Japanese willow tree shades vintage terracotta garden pottery containing lime green sweet potato vine, Mexican feather grass, petunias and red geraniums.

All-Season Planters

Outdoor seasonal décor has a way of rejuvenating a space by coordinating colors and plants that suit the time of year. Rooflines and landscapes are decorated with lights to brighten the bleak winter days. Front porches are adorned with hanging baskets and rocking chairs for basking in the summer sun. Incorporating containers is also a popular practice but there are times when the plants seem to just fizzle and fade.

It doesn’t have to be that way though. With a bit of planning, you can create a planter that transitions through each season. You can put on a spectacular seasonal display by using one main plant to anchor the planting and then swap out smaller plants and accents as highlights. 

The plan

1. Variety selection

Select a variety that is suited for a colder hardiness zone than where you currently reside. Aim for two zones colder to ensure it can withstand harsh winter temperatures in a container. For example, if you live in zone 6, you should find something that can tolerate temperatures as low as -30°F.

2. Rightsize it

Find a variety that’s the right size. A dwarf variety will be your best bet as it will be manageable and fit in nicely with your seasonal plants. Suggestions include Junipers, dwarf Alberta spruces, cypress, or holly trees. Check with your local nursery for their expert advice on what works best for your region.


Ring in spring with fresh, cool season color. Be mindful of the types of plants you use as frost may still be a factor. Pretty-faced pansies and violas are readily available early in the season and come in a wide range of colors. Don’t sleep on the bulbs either. tulips, daffodils and hyacinth, to name a few, are forced to be in bloom and can be added to your planter for a pop of color.  
Top SUN AnnuAls


As the days get longer and the temperatures begin to rise, your spring plants will be calling it quits. Time to swap them out with some fresh flowers and foliage that can stand the sun and heat. Pick out your favorites that have worked like a charm or try something new. Think about what colors play well together and add texture with different leaf shapes.  ornamental grasses are great for adding height and movement to planters. Summer is prime planting time. Don’t hold back on packing those plants in for a showstopping display!
Colorful foliage plants


Before you’re ready for it to end, summer will say the last of its goodbyes and autumn will be knocking on your door. Use plants that can take a light frost and complement the landscape. Mums in shades of red, orange, and yellow are always a hit. Add contrast with purples and whites like asters, cabbages, kales and pansies. Now is also the time to get out those gourds! A miniature pumpkin or two are perfect for adding that finishing touch!
Top Shade annuals


Winter’s arrival may call for more creativity as it may be just too cold to grow anything!  Lean into using color and texture with elements like brightly colored dogwood branches, silky ribbons, and evergreen garland. Faux berries can also liven up your planter. Finish the look with pinecones, showy ornaments, and sparkling lights!

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