Green and purple summer container

20 summer container ideas

Follow our simple 'recipes' for perfect summer pots, mixing perennials, bedding and ornamental grasses.

Summer wouldn’t be complete without some beautiful containers. Whatever look you’re going for, we’ve done the hard work for you, picking a mix of plants for sun and shade, in a range of different colours and planting styles.

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Our selection mixes traditional bedding plants such as garvinea with perennials such as black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia), achillea and penstemon, with grasses and foliage plants for extra interest. Take inspiration from our selection, below.

More summer gardening content:

Whatever look you're going for, we've done the hard work for you.

Hot colours

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This fiery pot is perfect for a sunny spot.

We used:


Bedding container

garvinea-pot-2

This bright pot will thrive in a sunny position. The plants may not be fully hardy, so will need some protection over winter.

  • Garvinea (hardy gerbera)
  • Begonia sutherlandii
  • Carex comans
  • Angelonia angustifolia

Meadow planting

meadow-pot-2

This meadow-inspired pot will do best in a sunny spot.


Wildlife-friendly

wildlife-pot-2

This pot will attract bees and other pollinators.


Shady container

shady-container-2

This planting combination will thrive in a shady area.


Perfumed purples

Summer container planted up with nicotianas
Summer container planted up with nicotianas

It wouldn’t be summer without some fragrance to fill the air.


Light and dark

Bidens, coleus and euphorbia container
Bidens, coleus and euphorbia container

Use a black container to contrast with the paler tones of these plants.


Shades of pink

Green and purple summer container
Green and purple summer container

Perfect for a sunny spot, this container is packed with shades of pink, purple and green.


Pink + white

Pink and white summer container
Pink and white summer container

This floaty combination will last for months on end.


Move on up

Summer container with climbing plants
Summer container with climbing plants

Extend the interest vertically with climbing plants that flower along their length.


Keep it simple

Lavender in a metal container
Lavender in a metal container

Planted in a rustic metal container, this bountiful lavender exudes south of France charm.


Fresh and formal

Wooden tub planted with box
Wooden tub planted with box

Planted in a wooden tub, this clipped box cone is ideal where formal containers are required.


Sun-baked spots

Terracotta pot with sun-loving succulents
Terracotta pot with sun-loving succulents

Planted with sun-loving succulents, this pot is best sited in those hot spots of your garden.


Brilliant for bees

Bee-friendly container with scabious
Bee-friendly container with scabious, lavender and salvia

Bees are especially attracted to purple and pink flowers, and this pot is brimming with them.


Dreamy daisies

Daisy-filled summer container
Daisy-filled summer container

This cheery pot is filled with long-flowering daisies, complemented by glaucous brassica leaves.


Nicotiana profusion

Summer container with nicotianas
Summer container with nicotianas

Nicotianas are brilliant performers. This pared back pairing combines a red-brown and a green-flowered variety.


Versatile veg

Container planted with zinnias and decorative veg
Container planted with zinnias and decorative veg

A mix of zinnias are a cheering sight in this pot, but they’re supported by beautiful veg and herbs that hide bare soil.


Cornfield charm

Cornflowers
Direct-sown cornflowers in bloom

This refreshingly blue container is planted up with masses of cornflowers, direct-sown in early spring.


Cottage garden

Container planted up with cottage garden plants
Container planted up with cottage garden plants

This three-plant blend will lend a relaxed, cottage garden feel to wherever you site it.


Solo sagina

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You don’t always need to pack a container with different to plants to make an impression. This robust pearlwort will positively sparkle all by itself.

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  • Sagina subulata

Keep the display going

Many of the plants shown here are perennials. Cut back after flowering and they should reappear next year. Alternatively, plant in the garden when the display is over.

Secateurs