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Beautiful Cool-Season Container Garden Ideas

Enjoy beautiful pots, even in cool, frosty weather, with these cool-season container garden ideas from our experts! By Justin Hancock

Container Garden Idea 1: Add Fragrance

Enjoy beautiful containers that appeal to your eye and your nose by combining fragrant flowers. Three lovely, cool-season favorites include snapdragon, dianthus, and sweet alyssum. 

This arrangement brings together the classic container-garden design of using a thriller/spiller/filler. The tall snapdragons act as a thriller, or focal point, that catch your attention. Dianthus is a lovely filler, which adds complementary color and texture. And pure-white sweet alyssum makes a fantastic spiller; it cascades over the edge of the pot. 

Get the secrets to designing beautiful, easy-care gardens with our free container gardening idea book. 

Container Garden Idea 2: Use Creative Containers

Nontraditional containers can be some of the most fun! Here, we used an inexpensive stainless steel mud pan (available at hardware stores and home improvement centers) to hold a frothy mix of sweet alyssum and lovely annual dianthus. 

Tip: Just about anything that holds soil while allowing excess water to escape can make for a great container. 

Container Garden Idea 3: Color Coordinate

The late-winter or early-spring color palette can seem a bit more limited than what you have in summer, so pick your colors carefully to make the biggest impact. Here, we started with purple-leaf mustard and then accented it with purple- and rose-colored pansies. 

Container Garden Idea 4: Contrast Colors

If you want to create more drama than complementary colors offer, go with a contrast by selecting colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel. One of the most classic examples in gardening is blue and yellow. Orange and purple is another perfect contrast that's especially trendy. Here, a few fragrant orange snapdragons make perfect partners for flowering kale. 

Container Garden Idea 5: Add Texture

It's easy to get caught up with color when you're designing a container garden, but don't overlook the power of texture. Here, for example, charming annual dianthus blooms contrast in both color and texture to the rugged foliage of purple mustard. 

Get more with our container gardening guide.