Container Gardening with French Country Flair

Today I am sharing some of my favorite container gardening inspiration from my “Fresh Air” Pinterest board along with tips on how to get the look with a little French Country flair… without breaking the bank.

I love container gardening for so many reasons. Containers are a great “entry level” gardening alternative for those that are leery of working with a full landscape, learning about their soil will tolerate, and all the other considerations of planting in the yard. Containers are also easy to update seasonally or as plants die off, and a super easy way to add plants to even the smallest of spaces. Groupings are great focal points and conversation pieces, and the container itself is a great way to add color even if you’re only planting greenery. Another benefit to containers is that they are easy to move as the weather changes, you move homes, or if you’d like to bring a little of the outdoors inside.


Zinc & Galvanized Metal

One of my favorite container styles for a French Country look is rustic metal. Zinc pots, galvanized pails,  and watering cans are all great for planting and their lovely muted gray tones fit perfectly in a French Country palette. They are also lightweight and affordable – especially when you buy they in their original supply source – the hardware store – or pick them up in thrift or garage sales.

container gardening

Galvanized buckets


container gardening

Assorted pails, containers and watering cans.


container gardening

Vintage strainers with shaped boxwood.


container gardening

Even baking pans and molds make great containers.


Containers with French Labeling

There’s something almost romantic about French labeling design. The curvy flourishes and borders, and iconic typography immediately draw your eye, so why not add a beautiful plant to the look? Keep your eye out for vintage pots, tins and crates with great labels or stamps, or pick up replicas at your local craft and décor store. Shops like Michaels and Hobby Lobby have a great selection of French inspired containers right now. Or to save even more money, consider using a plain pot you already have and add a transfer to it. Here’s some inspiration for you:

container gardening

Get the DIY for this transfer on my Pinterest Board.


container gardening

Great reproduction prints.


Rustic Wooden Containers

Rustic and weathered wooden containers such as crates, boxes, and tool bins add time worn appeal and charm with little hassle. Simply drop a potted plant or 2 right down in them and you’re done. I even have a view of these vintage items available in my Brocante shop right now, just in case you need them (wink wink.)

container gardening

Love this rustic carrier with lavender.



jars in wood

This rustic box is perfectly sized for jars and small container plants.



handmade tool box

Huge handmade took box in the Brocante Shop.


Traditional French Urns

The classic shape of footed urn planters is a standard in French landscape design. They create focal points and punctuate expanses of perfectly pruned shrubbery, but they also stand alone quite nicely if you’re looking for a beautiful piece to add your favorite greenery to.  While vintage concrete urns can be rather expensive, there are many lightweight faux alternatives now that are much more affordable and you can even recreate that time worn look with a little paint and sandpaper. I have several urns in various sizes around my home and I have filled them with everything from sculptured boxwoods, to overflowing ivy, to tiny succulents.

old urns

Love the layers of patina in these vintage urns.


succulents in urn

A collection of succulents in a small urn planter.



Such a classic French look with lavender.

Organized Chaos – Perfectly placed variations.

There’s a certain haphazardness afforded to the French look that allows for what I call organized chaos. A bunch of things placed together, but done so in a thoughtful manner. It has an effortless feel, but is fully intentional. Here’s few examples of how you can get the look with things you might already have:

ladder with plants

Pull out that extra ladder you have in the garage and add a few small potted plants for height and variation.


container gardening

Terra cotta pots are very affordable and available everywhere. They look fantastic in groupings of varying sizes and washes with just simple greenery.


container gardening

Why hassle with replanting? Look how great this collection of small plants on shelves looks – many of which are probably still in their original containers.


You’ll find all these great ideas, including tutorial for many of them to create the look yourself, on my “Fresh Air” Pinterest Board.

Now… I think I have some plants to tend to…





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