Spring Garden Project: Create a Container Garden

Article Posted By: Laura Sullivan

of The Home Depot

A small container garden and wicker chair on a deck

Creating a container garden is a quick weekend project that provides lots of visual pay-off. Choosing the plant combinations is a fun, creative trip to The Home Depot and the project is easy to pull off in an afternoon (really!). Follow these step-by-step instructions to create these gorgeous containers that truly transform a patio. Also, review the Garden Club recipe card for this project here before you get your hands dirty.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Large containers of various shapes and sizes
Plant food 
Potting soil
A variety of perennials, annuals and shrubs (see below for inspiration)

Start with a Theme

Think like a painter composing a picture. Consider color, shape and style. For instance, you might decide on plants in dark tones, chosen for their variety of textures and leaf shapes. Don’t stop at flowers in a container. Shrubs and perennials are great for year-round container interest.

Place tall plants in the center for height, smaller foliage or shrub-like plants around the middle to fill-in and add interest, and vining or cascading plants to drape over the sides of the container. Grouping plants with the same sun and water requirements gives them all an equal chance to thrive.

Choose Your Containers

Opt for a couple of large containers or cluster smaller containers in an uneven number for visual interest. Stack a few on upended terra cotta pots to create an arrangement of various heights. Bigger pots are easier to care for because large volumes of soil retain moisture longer, so you water less frequently.


Use a plant fertilizer to give your container garden all the nutrients it needs to get established. Refer to the product label for rates of application.

Add Soil

Pour or scoop potting soil around the roots of your plant to the top of the pot but don’t pat down.

Give Your Plants a Watering

Add water to settle the soil so it’s no more than an inch below the rim.

Check out our other garden projects and be sure to sign up for The Home Depot’s Garden Club, where you can get special offers, discounts and expert advice. Also, check out the awesome Container Gardening advice in our online Community Forums.