Garden Photo of the Day

Carla’s Potted Plantings

Getting creative with container plantings

foliage plants in and around containers

We’ve visited Carla Zambelli Mudry’s garden in Malvern, Pennsylvania, several times, but today she’s sharing a focus on her container plants.

It’s not all about what you put in your flower beds; it’s also about hanging baskets, planters, and pots. Often these are gardening alternatives that people with very little gardening space can do! I like mixing perennials with annuals, and I use herbs and more in pots. In some of the bigger anchor pots, I like using perennials because I don’t have to take care of the plants every year; they just return. hanging basket with pink and red flowersA hanging basket with flowering geraniums (Pelargonium, Zones 9–11 or as annuals)

containers full of herbs in a lush green gardenTwo big pots planted up with a mixture of herbs provide both fragrant, useful leaves and an interesting green accent to the garden. In the front left, another pot combines a blue hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla, Zones 5–9) with scented geranium (Pelargonium hybrid, Zones 9–11 or as an annual) and fragrant heliotrope (Heliotropium arborescens, Zones 10–11)—proof that you can get creative in your container combinations!

foliage plants in containersA cool container without a drainage hole can be turned into a suitable home for plants by slipping another pot—with drainage—inside it.

foliage plants in and around containersHostas thrive and look beautiful in containers, coming back each year. In cold climates, moving the containers with perennials into an unheated shed or garage during the winter will help protect their roots from extreme temperatures.

tiny tree in a containerA small Japanese maple (Acer palmatum, Zones 5–9) in this container is an accent to the birdcage-like structure that covers it.

purple flowers in blue and black potsTwo plants of what look like Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’ (Zones 7–10) in, appropriately, black and blue containers. Salvia guaranitica can spread aggressively in gardens where it is hardy, so containers are a good way to keep it contained.

red and pink flowers in a container with herbsA cute little owl shares this container with a hydrangea, geraniums, and thyme (Thymus sp.).

lavender in a black potGrowing lavender (Lavandula angustifolia, Zones 5–9) in a pot is a great way to lift that fragrant foliage up to where you can easily smell it—and if your native soil is heavy and wet, to give it the good drainage it needs .


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  1. User avater
    simplesue 06/06/2022

    Nice container garden arrangements with pretty ornaments to compliment them!
    I just love your two pots with the little goat and the wire ornament to protect the plants (I do that too to keep the wild life off).
    I like your Hydrangea in a pot too!

  2. User avater
    treasuresmom 06/06/2022

    I love Salvia Black & Blue. Can't wait til mine blooms.

  3. btucker9675 06/06/2022

    Wonderful - I love pots and always think they add so much to gardens. These are magical, especially the "accessories" you've added.

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