WSS Home: Thrill, Fill and Spill Pots

Whether you have a big garden, patio area, alfresco or balcony, an easy way to make a huge impact in an area is to group together plants. This is why the ‘Thrill, fill and spill’ method of planting has become popular in recent years.

“Thrill, fill, and spill” describes how to arrange a container garden. The idea is to group together various plants with similar growing needs using three key components of design (lines, shape and colour) to create a fabulous container garden that will be sure to turn heads.

How to master the thrill, spill and fill effect

  1. Head to your nearest Bunnings and gather everything you need. A pot, potting mix and plants!

2. First pick out the star of the show – the perfect pot. Consider the colour of your home and garden décor and don’t go for anything too small because it will need to accommodate a few plants. For our project, we’ve used the Northcote Pottery Irondale Square Planter. The Northcote Pottery Irondale range also includes a cup, egg and trough shape posts. The range has an on trend rustic metal look that is weather resistant and lightweight. This lightweight, rustic looking planters will add character and charm to your garden area. Used as a statement piece or an addition to your garden area, this pot is the perfect finishing piece for any area.

3. Choose a quality potting mix. Personally, I prefer Osmocote Premium potting mix, as it retains water with the help of a wetting agent (a lot of cheap potting mixes don’t retain water and you need to water your plants more frequently) and a controlled release fertiliser. After four months, I feed the plants Osmocote All Purpose Controlled Release Fertiliser, as it will feed them for another 12 months.

4. Then choose a “Thrill” plant. It’s the Prima Donna of your display – something showy and eye-catching with a bit of height that is positioned at the back of the pot. Colourful strappy leafed plants like Burgundy Cordylines or Phormiums work well. Because the pot is quite wide, I have used two plants. The beautiful Hebe Surf Break, which has gorgeous yellow and green striped leaves, with purple new growth and blush pink flowers. I also chose a purple Osteospermum. Both plants grow to 50cms tall and will fill the back of the pot beautifully.

5. The Fill plant is our second leading lady. It’s the shorter, more rounded plant that sits in front, but just to the side, of the Thriller and fills the container out nicely. Don’t be afraid to add a splash of colour here with brightly coloured foliage or flowers. I used a Argyranthemom for fill, as it is a dense, compact shrub that has pink daisy like flowers that contrasts well with the other plants.

5. The Spill plant is the finishing touch – a trailing or cascading beauty that tumbles over the edge of the container and completes the look. WOW – the perfect potted picture. For the spill, I have used one of my favourite plants, a Calibrachoa hybrid in a candy stripe. Calibrachoa is like a tiny petunia on steroids, calibrachoa (also called Million Bells) grows and flowers at an amazing rate and comes in a huge variety of colours. Bunnings has “Triple treat” Calibachoa plants, which have three different bright colours on one plant. They really are a head turner and brighten up any garden and can be used in pots, hanging planters, mixed pots (like we are doing here) or planted in mass in a garden.

Tip: Just remember to team plants together that enjoy similar growing conditions. All of the plants I’ve chosen have a compact growth habit, need full sun, regular watering and monthly feeding.

For more information regarding Northcote Pottery and the Irondale range, head to

#This article was a collaboration with Northcote Pottery, as per our Disclosure Policy.

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