When it comes to ideas to spruce up Greater Chicago home landscapes, container gardening tops the list.

They make an immediate impact no matter where you place them. You can flank your front door with two elegant urns popping with color and boosting with elegance or you can add fun and style to your back patio, deck, near your pool area, under your pergola or anywhere else you’d like a little pizzazz and punch in your landscape.

Sure, container gardening may look easy since the end results are neat and tidy portable gardens. In fact, you might think it’s a service you can do yourself throughout the year. But proper plant selection and plant placement and arrangement are essential in creating great, eye-catching container plantings. And this can certainly be tricky to master.

Let’s look at the differences between DIY container planting and professional container gardening services so you can better understand how they work and what’s involved.

Container Gardening is Trending

Container gardening is a growing trend across the U.S., and that includes the Greater Chicago area.

There are so many reasons why container plantings can amplify your landscape appeal.

Containers Are Versatile

Never has there been a planting that you can change up to suit your needs so easily.

Planting something in the ground is semi-permanent. No one can really argue with that. While you can move plants in your landscape beds around a bit on occasion when things get crowded or overgrown or conditions change, you can’t do it very often because plants need time in the soil to grow and establish themselves.

container plants line sidewalk

Container plants, on the other hand, are temporary by nature. While they can last a season or two or even longer depending on your purpose and how you manage their access to warmth, light, and adequate temperatures, you may need to change them more frequently. Not only is this done by necessity – a plant that outgrows a pot, for instance – but also for a fresh look. You can never get bored with container gardening because if you grow to dislike how something looks, you can easily change it.

Another versatility aspect containers bring is the actual vessel itself. Different types of containers can be used to complement your home and your style – whether you want an antique, old world look for your traditional garden or a crisp, modern look for your contemporary space, containers can go with anything.

Container Planting Offers Limitless Combinations

Containers bring all kinds of color and texture in one unique package.

container garden planting

Following the classic design rules for containers, you usually want to incorporate 3 types of plants in your container:

Thrillers - Tall plants that are the focal points of your containers. They are the stars.
Fillers - Dense plants that fill the empty spaces and the base of your container. It should complement or be a contrast to your thriller and add great texture.
Spillers - Containers with that really fantastic look also include spillers – plants that cascade over container edges, adding more interest.

These 3 elements may be the way to make your containers look great, but they can be filled with so many plant combinations that your options are truly limitless.

Containers Are Movable By Nature

You may have originally had your spring and summer flowers in containers near your front yard, and you love them.

But now you’re having a party on your patio and you wish you could dress it up a bit more. Solution: Move your containers. You can easily move your container plantings to fit whatever need you have throughout the season, giving an area a little more color.

container gardens on patio

Your containers can also add instant focal points to various areas based on your needs.

DIY Containers vs. Container Gardening Services

Now that you know the container gardening perks, let’s talk about the differences between doing it yourself vs. hiring a professional.

We all like to hone a craft and build our skills, but sometimes having an experienced eye do this work that would take you twice as long is a better option.

1. Container Gardening Takes a Lot of Skill

Knowing the right plants to use and the container size is essential with establishing a container garden that will last through the season and thrive, continuing to bloom and shine in its vessel.

container gardens along walkway

Choosing the right container and the right plant combinations that can show off each other perfectly does take some experience. You can do it yourself and take some risks, but if they don’t work out, you’re certainly going to waste some time, money, and landscape appeal.

A professional, on the other hand, has experience in what will work in all kinds of Greater Chicago conditions so there is much less risk involved. With a quick discussion on your preferences and a look at your landscape conditions, you can have truly unique and flattering container plantings that will attract attention all season.

2. You Have to Know Your Plants

Professionals also know what plants work in various seasons in container plantings.

container garden along driveway of home

You may have time in spring to plant your containers and by the time that summer heat really sets in you may notice your plants are no longer thriving. So you have to either choose plants that will last longer for your needs from the beginning and maintain them meticulously or be ready with the time and energy to replace those plants when the season changes.

3. You Must Know Your Landscape Conditions

Your conditions are incredibly important to your container plant choice as well.

container gardens on patio

If you have full sun conditions, your plants must reflect those needs. This is the same with full or partial shade conditions. If you’re incorporating plant suggestions you find from HGTV or home improvement magazines, you have to pay attention to the conditions they mention to ensure container gardening success in your specific space.

4. You Have to Maintain Your Containers

Landscape beds are more forgiving when it comes to water retention. Mulch can help, as well as shade exposure and the actual depth of the ground.

Containers, being more shallow by nature, will naturally dry out faster. This means they need extra care and attention. You can’t plant your containers and neglect them or you could risk plants dying.

container garden with geranium and spike

Professional container planting services can take care of this management element for you so your containers always look good and never suffer no matter your local weather conditions.

Container Gardening Services That Will Make Heads Turn

Containers are a great addition to any Chicago landscape. We love them, and we know you will, too.

But when you go to your local nursery to choose some vessels and plants and you see all the options in front of you, the whole experience can turn from exciting to overwhelming quickly. You don’t want to choose the wrong containers or the wrong plants for your space and your purpose. You want effortless, meticulous, unique container plantings that elevate your curb appeal.

Let KD Landscape help. We can bring our many years of expertise in container gardening in the Great Chicago area to the table and provide you with something truly special for your yard.

Ready to see how KD Landscape can transform your suburban Chicago yard with container gardening services? We’d love to share our design and installation expertise with you. Get started today with a free consultation. Together, we can prepare containers that wow you.

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