Container Garden Ideas

These container gardens are brought to you from my excursion to the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens!  This is the first in a series of posts with ideas from the zoo, and I can assure you that there's just as much inspiration to be found here as you'd get from a trip to the Fairchild.  These have to be some really imaginative gardens in order to hold your attention in the midst of jaguars and Komodo dragons!

Let's begin with the succulents!

This varied container planting is set off by both the striking cobalt glazed pot and the dark green backdrop of creeping fig! I especially like how the container was placed in the planting bed as opposed to simply sitting on a paved surface.  It looks like a gem in that gravel mulch!

I have got to find some of these saucer shaped containers.  These are excellent for succulents and they provide space for the aloe to spread, without leaving a big footprint.  Not only is the shallow container ideal for succulents, it looks very stylish at the same time.

Here's another cobalt planter set in the middle of a planting area, only this echeveria's powder blue hue is repeated by a creeping groundcover to great effect.  And lets not forget about how dramatic that cobalt pot is!

Sanseveria cylindrica has recently taken the gardening world by storm, and its no wonder!  Those tightly rolled up succulent leaves are sculptural and modern looking, and make a perfectly chic houseplant whether your decor is midcentury modern or a little more old fashioned.  And its tough too!

In the Savanna Blooms garden you're presented with a dazzling array of plants native to Africa including this Madagascar palm, which looks fabulous here at the water's edge.

Pitcher plants in whisky barrels... isn't that just the neatest idea?  These staggered barrels belong in the Wild Florida exhibit, a perfect environment for pitcher plants and... whisky barrels.

These pots filled with marigolds really prove that the container really does make the difference.  Oh, and that little dyckia in the middle also makes a difference.  But mostly its the container.

I think that any potted specimen tree deserves a lush groundcover of dwarf mondo grass!  Don't you just want to run your hands over those soft leaves?  I can think of all sorts of plants that would look great with a living mulch of dwarf mondo, but this weeping yaupon holly really was a good match since the dark leaves matched up really nicely.

Towering overhead the Trout River Plaza, these plantings on pedestals demand a second look.  Actually, I looked at them a bit more than that!

I'll end this post with the most unusual container: a crate holding a dyckia, suspended over the entrance to a reptile house with the facade of a mine shaft.  Now that's creative.

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  1. My favourite is the Madagascar palm ;-)

  2. I think my favorite are the plantings on pedestals. Those look really neat. Now you've got my mind working on some ideas.

    Thank you.


  3. These are all great looking plantings that get the mind working on what can be done here at home. I think the containers are so beautiful, especially the cobalt blues and the yellow saucers. What an interesting arrangement of bog plants. Thanks for showing these ideas.

  4. It has been a long time since I visited the Jax Zoo. It has apparently done some neat things since then. The pedestal plantings are indeed an inspiration. Thanks for the head's-up!

  5. What an impressive collection of container a zoo even! Nice to see they are thinking a little outside the box (or cage as the case may be).

  6. Hi Steve...Oh, my...whoever is in charge of the landscaping at the zoo is definitely very creative. What great looking many ideas. I love succulents and think they are perfect for Florida, especially in the summer...they can sure take the heat! Thanks for so many wonderful ideas.

  7. Stephanie:
    Isn't it great? It looks like a piece of sculpture.

    I'd love to see how they irrigate those! The tufts of grass flowers look like torches.

    I think the succulents in the cobalt blue planters are my favorites... the colors were just soo vivid!

    Buford Nature:
    They've really focused on the gardens as of late, which is nice since now its worth a trip just to take photos and enjoy the scenery.

    danger garden:
    I'm really lucky to live in a city with such a great zoo! I've been to the San Diego Zoo, and this one's well on its way to being a real destination too!

    I'd love to talk to someone at the zoo who works with the plants so I could interview them... wouldn't that make for some great info and ideas? Glad you like the pictures!

  8. This reminds me of the plantings at Disney's Animal Kingdom...many natives of Africa...just an amazing garden experience there...and looks like there as well. I love the suspended crate with Dyckia! Cool. I need to get back up to Jax. We used to travel there when the kids were young to check out all the fun stuff to do there on the water. Jax zoo may be coming up soon!!! Thanks for showing!!!

  9. Great ideas! And you know I love the succulents. I found a sanseveria like that this year and love it. I need to repot in the spring.

  10. I continue to be in love with cobalt blue pots. Love those first two.


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