| | | |

3 Easy Steps to Create a Container Garden

Spread the love

The weather here in So Cal has been lovely! Perfect for gardening!  So today I’m going to share 3 easy steps to create a container garden for any size home! 


Thank you so much for visiting while my posts have been a bit sporadic over the last few weeks.  Family life has been crazy… crazy, but good!

Family Happenings..

My daughter’s last few weeks of pregnancy were rough, so I felt it would be helpful to focus on being with her.

Then, she gave birth on June 1 to a baby girl, so, of course, I’ve been spending lots of time being a G’ma! Praising God for a healthy baby, a healthy mommy, an amazing daddy, and a wonderful big brother that is adjusting well!

Feel free to check out my About Page for family updates and pictures!

But now… let’s get to the gardening, shall we? And maybe even explore a few container garden ideas!

white flowers in container with black planter and dirt


Container gardening is a beautiful addition to any home.

But even moreso, container gardening can provide a lovely solution for small homes, apartments, dorms, or tiny houses where regular gardens can’t be created.

Whether you use large terra cotta clay pots, small metal pails, or anything in between, they can bring a pop of color and charm to a porch, patio, step, or window.

So, let me share with you first, what I purchased, and secondly, the three easy steps to actually planting the garden!

Choose the Right Plant Pots and Gardening Containers

I knew I wanted to be able to have a ‘garden’ on my tiny landing-patio, so I did some brainstorming for a couple months!

Yeah… sometimes it takes me a while to figure, refigure, and then CONfigure what I want to do!

After looking at several options, I decided that the best container for my wee spot would be a window box that I could place on the floor.  It gives the look of an actual garden, but still uses a small amount of real estate.

This post may contain affiliate links, at no additional cost to you. For more information, see my complete disclosure HERE.

So, using a gift card that I won through a giveaway from the ladies at the Decorating Tips and Tricks podcast (thank you, again, Anita, Kelly, Yvonne!), I purchased the Cape Cod Window Box from Jackson & Perkins, and it’s perfect!

UPDATE: Unfortunately, Jackson & Perkins is no longer carrying planters. But this large window box on Amazon is VERY similar!

black window box sitting in vinyl floor

(Special feature:  This container has a slow-watering feature which means I don’t have to water but maybe every two weeks!)

Additional Pots and Plant Containers

Purchase Quality Potting Soil

Along with the container, I purchased two bags of soil (but, I actually only needed one for the 3-foot container).  Although the Good Dirt Potting Mix is no longer available, Miracle Gro Outdoor Potting Mix comes highly recommended and I use it all the time!

bag of good dirt potting soil sitting in room with a doorstop in front of the bag

But, between you and me, if you ever need to give your plants some extra ‘umph’, Kelly has a great fertilizer recipe  that she actually recommends you use when you first plant your container garden, but I think you can mix it in at any time, too.

Select the Perfect Container Plants

So… when you create container gardening you can use LOTS of different size plants, depending on the container shape and size.

You can use draping plants, tall plants, “full” plants… separately or all together.. . you get the picture! 😉

You also need to pay attention to the sun-exposure and what season you are planting in.

For my window box, I wanted to make it simple and ‘clean’.  One thing that is wonderful about gardening of any type, you can change it up with the seasons, which I can see myself doing in the future!

two potted plants resting on a butcher block counter

I think I’ve shared before that My Wee Abode is a loft apartment.  At the top of the stairs, leading to my front door, is small landing which is the only area I have to create a ‘garden’. Sort of like a balcony garden!

This area gets full sun for almost the whole day!  So, after an online chat with a J&P garden consultant, I decided that I would purchase three white Sunpatiens along with a couple of miniature roses.  (More about those in a minute.)

Sunpatiens do great in partial sun and shaded areas!

If you want more suggestions for full/partial sun perennials for California, check out these suggestion from Hydrangea Treehouse.

And here are some ideas for plants in fully shaded areas.

3 Easy Steps for Planting a Container Garden

So, when you don’t have a garage or yard to plant or garden, where do you do it?  Why in your kitchen, or course!

Pfff, anyone knows that!

Most of my DIY projects, and now my gardening, happen in my kitchen.  It’s the largest open space I have and has an easy-to-clean surface. 😉

Preparing Soil for a Container Garden

First, drag your window box into your kitchen planting area. It’s time to fill your containers with soil!

black window box with foam peanuts inside on a kitchen floor

But first, J&P recommend filling the bottom of the container with several inches of a drainage-type material. They actually suggest using foam peanuts if you are planting non-edible plants, which worked out great, as this window box was packed in those little white thingie-wingies!

Re-use and recycle!

Next, fill the window box with soil, just about to the very top.  No trick to this… just pour it in.  (This is where you might want to mix in Kelly’s fertilizer recipe.)

black window box filled with soil on kitchen floor

After the container is filled with soil (on top of the white foam disguised as nutty goodness), it is time to plant!

