I’ve always liked the look of succulents, but with the exception of a few sedums in my garden, I haven’t got any. To me, succulents always seemed better suited to the desert rather than a Midwest garden – that is until our neighbor started bringing us back some lovely pottery containers from his hometown in Mexico. Suddenly I felt the urge to show them off and create a little fiesta in my garden, featuring a few plants I’ve never grown before.

Fiesta garden

No one said strawberry pots were only for strawberries! Fill them with groundcovers and succulents for a great patio accent.

Photo Credit: Sarah Landicho

Strawberry pots planting supplies

All you need for this project is some cool groundcovers, potting soil and a strawberry pot.

Photo Credit: Sarah Landicho

Adding potting soil

Gently insert the plants through the holes and make sure they’re secure. Keep planting until you reach the top of the pot.

Photo Credit: Sarah Landicho

The first stop – a trip to the garden center. To accent my annual-filled containers from Mexico, I thought I’d pick up a strawberry pot or two and plant them up with succulents (as I’ve seen many times before). But the garden center employee suggested something a little out of the ordinary – something she’d always wanted to try herself: planting a strawberry pot with some neat succulent-like, sedum-type groundcovers. After all, trailing plants look great coming out of these cool container openings. So, hey, why not?

She took me over to these wonderfully textured, colorful plants, and I was immediately hooked! I picked the biggest strawberry pot the garden center had, some potting mix and six awesome groundcovers (mostly a variety of sedums and a creeping Jenny – all with similar care requirements). Then I headed home to get planting!

The first issue I ran up against was the fact strawberry pots have small openings – much smaller than the plants I was dealing with. So I cut my plants in half with my hand trowel. (Groundcovers are typically pretty spunky, so I wasn’t worried about damaging their roots too much. And since their mission in life is to spread, I thought they’d fill in any little open spaces nicely.)

My daughter and I teamed up for the rest of the work – because she was as interested in touching and feeling these plants as I was, and, frankly, it wasn’t too difficult. We filled the pot to the first level of holes and gently worked the plant roots in through the planting pockets, making sure they were securely in so they wouldn’t flop out later. Since strawberry pots are tall and it’s difficult for water to filter all the way to the bottom, we lightly watered the mix as we built our way upward.

We repeated the process until we got to the top of our container. And for the uppermost hole, we picked the craziest, fullest plant so it would already start trailing over the sides. We watered it in well and stood back to admire our work.

Finally, we nestled our newest creation into our little Fiesta Garden (as we call it). While this colorful patch of containers doesn’t really fit in with the rest of our yard, I really like it as a colorful accent on our patio. And surprisingly, the groundcovers (as well as a little strawberry pot of hens-and-chicks that I had purchased) look surprisingly cool next to my nearby herb garden. The textures and shapes really play well off one another. But the best part of it all was creating something completely new for our garden – and sharing the experience with my daughter!