Container Planting Ideas from Camden Maine

Camden Containers 7-14-2015 5-35-55 PMThe display outside a storefront in Camden, Maine.

Michael and I visited Camden, Maine, for the third year in a row to attend the 68th Annual Camden Garden Club House and Garden Tour.  Readers love my posts from Maine so I took lots of photos while I was there.  The garden club maintains most of the public spaces in Camden and seems to have inspired the town to go wild with containers outside many of the homes and businesses.

Nursery News:  Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, PA, specializing in showy, colorful, and unusual plants for shade.  The only plants that we ship are snowdrops and miniature hostas.  For catalogues and announcements of events, please send your full name, location, and phone number (for back up use only) to  Click here to get to the home page of our website for catalogues and information about our nursery and to subscribe to our blog.


Camden Containers 7-14-2015 5-34-06 PM.

I take lots of photos of creative containers over the summer.  I have been reluctant to post a lot of them because most people probably have their pots, window boxes, and hanging baskets filled by late July.  This year I am forging ahead though, hoping that readers will get some creative ideas for next year.  In fact, I found so many beautiful combinations in Camden that I have split the post into two parts:  this one will cover pots and hanging baskets and the next will be window boxes.  For some advice on container design techniques, click here and follow the links in the first paragraph to three other posts.


Camden Containers 7-14-2015 5-34-59 PM


Camden Containers 7-14-2015 5-35-08 PMIt is not necessary to get fancy: a container of ordinary pink petunias and blue annual lobelia is lush and beautiful.


Camden Containers 7-14-2015 5-21-39 PMHanging baskets echo the colors at this local bed and breakfast, The Blue Harbor Inn.


Camden Containers 7-14-2015 5-21-50 PMA close up, hanging baskets look the best when they are filled to overflowing and the pot is not visible.


Camden Containers 7-14-2015 6-17-38 PMThis more subtle and elegant combination was sitting on the top of a trash can in downtown Camden.


Camden Containers 7-14-2015 6-17-17 PMThe other side of the container on the trash can.  Petunias used to be somewhat boring, but there are so many elegant cultivars available now, here white with delicate yellow and pink shading.  The yellow blooms are double-flowered million bells.


Camden Containers 7-14-2015 6-15-01 PMIf you are looking for a tall, narrow effect, this container and another identical one flanked a store entrance.


Camden Containers 7-23-2015 10-54-27 AMA cheerful combination of red annual verbena, yellow million bells, and blue annual lobelia.


Camden Containers 7-14-2015 5-54-34 PM.

Camden Containers 7-14-2015 5-54-22 PMAnother pair of containers at a store entrance using verbena and double million bells.  The grasses give the the pots an added bit of interest and elegance.


Camden Containers 7-14-2015 5-36-08 PM This large display (also pictured in the first photo) was definitely my favorite.  The color combination is subtle yet eye-catching, the textures are interesting especially the kale in the back, and the rustic containers are very attractive.


Camden Containers 7-14-2015 5-36-22 PMA close up


Camden Containers 7-16-2015 11-12-35 AMThis pedestrian bridge was lined with containers of pink petunias, tomatoes, and squash, a utilitarian yet attractive combination.


Camden Containers 7-16-2015 11-14-03 AMI love the idea of walking out on my deck to harvest vegetables and may try this next year.


Camden Containers 7-23-2015 10-56-053This last photo shows a traditional Maine scene with a simple but beautiful combination of pink petunias, yellow million bells, and the less common and very lovely pale blue annual lobelia.


I hope you are enjoying summer!


Nursery Happenings: You can sign up to receive catalogues and emails about nursery events by sending your full name and phone number to  Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.

Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a local retail nursery in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, U.S., zone 6b/7a. The only plants that we mail order are snowdrops and miniature hostas and only within the US.

Facebook: Carolyn’s Shade Gardens has a Facebook Page where I post single photos, garden tips, and other information that doesn’t fit into a blog post. You can look at my Facebook page here or click the Like button on my right sidebar here.

Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information. If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc.) or to subscribe to my blog, just click here.

20 Responses to “Container Planting Ideas from Camden Maine”

  1. Great to see such pride being taken in summer pots and baskets. Lots of brilliant ideas and cracking colour combinations 🙂

  2. Jeff Barger Says:

    Great ideas for next season, thanks Carolyn. Jeff

  3. So pretty! I think most containers look nice as long as they are nice and full. I love how they use squash! I’ve been seeing squash plants popping up lately for the use of their foliage. Very creative!

  4. Jodi Pollock Says:

    Carolyn, I must visit this beautiful town. The residents must be so proud. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Everything looks so fresh, and well behaved too.

  6. Carolyn I love when you post these containers from Maine…so creative, unusual and sometimes just simple and beautiful!

  7. debsgarden Says:

    The large display in the first photo was also my favorite! I love the textures and color combinations. I also love the hanging baskets at the Blue Harbor Inn. Beautiful containers are wonderful accessories that complete a larger garden, but they also provide an opportunity for almost anyone to enjoy gardening, no matter how limited the space.

    • Deb, You are so right. A container also allows for experimentation with plants like annuals that a gardener might otherwise not grow. I always advocate using perennials with the annuals and then planting them in the ground when you are done with the container in the fall. Carolyn

  8. Very nice tour, Carolyn. There is a lot of color and texture in those arrangements. I also like how they use a lot of blue, it seems fitting near the water like that.

    • Donna, the annual blue lobelias do make such a nice background color for containers. One thing I noticed with my own containers is that the honeybees and native bees prefer the pale blue flowers to the darker blue lobelia flowers. Carolyn

  9. Reblogged this on Clarke…Write! and commented:
    Ah Summer! I really enjoy Carolyn’s Shade Garden Blog. It has great inspirational ideas , helpful tips and beautiful photos of various gardens. if you love to garden you will enjoy following this blog too!

  10. I look forward to your container postings, Carolyn. I love how some contain vegetables, especially the kale. A great idea for next year. P. x

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