Container Gardening: Thinking outside the Pot!

As the temperatures heat up, we move outside.  Our gardens, patios, decks and porches become our outdoor living spaces.  Consider containers to be the accessories that we decorate these outdoor rooms.  Even the tiniest outdoor space can be made beautiful with containers especially when combined with hanging baskets. 

Container Gardening has taken on a new life with smaller balconies, patios and porches.  It’s not just for flowers anymore!  Consider growing a container of just succulents like cactus and echeveria.  Or containers of edible herbs, salad greens, peppers or tomatoes.

Strawflower Fairycastle Cactus, $14.99

Before you start, consider the following:
– sun, shade or part shade
– size of the area (can it fit 3 assorted sized pots or one large dramatic one?)
– style of the space, colours?
– budget?

Passionate about Pots
– determine your personal style, colours and space
– consider the materials (affects the weight, moveability and how the plants perform)
– all containers must have drainage holes
– place large containers on a movable base with wheels
– be creative!  Any container with drainage holes can be planted (window boxes, old wheelbarrows, boots, wicker basket or even an old sink or footed bathtub)

Linen Grey Pots, lg $59.99, med $39.99, sm $24.99

Plant Preferences
– select and group plants according to the amount of sunlight they’ll get
– choose from annuals, herbs, vegetables or tropicals, even vines look great on a trellis or obelisk
– if choosing perennials, at the end of the season, plant them in your garden.  Then next spring replant your container and your investments keep on giving!

Perennial Arizona Apricot Blanket Flower, $4.99

Design:
Follow the popular mantra of ‘Thriller, Filler, Spiller’ and you can’t go wrong!

Thriller:
– choose a tall dramatic plant, sculpture or garden art for a central focal plant
– such as canna lily, ornamental grass, tall coleus, or obelisk

Cana Lily, $9.99

Filler:
– use the filler plants in front of the focal plant
– remember to group plants in odd numbers such as one, three and five
– such as begonias, petunias, daisy, snapdragons, ferns, coral bells, dwarf grasses

Snapdragons, $1.99 per cell pack

Spiller:
– compact, spreading plants at the rim of the container preferably ones that can drape down the edges of the pot like a curtain
– such as ivy, bacopa, potato vine, million bells, ajuga, periwinkle

Trailing Shade Annuals, $3.99

Keeping them Beautiful
– keep an eye and the watering can handy as containers will dry out more quickly than your landscape
– a layer of mulch helps to slow the evaporation of moisture from the soil
– as plants grow, pinch them back (such as coleus) to maintain an attractive shape and to keep them bushy
– remove the spent blooms to ensure repeat blooming

Kid-Sized Watering Cans $5.49

One Last Note from the Potting Bench!
– above all, have fun! 
– container gardening allows so much creativity
– experiment with colour and play with texture

Happy Gardening!