Add Color with Containers
Boost your garden's color quotient by using bright pots. These glazed containers in cheery shades of blue, orange, and yellow instantly add interest to a display of purple basil, Hungarian Wax pepper, tomato, parsley, and golden oregano.
Grow your vegetables in hanging baskets if ground space is scarce. Compact or "bush" varieties are best, though many herbs are also perfect picks for baskets. This pairing of tomato and basil, for example, creates a delicious and attractive display.
Test Garden Tip: Set up a drip-watering system to save you a substantial amount of time with a hose or watering can.
Give your plantings personality and save money by using recycled containers. Here, old wine crates provide a perfect home for small varieties, including lettuce, Thumbelina carrots, everbearing strawberries, and signet marigolds.
Select containers of different sizes and create a grouping to offer additional interest. These four containers filled with cucumber, tomato, pepper, basil, thyme, and parsley add lots of visual appeal to a landscape.
Incorporate Colorful Varieties
Use vegetables with attractive foliage, flowers, or fruits in your favorite planters. Here, red-stemmed Swiss chard, glowing Lemon Gem marigolds, and a hot pepper add great color and texture to a container.
Make an Herbal Window Box
Let great scents waft in your home each time you open a window by growing herbs in your window boxes. This lovely example incorporates variegated sage, variegated thyme, Italian parsley, and sweet alyssum.
Grow Edible Flowers
Add color and cheer to your containers -- as well as salads, dishes, and desserts -- by growing edible flowers. Note how calendula and signet marigolds brighten a planting of Swiss chard, cabbage, basil, and tomatoes.
Use Textural Contrasts
Make a stunning statement even if you're growing all-green plants by combining textures. Here, rosemary's fine, needle-like leaves are a perfect balance to the big, bold eggplant. A potted citrus, lemon verbena, and thyme further enhance the effect.
More on Texture
Grasses seem to go with everything. Get the look in your vegetable garden by incorporating onions and chives. They offer a great contrast to the cucumbers, tomatoes, and peppers shown here. And happily, their flavors are a perfect fit, too!
Test Garden Tip: Lemongrass is another great pick for adding a grassy texture.
A scrambling cucumber is the star of this container creation. With its big leaves, bright flowers, and yummy fruits it's a natural showstopper -- especially when paired with an upright plant such as rosemary.
Test Garden Tip: Make harvest easy by letting cucumbers grow along the railing of your deck or patio.
You can also give vines such as cucumber, beans, or peas an upright support such as this obelisk. By letting vines grow up, there's space in the container to grow trailing plants such as nasturtium and fillers such as kale, signet marigolds, and eggplant.
Keep it Manageable
You may be able to get more plants than you think in a tight space. Here, just four pots provide a plethora of produce: cucumbers, rosemary, Swiss chard, tomatoes, kale, eggplants, basil, peppers, and more. Limit the number of varieties you grow to only what you can use to save time and effort.
Play off Plants
Not sure what to plant together? Look for hints in leaf, flower, or foliage color. Note how the purple tones of blue basil play perfectly with the deep, dark leaves of Black Pearl pepper. Purple Ruffles basil, red cabbage, or Kohlibri kohlrabi would also mix wonderfully.
Leave a little space in your containers for garden decor. Here, a bentwood trellis adds color and interest to a planting of basil, parsley, and chives.
Go Upside Down
Raise eyebrows by growing your tomatoes underneath their pot. Whether you choose hanging baskets, a five-gallon bucket with a hole on the bottom, or a device such as this product (called the Patio Garden), it can be an interesting way to cultivate your favorite vegetable.