In container gardening, the technique is called the “thriller, filler, spiller” and its application never fails to create an interesting yet harmonious container.

The showy centerpiece or “thriller” grows tall and proud, the “filler” flowers up next to it provide fullness and complement the main attraction, and the “spiller” creeps out of the pot towards the ground to create one full and lush container.

Thrillers are the starting point since they’re the attention grabbers and typically the tallest plant. I always begin the design with the thriller first, choosing it at the nursery, then selecting the annuals that go around it after the thriller is chosen.