Container Gardens

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Discover how to create colorful garden containers for every spot in your landscape.

Nothing says Welcome to our Home! more than being greeted with a container brimming with bright, colorful flowers when walking up to a porch. Container gardens are blooming everywhere – adding instant color to the landscape and interest to outdoor living spaces.

Your passion for gardening can be fulfilled by creating these small, yet abundant gardens, even if you’re limited on space and time. Portable gardens allow the gardener in us to come alive and our green thumb to flourish.

What to put in them

Containers are generally comprised of blooming plants, allowing the look to easily change from year to year, or even season to season, as compared to traditional landscapes. If you’re looking for a flowering container, annuals beg you to pick them to grace your pot. The mix of colors and greenery can create a striking combination, not to mention the bonus of a sweet fragrance as you walk by.

Take advantage of the variety of foliage colors that are available. Tried and true greens are always a sure bet, but why not be daring and add some that are silver, gray or red? Intermixing shapes and sizes can be the perfect complement to complete an attractive container.

When the “land” in landscape is in short supply, container gardening is the answer if you’re looking to grow herbs and vegetables. With a little thought, your container garden can be as attractive as it is useful, while providing you with quite the bounty. Keep in mind, vegetable plants will grow, making bigger pots a better choice when selecting your container. Look for sunny areas around your home to place these gardens.

Aim for these elements when selecting your plants – height, textures and colors.

Where to place them

The popularity of container gardens is high due in part to the myriad of spots you can place them. Brighten up your porch or patio with attractive pots filled with flowering plants or greenery. Provide bold statement in a garden with a well-placed container. They can add much curb appeal and allow easy-to-achieve seasonal changes.

Types of containers

The sky is the limit when it comes to choosing your container. You can head to your favorite garden store and browse through the pots, finding the one (or more) that shout out to you “Take me home”. You can also rummage around the house or area garage sales for items that can be repurposed as a container. Think of wheel barrels, old wagons, a metal bucket, or even an old metal beverage tub. If you go the repurpose route, be sure to drill holes for drainage as that is a key to a thriving container garden. Remember whatever type of container you select, it shouldn’t be as big as your plants are now, but as big as your plants will be full grown.

Continued care

So, your potted garden has been happily growing for a while but is starting to look a little tired. It’s time to show it some love and give it a much-deserved pick-me-up in the name of fertilizer. After months of watering and plant growth, containers start to run low on nutrients. Fertilizer will promote new shoots from which flowers will emerge and will also promote deep green foliage and larger vegetable size, if that happens to be the direction of your garden. Show them some love and they can continue to show off their best until fall’s first frost comes around.

Your plants may also be asking for a bit of grooming. Some tend to want to be the leader of the pack and take over more than their space, such as sweet potato vines. It’s ok to pull them back in line with a little trimming. Pruning the flowering plants will reward you with new bushier growth that is often loaded with new flowers, reviving the container’s bright colors.

Not looking like you thought?

It’s common to have a plant in your container that turns out to be a dud. A quick stop by your local garden store makes it easy to replace the one that just didn’t pull through. Not happy with the look in general? It’s ok to start over. If you were hoping for more trailing plants to cascade down the sides of your container, they are still out there to be found. Want to change up the color or texture? Those are easy to swap out too. For the plants that were originally there, separate them into smaller containers and place by other containers as a new grouping. Flowering plants amongst containers of herbs add a spark of interest for those walking by.

Finally, use your imagination and find what pleases you. After all, container gardens are really about stopping and smelling the roses.

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