Let inspired container creations from 's readers inspire you this gardening season

For the 2011 Container Design Challenge, we asked our readers to add a little something extra to their container designs. Just like the perfect purse or a snazzy tie can make a ho-hum outfit sing, an extra object add some pizzazz to a planting. We left the concept wide open, inviting our readers to interpret it as they wished, and you certainly were inspired.

We're sharing with you here the winning photo, along with photos of all the finalists' entries. Click on the images to enlarge them.

Enter the 2012 Container Challenge—Fabulous foliage is the theme of Fine Gardening's 2012 Container Design Challenge. Deadline for entries: August 19, 2012.

 

And the winner is...

Cindy Young
Brewster, New York

Accessory:
Deer antlers

Plants:
‘Moonlight’ caladium (Caladium bicolor ‘Moonlight’, USDA Hardiness Zones 10-11)
African mask (Alocasia amazonica, Zone 11)
Elephant ear (Alocasia lauterbachiana, Zone 11)
Impatiens (Impatiens walleriana cv., annual)
English ivy (Hedera helix cv., Zones 5-11)

 

Finalists' photos

Michelle Baldwin
Bluffton, South Carolina

Accessory:
Garden lights

Plants:
Norfolk Island pine (Araucaria heterophylla, Zones 9-11)
‘Blue rows’ rush (Juncus inflexus ‘Blue Arrows’, Zones 5-11)
Breathless™ Blush euphorbia (Euphorbia Breathless™ Blush, annual)
Silver drop eucalyptus (Eucalyptus gunnii, Zones 9-11)
‘Redhead’ coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides ‘Redhead’, Zones 12-13)
Sweet potato vine (Ipomoea batatas cv., Zone 11)

Deborah Trickett
Milton, Massachusetts

Accessory:
Birdhouse

Plants:
Plectranthus (Plectranthus cv., Zones 12-13)
Coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides cv., Zones 12-13)
Cherry sage (Salvia coccinea, Zones 9-11)

Alice Dann
St. Cloud, Wisconsin

Accessory:
Perfume bottle

Plants:
Rex begonia (Begonia cv., Zones 12-13
Coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides cv., Zones 12-13)
Asparagus fern (Asparagus densiflorus ‘Sprengeri’, Zones 12-13)

 

Sherry Schmidt
Shaker Heights, Ohio

Accessory:
Candelabra and white candles

Plants:
‘Purple Flash’ ornamental pepper (Capsicum annuum ‘Purple Flash’, annual)
Persian shield (Strobilanthes dyerianus, Zones 9-11)
Rex begonia (Begonia cv., Zones 12-13
Petunia (Petunia cv., annual)
Purple heart (Tradescantia pallida ‘Purpurea’, Zones 8-11)
‘Mona Lavender’ plectranthus (Plectranthus ‘Mona Lavender’, Zones 10-11)

Susan Bautsch
Edwardsville, Illinois

&Accessory:
Metal crane

Plants:
Yellow mandevilla (Mandevilla urchites lutea, Zones 12-13)
Crotons (Codiaeum cvs., Zones 12-13)
‘Saturn’ coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides ‘Saturn’, Zones 12-13)
‘Black Velvet’ petunia (Petunia ‘Black Velvet’, annual)
Lemon thyme (Thymus X citriodorus, Zones 6-9)
‘Silver Falls’ dichondra (Dichondra argentea ‘Silver Falls’, Zones 10-11)

Brenda Addington
Suwanee, Georgia

Accessory:
Pink china plate

Plants:
Dragon Wing® Pink begonia (Begonia Dragon Wing® Pink, annual)
Persian shield (Strobilanthes dyerianus, Zones 9-11)
Petunia (Petunia cv., annual)
Tuberous begonia (Begonia cv., Zones 12-13)
Impatiens (Impatiens walleriana cv., annual)

 

Carol Corbin
Troy, Michigan

Accessory:
Wine bottle corks

Plants:
‘Cora Burgundy’ vinca (Vinca ‘Cora Burgundy’, annual)
‘Sangria’ ornamental pepper (Capsicum annuum ‘Sangria’, annual)
‘Dipt in Wine’ coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides ‘Dipt in Wine’, Zones 12-13)

