental cabbage, coralbells (Heuchera), and creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia).