How to get the Designer Look with Outdoor Containers, troughs, pots and planters

Large natural terracotta pots from Italian Terrace make a stunning corner stone to this rectangular formal pond!
Large natural terracotta pots from Italian Terrace make a stunning cornerstone to this rectangular formal pond.

When it comes to choosing designer plants for containers it is easy to be misled by the montage of bedding plants and annuals made widely available in every garden centre nationwide. Often selecting a mismatch of annuals that “seem like a good idea at the time” will ensure your outdoor containers look just like everyone else’s and lacks individuality.

Like a flower arrangement needs a stunning vase, similarly, a designer outdoor container display needs a fancy pot! Of course, not everyone has a limitless budget to spend on designer pots and outdoor planters, but by taking a few ideas from my pictorial suggestions you can visit a reclamation yard, a car boot sale or shop online for something similar at much less the cost!

Buying a designer container you’d be hard pressed to beat stylish terracotta pots, especially if you choose Italian Terrace containers from Italy!

If you’re looking to create a stylish designer planting scheme for your outdoor containers then you might find my following ideas helpful.

Spring designer Pots
Spring colour in six large terracotta citrus pots, overwintered in the Orangery the specimen citrus fruit trees make a perfect centrepiece for Spring flowering bright blue violas and white scented hyacinths.


Spring designer Pots

Designer pots
Choosing a colour theme that complements both the container the surrounding plants and hard landscaping materials.
Designer pots
I love these square dumpy planters, they provide the perfect containers for the spiral box topiary and leave just enough room for an interesting planting scheme.
Designer pots
I love the large white star shaped tubular flowers of the Nicotiana and the smaller Bacopa in both white and mauve that repeat the effect. I added a bi-colour Nemesia to enhance the purples and connect with the flower spikes of the perennial wallflower Elysium “Bowles mauve”.
Designer pots
Artemisia “Powis Castle makes a great filler for containers and the fluffy cut leaf, aromatic foliage is a super contrast for summer flowers.

Designer pots

Angels trumpet

Winter Designer Containers
Pieris ‘Forest Flame” offers a dramatic show of colourful young leaves that change colour as the season develops.
Winter Designer Pots
Coloured stems of the pussy willow is a great way to add a centrepiece to a large container.

Planning your designer containers ahead of time will allow you to structure your pots with specimen shrubs and summer colour.   Following the seasons will ensure your designer pots stay in top condition, we re-plant our pots in Spring, Summer, Autumn and again in Winter. Our large specimens are re-used every year and cared for until they are required, we feature Topiary box, Agapanthus, Hydrangeas, Pittosporum, Hosta’s and grasses in our containers.

Grow with me on


Stephen Pryce-Lea

Head Gardener and International Horticultural Consultant




“It’s a beautiful thing when a career and a passion grow together, when you find it in a Garden it’s like finding Paradise“

iGrowHort – A Head Gardener’s Horticultural Journey of love, life and learning.



About Head Gardener 334 Articles
Award winning, 40 something year old professional plantsman and horticulturalist with National Trust, private parks and estate management background. My vast plant knowledge and hands on techinical experience, afforded me the opportunity to work in various horticultural landscapes, in the UK, USA & Eastern Europe. Having worked in both garden retail & the design service industry gave me the practical diversity and managerial skill set, required for running a large prestigious gardens and stately homes. I strongly believe knowledge is to be shared and have worked closely with people and staff of all ages and abilities keen to develop their passion for gardening, including groups of children, special needs and adults. I have hosted guided walks, talks and tours for those keen to learn about cultivated and wild plants, garden development, history and design. As an member of the NNCPG and National Trust, I am actively involved in the preservation of several important plant collections both in public and private gardens throughout the UK. “It’s a beautiful thing when a career and a passion grow together, in a garden it’s paradise” Follow @IGrowHort on GardenTags. Stephen is passionate about gardening as Head Gardener with a team of ten staff he manages a prestigious Cheshire country estate of 55 acres, inc wild flower meadows, woodland, organic kitchen and formal gardens. Follow Stephen today”

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.