Container Garden Inspiration @NWFGS

Container gardening is awesome for so many reasons. If you live in an apartment or condo, you might not have access to soil. Even if you live in a rental house, you might want to take your plants with you some day. If you have land at your disposal, it might not have optimal soil, temperatures or light for specific things you want to grow. The solution to all these problems? Plants in pots. The Northwest Flower & Garden Show is good at tapping into this growing method, and the display gardens always offer lots of great container inspiration. There is even a container garden competition on the bridge in the middle of the convention center. I got some snapshots of some of my favorite containers.

If you have ever been to our house, you know I have a little obsession with terrariums. Mine grow various mosses, mostly, but it’s very popular to grow little creeping plants or succulents in glass like little living sculptures. I love these fish bowls!

This is The Lusher Life Project. It was one of the competitors in the container garden competition. This was a great garden – like a patchwork quilt of so many types of succulents, old nautical stuff & rusty bits. It was like everything my wife loves in one small garden. The longer I stared at it, the more details I noticed. It was like a whole universe unfolding with endless succulent varieties.

Here’s another photo from one of the container garden displays. Those crazy plants are a marshy/aquatic pitcher plant – a carnivorous plant more commonly found in the southeastern bogs of our fine nation, but you can occasionally find them in adventurous garden ponds in the PNW. They are too fussy for me to bother with, but I love carnivorous plants.

This was from the “Funky Junk” section of the NWFGS. Local high school students create the Funky Junk gardens. This is a step up from the classic cowboy boot planters of my childhood. People plant things in cowboy boots in places other than Oklahoma, right?

I spotted several potted kumquats at the show. I’m considering getting one myself, even though we don’t really need any more small citrus plants in our house. You can make marmalade out of kumquats, so that seems like reason enough to me. Do kumquat blossoms smell as good as lemon blossoms? I need to research this.

I feel like I’m pushing the boundaries of container gardening by including this, but I am a sucker for a gabion-style planter, and these creepy, goth hellebores make my black, wizened heart smile. If I were a goth gardener, I would grow a lot of poisonous hellebores. I love how they hang their heads in shame. Since they are deer-resistant, I should probably grow some anyway.

This container garden is kind of ridiculous but it was popular with the crowd. It’s a garden in a bed! Get it? Garden bed! Yeah. The Barbie dolls are having a picnic! I thought it was pretty weird, but I couldn’t resist taking a photo. And what do I know anyway? Maybe you love it, and I’m happy to share it with you in that case.



Filed under garden

8 responses to “Container Garden Inspiration @NWFGS

  1. honeyandlocusts


    I also love the weird Barbie garden, so I am glad you took pictures and posted them.

    Do you have advice or favorite books for container gardening for food things? We rent, and they’re supposedly going to landscape the yard, so we can’t plant things. But I’ve been thinking about doing planters or something on the deck.

    • Is the shoe planter a Wall-E thing? I don’t remember. Oy. I’m glad you like the Barbie garden. I thought it was a weird concept, but of course the creator is talented and did a good job.

      McGee & Stuckey’s Bountiful Container is one of the classic ones. I don’t have a copy but I’ve checked it out a few times. I also love Grow Great Grub: Organic Food from Small Spaces by Gayla Trail, which is newer but has more creative ideas. Please plant something!!!

    • Hillary

      You should read “Garden Anywhere,” by Alys Fowler. It’s smart and frugal-minded, and is a gorgeous book. I’ve given it to several friends!

  2. honeyandlocusts

    Yes, in Wall-E, he opens the old fridge and inside it is the world’s only plant that managed to grow after the trashpocalyse, and it is in an old boot and it stays in the old boot the whole movie.

    Just put both of those on hold through the PDX library system, thank you for the recommendations. I grew up with a big veggie garden and lots of fruit trees and grapes for making raisins and the dehydrators working all summer and canning and our family co-owned a cider press with another family. But I spent my twenties moving every couple years all over the country, and never quite settled long enough to plant anything. I’m ready now.

    • Oh yeah, the boot! I thought you meant it was in a hightop sneaker & I thought suddenly that I had slept through that movie. Where I come from, people plant things in their old cowboy boots when they are too holey to wear – usually strawberries or cactus, if memory serves.

      I’m glad you’re going to put down some roots. this was my garden in my 20s. It’s so nice to be more stable & have room. Your deck could be a lush wonderland. You should also check out the blog Life on the Balcony. It’s all about container gardening.

  3. When I scrolled through the blog posting before I read it, I seriously thought the Garden Bed was yours. I then “had to read it!” Nicely done with tricking me into reading the whole thing!


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