You don’t need a large yard or a lot of space to create a beautiful garden. Look to planters or containers that can fit into any space to give your yard a wow factor.

From hanging baskets to window boxes, pots big and small, single plant containers and clusters of pots, there are plenty of options. You can even use out-of-the box containers, like an old kitchen sink or bathtub, a wash tub or a wagon.

Once you select your container, then choose the plants and arrange them in pleasing design.

One of the great advantages is that you can change the plants season to season with different combinations, colors, textures and themes.

When combining several plants, include a filler, a thriller and a spiller.

The thriller plant will be the focal point of your design, so choose one with some height and a striking flower form or color.

The filler is used to create a fuller look in the arrangement. Fillers are medium-sized plants, typically in a mounded form, that make up the bulk of the plant material in the container. You can choose just one type of plant for focal impact, or you can choose several different plant types of similar sizes.

Spillers are cascading plants that flow over the sides of the containers and complete the arrangement.

When choosing fillers and spillers, a good rule of thumb is to use an odd number of plants.

Bring different textures into the container by using plants with fine, medium and coarse leaves.

Be sure to match plant size to that of the container. For large containers, use large plants; for small containers, go with smaller plants. The rule of thumb is that the tallest plant should not grow higher than one to two times the height of the container.

Use season-appropriate plants. For example, if you are creating a design for the summer, make sure to use heat-tolerant, warm-season annuals and perennials.

Most trees and shrubs will be fine throughout the seasons, but use evergreens unless you plan to rotate them out with the seasons.

Here are a few suggestions of Louisiana Super Plants for each category for medium sized containers:

Thriller plants: Suncredible yellow sunflower, Flamethrower coleus series, Fireworks pennisetum, Senorita Rosalita cleome, Intenz Classic celosia, Flutterby Tutti Frutti buddleia, Camelot foxglove series, Diamonds Blue delphinium, Jolt and Amazon dianthus series

Filler plants: Beacon impatiens series, Babywing begonia series, Serena and Serenita Raspberry angelonia, Mesa gaillardia series, Butterfly and Lucky Star pentas series, Sorbet viola series, compact varieties in the Sunpatiens impatiens series, Kauai torenia series

Spiller plants: Mini Vista Indigo and Vista Bubblegum in the Supertunia petunia series, Homestead Purple verbena, lemon sedum


Email questions to gardennews@agcenter.lsu.edu.