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Contain yourself
Mix and match plants to create a garden in a pot


The key to successful container gardening is pairing like things together, says Prairie Gardens manager Paul Grulke. Factors to consider are soil, sun and water requirements. Once you have matched shade-loving or sun-loving plants together, have some fun and experiment with different combinations. Weíve asked local flower experts to pair some of their favorites.

Lively mix

Created by Natureís Design, Cedarburg

Plants: White geraniums, Angelonia, Angel Blue, Euphorbia, Diamond White (in front) Dwarf Safari marigold

Natureís Design owner Carol Johnson created this container for a Whitefish Bay client who likes a lot of color and wanted a wispy mix of plants rather than heavy ones. Johnson placed blue pots in different sizes and styles around the yard. "No two pots were exactly alike but they all went together," Johnson says. The lively mix of plants all do very well in the sun, she says.


Created by Prairie Gardens, Cedarburg

Plants: English ivy, Irises, Cordyline,Hosta, Paulís Glory, Copper plant

This combination does well in sun or part sun conditions. Grulke says hostas work exceptionally well in containers because of their big, bold texture. "Donít be afraid to use perennials in containers," Grulke says, and to change the plants with the season. Irises and pansies will do well together in the spring, but by fall you might want to include some ornamental grasses instead of the standard mums, he says.


Created by The Flower Source, Germantown

Plants: Coleus, Vinca vine,Heuchera, Fuchsia,New Guinea impatiens

If you have a shady spot on your backyard deck or condo patio, try this mix. By using plants with multicolored foliage, thereís texture and visual interest but no mess. If you donít want fallen blooms to stain your deck or patio, or if you want to avoid constantly deadheading flowers, a low-maintenance mix such as this is the way to go, Flower Source experts suggest.