Roxane Hutchins
Marshfield, Wisconsin

Accessory:
Blue wine bottles

Plants:
Red Abyssinian banana (Ensete ventricosum ‘Maurelii’, Zones 9-11)
Dusty Miller (Senecio cv., annual)
Purple heart (Tradescantia pallida ‘Purpurea’, Zones 8-11)
Sweet potato vine (Ipomoea batatas cv., Zone 11)
Petunia (Petunia cv., annual)

Altha Brooks
Van Wert, Ohio

Accessory:
Blown glass sphere

Plants:
Spikemosses (Selaginella cvs., Zones 6-10)

 

Shannon Lester
Bend, Oregon

Accessory:
Glass tabletop

Plants:
Cobweb hens and chicks (Sempervivum arachnoideum, Zones 5-8)
‘Red Rubin’ hens and chicks (Sempervivum ‘Red Rubin’, Zones 4-8)
‘Angelina’ sedum (Sedum rupestre ‘Angelina’, Zones 6-9

Linda Procker
Columbus, Ohio

Accessory:
Decorative metal cats

Plants:
Callie® Deep Yellow calibrachoa (Calibrachoa Callie® Deep Yellow, annual)
Bonfire(®) begonia (Begonia boliviensis Bonfire®, Zones 10-11)
Bacopa (Sutera cordata cv., annual)
Geranium (Pelargonium cv., annual)
Charmed Wine shamrock (Oxalis ‘JROXBURWI’, Zones 8-11)
MiniFamous™ Lavender Blue calibrachoa (Calibrachoa MiniFamous™ Lavender Blue, annual)
Wandering Jew (Tradescantia zebrina, Zone 11)

Ellen Mann
Fox Point, Wisconsin


Accessory:
Ceramic mushrooms

Plants:
Cordyline (Cordyline australis cv., Zones 10-11)
Ageratum (Ageratum houstonianum cv., annual)
Angelonia (Angelonia angustifolia cv., annual)
Sweet potato vine (Ipomoea batatas cv., Zone 11)
Calibrachoa (Calibrachoa cv., annual)

 

Moira McQuarrie
Hanson, Massachusetts

Accessory:
Gramophone horn

Plants:
Happy crown agave (Agave ‘Kissho Kan’, Zones 7-10)
Blazin’ Glory senecio (Senecio cephalophorus, Zones 9-11)
Thornless prickly pear cactus (Opuntia cacanapa ‘Ellisiana’, Zones 7-10)
Burro’s tail (Sedum morganianum, Zone 11)
Madagascar palm (Pachypodium lamerei, Zone 11)
‘Golden Glow’ sedum (Sedum adolphi ‘Golden Glow’, Zones 10-11)

Cindy Voigt
Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin

Accessory:
Decorative metal peacocks

Plants:
‘Coffee Cups’ elephant’s ears (Colocasia esculenta ‘Coffee Cups’, Zones 8-11)
Purple sage (Salvia officinalis ‘Purpurascens’, Zones 5-8)
‘Sweet Caroline Bronze’ sweet potato vine (Ipomoea batatas ‘Sweet Caroline Bronze’, Zone 11)
‘Gartenmeister Bonstedt’ fuchsia (Fuchsia ‘Gartenmeister Bonstedt’, Zones 9-10)
‘Mosaik Lava Red’ coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides ‘Mosaik Lava Red’, Zone 11)
‘Gay’s Delight’ coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides ‘Gay’s Delight’, Zone 11)

Related Articles

To read the complete article, join now!

With FGplus, you'll get exclusive:

  • Content from the editors of Fine Gardening
  • Answers to your gardening questions from our experts
  • Access to beind the scenes videos at America's best gardens and gardening shows
  • Digital access to a library pf Fine Gardening special issues and two bonus CookFresh issues from Fine Cooking - a value of over $65

Plus, you will be automatically entered into monthly givaways from ouir friends and partners

Already an FGplus subscriber? Log In