Our Summer Flowers & My Favorite Flower Pots

Every May, right around Mother’s Day, we plant our flower pots and front window box for the summertime. It’s something I look forward to all spring – a time when the weather will finally warm up and we can get some color and life into the outside of our home!

My Planting Formula

What to plant in your summer flower pots

Now, as you may already know, I don’t know much about gardening. But, I have learned a thing or two from my mom who is a flower goddess! She always knows what to plant for the sun versus the shade and the exact brand of each flower type that will do well in just about any spot. I always like to go plant shopping with her because she steers me in the right direction!

My mom helping me with my fall planters
Jan helping me with my fall planters

She is also the one who taught me her “thriller, filler, spiller” formula…

  • Thriller: This is usually an upright superstar that you put in the middle or back of your planter. We always like to use spikes for this. This thriller piece adds drama and creates some height to your pot.
  • Filler: Filler is the main part of your pot and usually where you’ll have some color. My favorite fillers are wave petunias, begonias, and impatiens.
  • Spiller: These are plants that grow over the edge of a container and “spill” out. I often use ivy, vinca vines, or sweet potato vines for my spiller.

I wrote a big blog post with all of Jan’s best tips for planting your flower pots. I’d definitely give it a read before you do anymore planting this year!

What We Planted This Year

My favorite flower pots

Following her formula, here’s what I planted around our house this year. These pictures were taken only about a week after planting, so things are still kinda small and not totally blooming. By the end of the summer, I’m hopeful that everything will be very lush and vibrant.

What I planted in our window box
Front Window Box – Sweet Potato Vines (spiller), White Wave Petunias (filler), Spikes (thriller)
What to plant in your flower pots

Large Flower Pots – Spike (thriller), Orange Begonias (filler), Sweet Potato Vine (spiller)
What to plant in your summer flower pots
Smaller Flower Pots – Spike (thriller), Purple Wave Petunias (filler), Polka Dot Plant (spiller)
The planters on our front porch
Large Flower Pot – Spike (thriller), Yellow Begonia (filler), Vinca Vines (spiller); Small Flower Pot – Spike (thriller), Orange Impatiens (filler), Vinca Vines (spiller)

When we made our shopping list, I made a note of which planters would be in the sun and which ones would be in the shade. At my house, I’ve found that impatiens do best on our shady porch, while wave petunias thrive in our sunny backyard. Be sure to read the tags when you’re shopping so you get the right plants for your home!

A Roundup Of My Favorite Flower Pots

I have these terrazzo planters from Article in both gray and white that I love. They’re really good sizes and look nice next to one another. All of my other planters are old and no longer linkable, but here’s a round-up of some of my favorites flower pots right now.

Outdoor planters roundups

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 // 10 // 11 // 12 // 13 // 14 // 15

Grow, Baby, Grow!

Polka dot plant in my summer planter

The summer season is only just starting, so I’ll have to show you what these babies look like in a couple of months. I’m hopeful that the vines in the front window box will be touching the ground by August. We shall see…

More Gardening Posts

What I planted for fall


The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m a Chicago gal teaching you how to design, DIY, and maintain your home…by yourself! Learn more about me right here.

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