Landscaping with Containers

Outdoor containers sustained a long history of popularity with home owners who wanted to add seasonal color to their windows, patios, terraces, front entrances, and pool decks. Annual flowers werethe main component of these aesthetics and they adorned many a house. Containers, however, are enjoying a rebirth as an integral part of yearlong landscaping designs. Colorado needs frost resistant
pots and they are available in cast stone or glazed ceramics in large enough sizes to be used as an architectural component of the landscape.

So how do you start thinking about landscaping with containers?


  • Venture out from the four corners of terraces, decks or front porches.
  • Display a row of containers along the house foundation instead of planting in the ground
  • Create hedges with a few large containers aligned on the property lines.
  • Hide the omnipresent A/C mechanics with a few strategically placed pots and plant them with evergreen shrubs.
  • Screen the unpleasantness of the neighboring gardens with trees planted in adequately large containers.
  • Install an alley leading to a classic pot on a pedestal. That’s a real vista for you!
  • Incorporate a statement container in the middle of a perennial bed where you use it as a sculpture piece.
  • Take advantage of pedestals for more height above the garden plantings.
  • Arrange around outdoor furniture to build backdrops for deep seating pieces, or to build rooms.

The days of completing the landscape design and installation and introducing the containers as an afterthought are in the past. Pots are an intrinsic part of the planning for outdoor spaces.


  • Containers displayed as unique pottery pieces in the landscape do not necessarily need to be planted.
  • Large ones make a substantial statement as an accent piece thanks to the colors, shapes or textures.
  • They literally become part of the house architecture, without any other needed enhancement.

But most of us still want to take advantage of the containers for our favorite plants.
Overwintering trees, shrubs and perennials is possible if the containers are large enough to hold soil to provide insulation to the plants. Hope for the best but be prepared to lose some plants due to freezing, especially if your containers are in wide open spaces. Keeping them closer to the house or under a shade
structure will offer more protection. Do not forget to water throughout the cold months as the snow fall is generally not enough.