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DIY Summer Planters for Shade

Today I’m sharing a DIY summer planter for shade. I know you’ll love these beautiful summer pots for the shady spots on your deck or porch.

You guys! I’m so excited to be sharing my first SUMMER garden project of the season! It may be early May (no pun intended), but summer is just around the corner. I can feel it.

The sunshine. The smell of fresh cut grass. The warm spring breezes.

This weekend it is supposed to be 26-29 degrees! That is 78-84 F ! Last weekend at the soccer tournament it was over 23 and it felt like July. Woot woot! Anyone else feel like summer is a license to enjoy yourself again after a busy, hard working winter?

I’m so glad the my friend Shauna, from Satori Design for Living, invited me to join in on the Outdoor Extravaganza again this year. I’ve been part of this series for the last three years at least, and I love how it pushes me to get an early start on our yard work and outdoor projects. Some seriously talented bloggers are also sharing their outdoor ideas today (all around the topic of plants and flowers). You can see the links to their posts at the end of this DIY.
May 2018 outdoor extravaganza graphic.
And this weekend I’m going to tackle the rest of my outdoor pots, now that I’ve taken care of those lovely shade pots at the front door…

DIY shade planters poster.

I may or may not have caused my spring pots to come to an earlier then expected end due to a lack of consistent watering (insert face covered emoji). But I pledge to do better now with these summer planters. Right?!?

We started out by emptying the planters on our front porch and getting the garden soil ready for a new season…

Outdoor pots being filled with soil.

The pots with soil in them on the front porch.

I decided to go with more long lasting and (hopefully) hard wearing perennials for our shady baskets, like this lovely assortment of green ferns…

Various types of ferns ready to be planted.

I also found some super adorable mini Hostas (at least, they were really cute until the bunnies in our neighbourhood decimated their leaves overnight!). I also added in some twirly sedge, a couple of grasses that do fine in part shade, and some Heuchera.

Small plants on the table.

To this perennial mix, I added some annuals. I chose three types of Coleus, four types of Impomea, two  tuberous begonias, and some trailing lemon coral sedum (that claim to do well in part shade -we’ll see!).

Begonias, sedlum lemon plant, plus various small plants.

I used the following…


Northern Maidenhair Fern
Soft Shield Fern (x2)
Licorice Fern
Red Beauty Japanese Painted Fern

Miniature Hostas:
First Frost
Rain Forest Sunrise
Canadian Blue (x2)

Ipomoea (potato vine):
Kelly Ray
Lime, Marguerite
Tricolour Sweet Potato Vine

Solar Mix
Kira Autumn Leaves
Wizard Mix (x2)

Big Twister Rush
Lemon Coral Sedum (full to part sun)
Tuberous Begonia (pink and white)

I always start my pots by first placing the plants (in their containers) in place and mixing them around until I get a mix and effect that I like. This is a trial and error kind of thing – mix them around until you like it. I try to mix the variety of colours and leaf shape so there is contrast from one plant to the next.

A mixture of shade plants on a side table.

Pink flowering plant, dark red shade plant plus some light green plants.

Once I come up with an arrangement I like, I go for it and start planting. I place things in loosely at first so I can move them around slightly within the pot as I place the other plants. Once I’m sure I pack in any extra soil needed and press down in the pot to secure. Lastly, I added some branches to give height and dimension to my largest planter.


Large pots filled with various shade plants by the front door of the house.

An aerial view of the multi coloured plants in the garden containers.

A pink flowering plant and bright green leafed plant in the pots on the porch.

Purple leaf plant and grass plant on the pot.

Up close picture of pink begonias.

On the other side of the door…

Bright blue pots filled with shade plants on the porch.

Looking down on the ferns in the garden pots.

I can’t wait to see these grow in throughout the summer season! Plus, the perennials can be transplanted to larger pots or the shady gardens in our yard after a season on our porch. They’ll keep going and going!

A large light blue and a small darker blue shade pots.

The front door of a house with a porch mat and the shade garden pots beside it.

Glad to check that one of the list. Now… onto the sunny pots this weekend! Can’t wait to have the weather for that task:) Wishing you sunny days wherever you are, as well.


 Today I’ve joined up with a talented group of bloggers for the Outdoor Extravaganza: Plants & Flowers. Thanks to my friend Shauna from Satori Design for Living for hosting this series each year. I know you will love what everyone has to share…

The Happy Housie | Clean and Scentsible | Casa Watkins Living | Postcards from the Ridge |
Finding Silver Pennies

So much gorgeous inspiration. I truly can’t wait for summer. How about you?

Plant and flower project ideas poster.






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  1. Your planters look beautiful! I’m just now starting to plant for summer and always looking for ideas! Thanks for linking up with Merry Monday; I’ll be featuring your planters at our upcoming party. Hope to see you again next week!

  2. I love the ferns in pots, but what do you do with them come Fall when they should be in ground for winter?

  3. I love all of your plant choices, they look so beautiful together… I was searching for mini hostas the other day, no luck, I will have to keep looking. I love that you’ve put them in your planters! I must say I also really love the twigs, that is an unexpected touch that really makes a wonderful statement! Returning the sunshine vibes! xoxo

  4. I agree. I didn’t get to plant for spring this year the weather has been so bad. These are such great ideas for planters. Love how you included a full plant list. So lovely.

  5. I didn’t even get around to doing early spring planters, so you’re ahead of the game there despite the lack of watering. Our front porch is hot and sunny, but these ideas are great for my back deck which is quite shaded. Love your colour combinations!

  6. I’m soooooo happy summer is almost here…we’re supposed to have a hot weekend too! Woot!! I love your shade planters Krista…my front porch is almost entirely in the shade, so these ideas are perfect!

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