When you think about gardening most likely one of the first thought that comes to mind is finding the best spot in the ground to plant. For many home gardeners, that single thought might miss one of the best gardening options around—container gardening.
An old shoe makes an interesting plant container.
Interesting shapes in containers and plants are great.
Don't be afraid to use your creativity when selecting a container. If you think a terracotta pot is your only choice for a container garden, you are also missing out on a world of creative containers that can add style and flair to your garden spaces. Just about any object that can hold potting mix and provide drainage can become a centerpiece in your container garden. Have an old bucket with a lot of “character”, find an interesting soft rock that can be easily hollowed out, or did you have an interesting shaped cooking pot that has seen better days. All of these, in addition to the incredible variety of containers you will find at your local garden center, can make fabulous container gardens.
Now that you have expanded your container horizons, you can start looking for interesting places where your containers will attract attention and add beauty. Decks and entries are common locations where containers are used. When you are looking for locations think about multiple containers for a location rather than just a single container. Clustering containers can create a more visually interesting container garden.
You might also want to think about using containers in above ground locations to create more interesting visual features in your landscaping. In some cases you may find that a container placed in your garden will allow you to grow plants that otherwise may be difficult to grow in-ground.
Now that you have begun thinking about all the places around your home where a container garden might make a real impact, it is time to think about the plants themselves. Depending on where you use your container you want to consider things like color, plant heights and effects. Some plants grow tall, others trail down a container and still others will fill in-between to add balance and texture. A hanging container might focus on trailing plants while a large container on the ground might include plants from each of the groups.
Shape is another factor. Think about your newly identified container and the location you have identified. You may want to create a symmetrical design—one that appears to be balanced from side-to-side. Or, your front door area may be crying out for an asymmetrical design that helps frame the entry to make it more inviting.
Plant selection is a key component. Think about the light conditions first. Select plants appropriate to the conditions. Then look for plants that meet your color and characteristics for height, fill and trailing. Remember to think about plants when they are grown rather than when you first buy your plants. A common mistake is to put too many plants in the container and then be faced with an overgrown container.
The steps to creating a beautiful and flexible container garden are easy to learn. We have lots of help to make your container garden the envy of the neighborhood.