The Ultimate Guide to Container Design with Barbara Libner

If you are ready to take your container design to the next level, join us for this course with Barbara Libner, who has been designing stunning containers professionally for over two decades. Barbara will walk you through every step of creating the perfect container as she shares her tips and techniques for better plant combinations, including numerous examples from her own designs and recipes you can follow on your own.


Explore the concepts of color, texture, balance, and repetition as you learn to transform your own containers from ordinary to extraordinary. You can view each class on demand and then dive into an online forum where you can share ideas with other course participants and get your questions answered by Barbara herself. 

In this course, you will learn how to: 

  • Determine what kind of approach is right for your space and your aesthetic 
  • Choose a container with the best color and material for your space 
  • Develop a planting color scheme that thrills 
  • Get the most bang for your buck when shopping for plants 
  • Choose between seasonal or year-round interest 
  • Get your plants off to the best start when planting 
  • Maintain your creation for maximum longevity 
  • Plan for seasonal swaps to keep the show going 
Lesson 1

This initial class will get you familiarized—or refreshed—on the basics of designing a container garden. Barbara will cover why it’s aesthetically important to add containers to your garden and how you can use them to improve your landscape and/or complement your home. She will also dig into choosing the best containers and soil mixes and will explain how to assess the conditions in your garden that will determine what plants will thrive in your containers.

Lesson 2

Have you always wondered why the container gardens in magazines look so much better than the ones you create at home? In this class, Barbara will share the secrets to putting plants together for incredible visual appeal. She will cover choosing color palettes, ways to add contrast and interest, and how to use foliage to maximize the composition’s impact. Finally, all that theory will be put to practical use with Barbara’s special formula for the perfect container: the Fabulous Five.

Lesson 3

This class will teach you how to keep your containers looking stunning for months by choosing the best plants and caring for them as they grow and develop. Barbara will also cover the best ways to embrace seasonality—how to choose plants for multiseason interest and how to swap out plants in a cost-efficient manner. Barbara will also cover features that keep a container looking beautiful every month of the year (yes, even in winter).


Meet Your Instructor

Barbara Libner accidentally turned a lifelong passion for plants and design into a career when a seasonal nursery job became a full-time, decades-long journey of botanical discovery. She specializes in four-season containers for an array of different climates. When not designing containers or being a general plant nerd, she is the lead visual merchandiser for Ravenna Gardens, an independent urban garden center in Seattle. Barbara is a true artist who works with color, texture, and habit to craft potted masterpieces. Her background in art history has trained her to identify and accentuate certain design elements, prioritizing the form of each plant she works with over its color. In fact, if you ask Barbara, it’s the juxtaposition of the different types of foliage in a container planting that gives it long-lasting appeal.  

The Ultimate Guide To Container Garden Design

with Barbara Libner