By the way, if you are using planting pots, only fill the soil about 1/3 of the way from the bottom of the container.

Arrange and Place Your Plants in the Container

Arrange your potted plants in the exact spots of the window box, then dig-out the dirt in those spaces. This is the simple way to create your container garden design. 😉

Dig the holes deep enough for the pots to sit inside.  This is to make sure that the plants fit nicely into the area once you take them out of the container.

black window box with dirt inside and plant in white pot sitting on top

Also make sure that the topsoil of the pot and the topsoil of the window box are level with each other.

black window box with dirt inside and plant in white pot sitting in dirt

The plants are then ready to be placed in the container.

Take the plants out of the little plastic pots and remove most of the soil from the roots. Don’t worry… it’s pretty hard to hurt these plants. You can even remove some of the roots, and they will just keep going and going and going.

Place the plants in the holes and then fill the holes with the soil that was dug-out earlier, making sure to push the soil in a bit.  You don’t want to pack it like brown sugar for a cookie recipe, but you do want to give the plant a nice snug home, especially at the very top.

Be sure that all the roots are in the soil, just as it was in the soil in the pot. (I hope that makes sense!)

black window box with dirt inside and plants in in dirt with shovel

black window box with dirt inside and plants in in dirt with shovel with aqua dish in background

Smart Watering and Maintenance

Now, slide the window box back outside (or in your desired place) and give the whole container a good watering! You might want to check again the following day, to see if more water is needed.

Container gardens require regular watering, but be mindful not to overdo it. Monitor the soil moisture levels and water accordingly, allowing excess water to drain away.

Self-watering containers (like this window box) or adding a layer of mulch can help retain moisture and reduce the frequency of watering.

Your plants need to be regularly check for pests, pruned as needed, and fertilized to keep them healthy and vibrant.

A Little About Sunpatiens

Now, I grew up planting impatiens in our family garden. They are easy to plant, hearty, and pest resistant.  Plus, they come in an array of colors!

black container with green plant in soil
Sunpatien after about two weeks, healthy and starting to show buds.

But, these Sunpatiens (part of the family of impatiens) are a bit different. These plants have been bred to withstand constant direct sunlight and have even more of a hearty ‘spirit’ than their sister plants.

The Sunpatiens’ leaves are dark and thick and are known for their thorny-like edges, but they are actually soft to the touch.

The white flowers on the plants I purchased (they also come in a variety of colors) were barely in the bud stage when I received them (in the mail!)  And boy, did they get A LOT of buds!!!

black container with green plant in soil
Two more weeks, and seeing lots of buds… 
black container with green plant in soil
Starting to open… it actually took another week before I saw….

The first flowers took almost 6 weeks to bloom!

black container with green plant with white flower in soil

And now!!!!

black container with green plant with lots of white flower in soil
black container with green plant with lots of white flower in soil
black container with green plant with lots of white flower in soil
black container with green plant with lots of white flower in soil

The blooms on Sunpatiens are quite large (most are at least 2.5 inches!), and the petals are quite a bit thicker than normal impatiens, too!

White flower with greenery

And these white flowers are REALLY white!!!

black window box with white flowers and greenery on patio floor

I even planted a couple miniature Boogie-Woogie roses between the Sunpatiens.  I’m not sure I will see any roses this year… It may be even too crowded in the container for them to grow later, but we’ll see.

purple flower plant in black pot

I have a tad bit of purple in my garden, too!  I think I need to replant this…it’s looking a bit scraggly… or maybe I need to use Kelly’s recipe!!!

purple flower on stem
White flowers with greenery

Just a couple more of the Sunpatiens…. Can you tell I’m REALLY happy with these???  I think these will be my go-to flowers for a while to come!

White flowers with greenery and buds

And the buds just keep coming!!!

3 Easy Steps to Create a Container Garden

So, are you sold on container gardening, just like me?

No matter how limited your space may be, container gardening opens up a world of possibilities. By selecting the right containers, choosing suitable plants, and providing proper care, you can create a lush and thriving garden in even the smallest of areas. So, don’t let space constraints hold you back—let your imagination run wild, get your hands dirty, and enjoy the joy of nurturing green life right at your doorstep. Happy gardening!

 What are your fave plants to put in a container?  Let me know in the comments!  I read and reply to every single one!

And, as many of you know, bringing glory to the Lord through My Wee Abode is a priority for this blog. As a bonus, you might enjoy this short bible study for gardeners on reap what you sow from Apryl at Money Wise Steward.

blog signature

Don’t forget to follow me on Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram… Follow buttons are at the top right corner of this page!

