I love planting containers! I think it is the instant gratification you get when you are finished and they just get more beautiful as summer goes along. Every year I check out the newest/hottest annuals.  Have you heard the term, “thriller, filler and spiller”?  It makes it really easy to go by when looking for plants.  The thriller is the star of the planter (usually the big bloomer) it can also be the tall guy with the beautiful foliage, the fillers are usually the fine textured plants that weave through the planter and the spiller, that’s the one that tumbles down out of the pot. Each one plays a key role in making your container have the wow factor. That’s probably the only rule I adhere to when it comes to containers. I love mixing it up with anything and everything.  Add some vegetables and herbs to your pots, rosemary and thyme make great fillers and will also keep mosquitoes away. The kids love to find grape tomatoes in the patio pots.  Try small grasses in your pots like “baby tut” papyrus or get his dad “king tut” and put it in a container by itself it can get up to 4’ tall and be very dramatic. I like to find unusual spillers too, there are many varieties of sweet potato plants, this year I used mandevilla, it’s normally a climber, but I thought it would be pretty hanging down. I also lined the front edge of the container with fiber optic grass, just for fun.  And I always make herb containers, they make great gifts too.
Here are some of my favorites in each category, but you can fill them with your favorites.  You can find some of the selections at the big box stores, but I encourage you to go to your local garden centers, they will know way more about the plants, most likely use no pesticides and buying local helps your community be strong.
Small trees (hibiscus or oleander)
Mandevilla (staked up or small trellis in pot)
Coleus (check the tag there are sun and shade coleus)
Peppers /tomatoes
Baby Tut Papyrus
Diamond Frost


Geranium Ivy
Superbells (calibrachoa)
Sweet potato vine