With warmer weather and the outdoor entertaining season upon us, it’s the ideal time to spruce up your outdoor area and garden with an eye-catching potted plant display.

An easy way to get the look is with the ‘Thrill, Fill and Spill’ planting method, explains Melissa King, Horticulturalist and Northcote Pottery Ambassador.

“To begin, pick out the star of the show – the perfect pot. Consider the colour of your home and garden décor. Don’t go for anything too small because the pot will need to accommodate a few plants.”

The Thrill

“Next, choose a ‘Thrill’ plant – the Prima Donna of your display. The plant should be bold and appealing, with a bit of height so it can be positioned at the back of the pot. Colourful, strappy leafed plants such as Burgundy Cordylines or Phormiums work well.”

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The Fill

“The ‘Fill’ plants are the supporting cast. Look for smaller, rounded options to fill the majority of the container. Don’t be afraid to add a splash of colour here with brightly coloured foliage or flowers.”

The Spill

“Finally, ‘Spill’ plants are the finishing touch. These are trailing beauties that tumble over the edge of the container and complete the look to create the perfect potted picture,” she adds.

Go Bigger

For bigger pots, venture out and use more than one Thrill, Fill or Spill plant. Remember to combine plants together that enjoy similar growing conditions.

Rustic easy-care potted combination

Create enviable potted combinations with Northcote Pottery’s Irondale Cup Planter (RRP $60.90). This lightweight pot exudes rustic country charm and works beautifully with bronze, orange, burgundy and gold foliage tones.

For a rustic easy-care potted combination, you will need:

  • 1 x Northcote Pottery 52 x 38cm Irondale Cup Planter
  • 1 x bag of Premium Potting Mix
  • 1 x Leucadendron ‘Sundance’
  • 1 x Cordyline ‘Electric Flash’
  • 1 x Carex Testacea
  • 1 x Euphorbia ‘Baby Charm’
  • 1 x Carex ‘Frosted Curls’
  • 1 x Aeonium
  • 1 x Sedum ‘Gold Mound’

First, fill the Planter with quality potting mix. Then position Leucadendron ‘Sundance’ towards the back of the container. Plant the variegated Cordyline ‘Electric Flash’ to the side and frame both plants with bronzed coloured Carex Testacea and Euphorbia ‘Baby Charm’. Soften the base of the Leucadendron with silvery Carex ‘Frosted Curls’. Complete the picture with a chocolate coloured Aeonium and a splash of Sedum ‘Gold Mound’.

Wow Factor

“I like to jam-pack the pots to get an instant effect, so you get a wow factor that lasts for months,” says Melissa. “If the plants begin to look overcrowded, I simply trim them back or pop some into the garden. You can even refresh the look by replacing plants from season to season.”

Modern cottage garden combination

Liven up your garden with Northcote Pottery’s Glazed Jardin Planter. Its bold and smooth texture is perfect for a happy collection of plants.

For a modern cottage garden combination, you will need:

  • 1 x Northcote Pottery Glazed Jardin Planter
  • 1 x bag of Premium Potting Mix
  • 1 x Leucadendron ‘Purple Haze’
  • 1 x Olearia ‘Sweet and Small’
  • 1 x Convolvulus Cneorum
  • 1 x Carex ‘Frosted Curls’
  • 1 x Candytuft

Start the potted combination by filling the Planter with premium potting mix. Place the Leucadendron ‘Purple Haze’ near the back of the container. Frame ‘Purple Haze’ on both sides by adding a pretty Olearia ‘Sweet and Small’ and Convolvulus Cneorum. Soften the base of the Leucadendron with silvery Carex ‘Frosted Curls’. Finish it off with a splash of white flowering Candytuft.

“To enhance the modern cottage garden look, combine classic beauties like compact-growing daisies and Candytuft with striking bronze, silver and purple foliage,” says Melissa.

Northcote Pottery is offering garden lovers a chance to win a gardening pack worth over $300. Simply visit www.northcotepottery.com and enter your details to be eligible.

For more information, visit www.northcotepottery.com and @northcotepottery on Instagram.

What do you think of this ‘thrill, fill spill’ method to transform your garden? Tell us in the comments below.

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  • Easy but really looks good – and I love the bright coloured pots available these days. Thanks for the post


  • This is great.


  • Really enjoyed this article and planting tips and suggestions.


  • What a brilliant idea. I’m unable to do much but my son has been able to take over the garden. I’m sure he’ll enjoy this idea


  • I am not a gardener or a green thumb and I struggle to keep things alive. But this, this I think I can do. It looks fantastic.


  • Thanks for these tips, I love them!!


  • I love the idea. Its so much better then just going for a single plant in the pot. Great look for outdoor entertaining.


  • OMG I love this idea and want to try it! Such a great concept with a pretty result!


  • Such a pretty array of flowers!
    Going through the lists of seeds to get, I honestly have never heard of any of them before.
    Will be good for me to venture out and get to know more about flowers i never knew existed.


  • I’m loving my tulips right now!

    • Coming from the Netherlands I think tulips are pretty awesome too ;)


  • I always plant tallest plants first then gradually the smaller plants. I love a cottage garden style where all the plants are randomly placed as well. I love a colourful garden.


  • Great tips, thanx for sharing !


  • Interesting read. I’ve been trying to get into gardening and plants more


  • Thanks for the hints. Never thought of it this way before.


  • Such a good idea, but I tend to kill potted plants.


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