Garden Photo of the Day

Spring Container Designs

Dramatic, sculptural creations

spring container planting with pussy willow stems twisted into a decorative structure

Last year Howard Nemeroff, the owner of Plant Parenting in Chicago, shared some gorgeous images of a window box he designed through the four seasons (One Window Box, Four Seasons), and today he’s back to share some incredible spring container designs.

container planting with pussy willow and blue flowersPussy willow (Salix discolor, Zones 4–8) stems bent into a beautiful trellis elevate this planting of pansies (Viola × wittrockiana, cool-season annual) and bigleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla, Zones 5–9).

window box with pink hydrangeas and branches and berriesBigleaf hydrangeas and a dramatic arch made of pussy willows make a bold statement in this window box.

spring container planting with pussy willow stems twisted into a decorative structurePussy willows have flexible stems, so they can be bent and shaped into beautiful structures like this. The silvery fuzz is the newly emerging flower spikes that burst open first thing in the spring.

close up of pussy willow structureIn this close-up, you can see that there is a metal framework under the structure that the willow branches have been attached to. The attention to detail here is incredible!

close up of spring container with tulips and mossIn this spring container, purple and white tulips (Tulipa hybrids, Zones 3–8) are the stars, with their colors echoed by the rest of the planting and set off by yellow-green variegated ivy (Hedera helix, Zones 5–9) and moss.

pairs of matching containers with blue and purple flowersTwo-level containers feature bold blue hydrangeas on the bottom and pansies on top.

container with lots of white flowers and a little pop of pinkWhite pansies dominate this container, with a few pops of other color to accent the white.

spring container with bright flowers and foliageA euphorbia (looks like Euphorbia × martinii ‘Ascott Rainbow’, Zones 6–9) takes center stage here, backed up by pansies, ranunculus (Ranunculus asiaticus, Zones 8–10 or as a tender bulb), golden creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia ‘Aurea’, Zones 3–9), and nemesia (Nemesia hybrid, annual).

container planting of pansies shaped like a dressA dress made from pansies

gardener posing with a large container of pink plantsAnd here’s Howard himself, posing with one of his stunning containers.


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View Comments


  1. sandyprowse 04/25/2023

    Howard, you are the best! I have never seen such beauty in a pot. I am saving this article in a special spot for future peeks. You have reserved a place in heaven designing such exquisite arrangements I am sure! Bravo.

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    vanhatalosuomi 04/25/2023

    Howard, your shared examples are truly lovely. The website link and the multitude of services Plant Parenting offers surely puts you among the most creative and generous designers I've seen. I try to keep an eye out for design elements and innovation that are exemplary, your team really delivers.
    Thank you so much for sharing your talents with GPOD again!
    - Greetings from Finland, cheers!

  3. user-7392754 04/25/2023

    Stunning!!! I’m in awe of these masterpieces!!!!

  4. User avater
    treasuresmom 04/25/2023

    Oh my word! This is beyond gorgeous.

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    simplesue 04/25/2023

    Oh Wow your creations are SPECTACULAR, and done like I've never seen before- so very original! I'm so impressed!

  6. Oxdriftgardener 04/25/2023

    I am speechless! I have only been following this GPOD since March but this post is so over the top. Howard your talents are unearthly if that is a word! The pussy willow sculptures in the first photos take simple plantings to a stunning platform. The plant combinations you have used are what I crave when following these sites. Is that actually perennial persicaria that pours over the pink hydrangeas in the concrete urn you are standing beside at the end? Stunning!

  7. perenniallycrazy 04/25/2023

    Stunning! My favourites are the first two container designs.

  8. btucker9675 04/25/2023

    Howard!!!! These are nothing short of spectacular and the pussywillows are just the thing.... You are a true artist and I thank you for sharing these creations with us! So inspirational.

  9. giardiniera 04/25/2023

    Howard!! You are a master beyond a doubt. Bravo! Your color combinations are exquisite. Thank you for sharing these. They are truly inspired.

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    cynthia2020 04/25/2023

    Wow - to Howard and his superb willow wrestling!

  11. gardenconcierge 04/25/2023

    Bravo, Howard! Your container designs are spectacular. I hope you don't mind that I am going to try to "borrow" some of your concepts for my home's containers. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. You are a true artist!

  12. John_Seagle 04/27/2023

    This is really beautiful and gorgeous!

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