You may be limited in your backyard space. You may not even have a backyard. But this shouldn’t stop you from having a beautiful garden. You and I can come up with some great container gardening ideas.
Anyone can have a container garden. I have adequate space in my backyard. But container gardening is an important part of my landscape.
For one thing, it can add color and interest to a patio, deck, porch, or steps. I have seen some beautiful container gardens on rooftops.
Container gardening allows me to move my pots around depending upon light conditions, as well as the foliage or flowering season of the plant. For example, I like to use impatiens as a container plant on my patio. But this flower must be grown in the shade.
In the spring when the sun is lower in the sky producing longer shadows, I like to place my container on the patio a few feet from my house.
But in the late spring and early summer, the sun is higher in the sky. So I move my plant closer to the house to keep it in the shade. But a garden of impatiens in the ground must have shade throughout the growing season.
There are no hard and fast rules for assembling a container garden.
You can use one plant of the same color in a small container. Or you can use different colors of the same variety of plant.
On the other hand, you can have a much larger container that contains 2-3 different varieties of plants. I think this is where container gardening ideas get really interesting.
I like to put 2-3 plants in a container. I use a taller plant that tends to create interest. This is sometimes considered as the focal plant. There are many possibilities for focal plants. I have used American Arborvitae, Common Boxwood, and Hibiscus. I will give you more in future posts.
I then surround the focal plant with filler plants. This is probably a bad name for the plant because these plants provide a very valuable function. I generally use plants with beautiful or interesting foliage as my filler plant. It must complement and blend in with the focal plant.
Filler plants must perform well throughout the growing season. They include Celosia, Caladium, Coleus, Cuphea, and Lantana.
I also add trailing plants. These plants trail down the sides of the container. They add a lot to the appearance of the assortment of plants and the container.
I have planted Alyssum, Ivy Geranium, Nasturtium, Verbena, Impatiens, and petunias.
If you are serious about having a beautiful container garden, you should start researching potential plants long before buying any plants.
If you are serious about having a beautiful container garden, you should start researching potential plants long before making a purchase. You can do your research online, by looking through nursery catalogs, or at your local garden center. Nursery catalogs provide great information on what plants work best in container gardening.
I will write additional posts that discuss the plants that do best in a container garden.
When it’s time to put your plants in containers, add a high quality potting soil. I recommend that each container have drainage holes in the bottom. To prevent the soil from coming out the holes, I put one or two layers of newspaper in the bottom of the container.
Choose your pots and containers
Small plants will be lost in a large container. Large plants will be too much for a small container.
If you have an attractive container, don’t cover it up with trailing plants. Use trailing plants in plain containers.
Plant your container garden
Use a trowel to dig a hole for the plant. The hole should be larger than the size of the plant.
After placing the plant, fill the remainder of the hole with potting soil. Tap down the soil around the plant (don’t pack it) so that the soil is level with the soil around the plant. I make sure that the soil is about 2 inches from the top of the container. This allows you to adequately and easily water the plants.
Make sure that the plants in each container have the same maintenance requirements. Don’t group one plant that requires shade with one that requires sun. Plants that require a lot of moisture should be grouped with other plants with the same needs. Other plants may require little watering.
Your containers can be placed on a deck, a patio, or in any desired location. You can experiment until you get the right placement.
Containers can be placed in your garden to give the desired effect.
These are just a few container gardening ideas that should help you. I will give you more later.
If you have questions or comments, please contact me.
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