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TREES & plants

Container Gardens

Two containers with spring selections in front of the Visitor Center
Around The Morton Arboretum, you'll find colorful, creative, and sometimes whimsical container gardens. These popular seasonal displays inspire many visitors to add color and texture to their own home gardens and landscapes.

These containers incorporate many kind of plants, including aquatics, annuals, perennials, ornamental grasses, tropical plants, flowering bulbs, trees, and shrubs.

In fall and winter, many containers get seasonal displays.

Find container gardens in the Children's Garden, Arbor Court, May T. Watts Reading Garden, Four Seasons Garden, Fragrance Garden, at the Administration Building entrance, in the Herb Garden, and at the Thornhill Education Center.

See the interactive map below for container locations and plant information. A map is also included in the downloadable PDF plant list, listed by season below.

Creative containers

Here are some tips if you are inspired to try ideas from these containers at home:

There are four types of plants that are typically used in a container design:

  • Background plants: These plants are usually the tallest, placed in the back of the container for height.
  • Center plants: These plants are also quite tall, used as an anchor plant in the center of the container when no background plants are used.
  • Mid-height plants: These intermediate-sized plants are typically used in front of the background plant or they can surround the center plants. In smaller containers, they can be used by themselves or with trailing plants.
  • Trailer plants: These plants cascade over the edge of the container. They are often used in combination with any or all of the other plant types.


Plant lists

Every year and every season we do something different in our container gardens and in the display flower beds around the Visitor Center, Arbor Court, and the Administration Building. Here, in PDF format, are plant lists from the current and recent years. In these lists, each of the containers and display beds have a location and each container has a number, so you can find the plant list for a display you particularly like.   

Lists from 2015 and onward also feature maps that can orient you to the different container and bed locations throughout the Arboretum grounds.

 

2016

PDF iconSpring Display Beds and Containers at The Morton Arboretum

 

2015

PDF iconFall Display Beds and Containers at The Morton Arboretum

PDF iconSummer Display Beds and Containers at The Morton Arboretum

PDF iconSpring Display Beds and Containers at The Morton Arboretum

 

2014

PDF iconFall Containers at The Morton Arboretum

PDF iconFall Display Beds at The Morton Arboretum

PDF iconSummer Containers at The Morton Arboretum

PDF iconSummer Display Beds at The Morton Arboretum

Spring Containers at The Morton Arboretum

PDF iconSpring Display Beds at The Morton Arboretum

  
2013
 

PDF iconFall Containers at The Morton Arboretum

PDF iconFall Display Beds at The Morton Arboretum

PDF iconSummer Containers at The Morton Arboretum

PDF iconSummer Display Beds at The Morton Arboretum

PDF iconSpring Containers at The Morton Arborteum

PDF iconSpring Display Beds at The Morton Arboretum