Similar Posts


  1. Wow, you did it without killing them! That is so great, those waxy white flowers are gorgeous. I would like to try and do edible plants in containers on our deck…but we never really get full sunshine. I wonder what shady plant I could try…

    1. Thanks, Holly… So glad you dropped by! Yes, they are really SO pretty! The planting zones are for 7-11… are you in 5? You have so many lovely flowers in your home… do they come from your garden? Hugs and hearts, friend!

  2. Julie you just solved a mystery for me. I had photographed these in another color but was not sure if they were impatiens or not because of the different type of leaf. But now I see that it is the same leaf with those jagged edges. Thank you for solving that one for me. I thought I\d never figure it out.

    Your container garden looks fantastic!

    1. Yes, Mary… when I saw them in your post, I thought, “Hey!!! Those are my flowers, only in lavender!” 😉 The color was SO pretty! Thanks for the kind words, too! <3

  3. Sooo..pretty!!! I’ve never heard/seen about Sunpatients. Very cool!
    Thanks for the ‘popcorn’ tip too! Never knew about that one either!

    1. Thanks, sissy! I’m soooo happy with them… you need to come over to see them, and watch a drama and have a WW dessert! 😉

  4. So beautiful. Sunpatiens remind me of New Guinea Impatiens but they grow even better in the heat. A great choice for sunny spots and I love that you planted all white. It looks great with the dark J&P planter. Since you live in CA you can grow just about anything for a long time. Love your packing peanuts tip. I have a few large plants that I stuff with old soda cans and empty plastic nursery containers to lighten the load and save on soil.

    1. Ohhhh… that cans/plastic containers idea is GREAT! I’m running now to Google New Guinea Impatiens. I can’t believe how profusely mine have grown, and just keep going. Hoping my Boogie Woogies do okay… J&P said the would! We’ll see! Hugs and hearts, Patti… can’t wait for July!

  5. Wow! Just WOW! Your container garden looks so pretty! I have the opposite effect on my plants. They look so cute at first and then—-yikes. 🙂

    Happy day friend!

    1. Oh, thank you, KariAnne! Hey, girl… you are just ‘so close to amazing’ with plants! I bet you have an amazing story behind your ‘yikes’! 😉 Thanks dropping in, and for the encouragement! Hugs and hearts, sister!

  6. Wow, your flowers look amazing. I love container gardening as you can easily move your plants for decor reasons, or to give the plant the right amount of sunlight. Your flowers obviously have the perfect spot. So nice.

    1. Aw, your words of encouragement mean a lot to me, Leanna! Yes, I think they are very happy where they are living… hope the roses warm up to the area, too! 😉 Hugs, friend!!! Haven is coming!

    1. Thanks for dropping by, Sandy! Yeah… I wasn’t quite sure if using the peanuts was the best thing, but the plants don’t seem to be bothered by it at all! 🙂 Have a great week!

  7. We’ve done container gardening for years and love it! So versatile because we can move them around easily. You’ve given a great tutorial for beginners to use and the styrofoam peanuts are an excellent idea without adding too much weight!

    1. So happy you came by, Carol! Container gardening is wonderful, and pretty easy, too! Thanks for the encouragement. Yeah, that styrofoam tip is pretty nifty! 😉

    1. Hi, Barbara… Thanks so much for coming by and leaving a sweet note, as always! You are a sweet friend! Thanks for sharing, too! Hugs and hearts!

    1. Thanks, Janet! I need to replant some of these amazing impatiens, as my patio is so much larger now! 😉

  8. Great post, Julie!!
    Container gardening is my favorite living in a townhome. There are so many options!! Those impatiens you chose are super lovely..I’ve never heard of them before!! Thanks for passing on knowledge!

    1. I didn’t know you lived in a townhome! (Or maybe I forgot!) I hope you can find some of these next visit to your nursery!

  9. Hi Julie – Sunpatients are some of the most reliable and rewarding plants to grow! I have a difficult time finding them here in NY but I am always looking for them. It feels a lit bit like finding gold when I find a nursery that carries them. Thanks for the tips and ideas. I too “garden” in my kitchen because it is spacious.

    1. Oh, so glad to find someone who understand planting indoors! LOL! I saw some Sunpatiens at the nursery… I think I should have gone with them. The impatiens are not doing well. And my mint might not make it either! ARgh!

  10. Julie, I love the way you show that some amount of gardening is possible even if you live in a small space. Digging in the dirt is good for the soul!

    Thanks so much for joining the Grace at Home party at Imparting Grace. I’m featuring you this week!

  11. I find myself doing so much of my planting on my kitchen counters and cleaning up when I am done! I made them extra high as I am tall so I can plant a lot with no aching back 🙂 Your container garden is gorgeous and so healthy, you have a green thumb for sure! xo Tanya

    1. Oh, so you so get me, Tanya! Thanks for the compliment, but I’m not convinced I have a green thumb. I can plant them and make them look lovely for a short time, and then, insects always get the best of ’em. So sad!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.