Complement the Garden with Colorful Containers

Container plantings provide a simple way to integrate porches, patios, and walkways to the larger landscape. By echoing the colors and forms of garden plants in container plantings, you can easily connect the garden right to your front door. Containers perform a variety of tasks in the garden. Use them to emphasize the entryway, bring color to paved surfaces, or serve as a focal point.

Color Connections

Not all of your garden favorites perform well in pots, but you can still create a sense of continuity by repeating dominant colors and forms in containers. Likewise, mixing up plant materials while maintaining a common theme is a great way to add diversity to a planting. Containers also offer a place to feature plants that otherwise would not perform well in the landscape, such as tender plants that require winter storage or plants with different water needs than the main landscape.

In this cottage design, several techniques are used to dress up the entryways. Adapt these ideas to your own garden, altering plant materials to match your garden’s unique style and mood.


A pair of containers flanking the main stairway accent the entryway through bold color and form. ‘Amistad’ Salvia provides a punch of color and bold structure, while Lime Sizzler™ Firebush echoes the golden hues of the garden.


Agapanthus are featured heavily throughout the landscape. Containers of Ever Sapphire™ Agapanthus line the porch and frame the main doorway, visually connecting the covered space to the lush garden. Ever White™ Agapanthus repeats the texture and form at the side entrance.

Color Echo

While Lime Sizzler™ Firebush repeats the vibrant hues of ‘Sunshine’ Ligustrum around the main entry, the side entrance uses a subtler approach with the citrus hues of ‘Lemon-Lime’ Nandina. Color repetition doesn’t need to be an exact match. Try using lighter tints and darker shades of the dominant hue, and introducing color through a mix of foliage, flowers, and the containers themselves.