Today I am taking you back to the basics–the basics of container gardening, that is. You probably know by now how passionate I am about this type of gardening. The reason being that it is so darn simple! I want anyone and everyone to know that they can have a garden and it doesn’t have to require a ton of time, money, or space. That is what container gardening is all about, which is why I want to share with you five tips for making your own.

1. Fill ’em up!
Give your plants plenty to drink before planting and they will last much longer.

2. Don’t skimp on soil!
Quality container gardens call for quality soil.

3. Drain, baby, drain!
Good drainage is key for container gardening. When choosing your container make sure that there are plenty of holes for draining.

4. Three T’s are better than one!
Tall, thick, and trailing–it doesn’t get more simple than that. This is a timeless recipe for a fabulous-looking container garden.

5. It’s basic geometry!
Take your Three T’s and plant them in the shape of a triangle and your container garden is complete! Math has never been quite this easy.

Gardening made easy, right? I’m betting you’re a believer now too.

Have a great week!

28 Container Gardens for Spring 7

If you missed our 28 Container Gardening for Spring Series, check out all of the ideas here!

Photos: The Photography of Haley Sheffield

Sharing ideas and encouraging creativity is part of the heart of Carmen Johnston Gardens and exactly what happened at the annual Haven Conference in Atlanta. As a Southern Living Garden Lifestyle Editor, I was honored to present great ideas in plants & gardening with the always beautiful Southern Living Plant Collection.

The Southern Living Plant Collection, first introduced in Spring 2008, provides gardeners with innovative new plants designed to solve specific landscape challenges and to excel in Southern gardens. Each plant in the collection is the result of years of plant evaluations, plant trials and research.

During the two sessions, I had SO much fun presenting lifestyle gardening solutions with container gardens, something I’m excited to pioneer and to share! My co-presentor for the two sessions was HGTV/DIY’s Jeff Wilson and I loved hearing about his home adventures and the building of his deck using Thompson’s WaterSeal products.

Carmen Johnston, Carmen Johnston Gardens


Some of the most popular tips from my session were the “stuff and shove” where we created beautiful container gardens with plants from the gorgeous Southern Living collection. Using the Three Ts, tall, thick and trailing, DIY bloggers from across the Southeast helped me create fresh container gardens which were also given out to several lucky winners. Everybody went home with their own lovely plant and so can you by visiting your local Home Depot today!

Carmen Johnston, Carmen Johnston Gardens


We took a variety of fun snapshots and assemble a quick glimpse in this video.


Remember, have fun and don’t forget, if you fail, just give it back to the Earth and try again!