Container gardening is perfect for the person who doesn’t have a lot of gardening space and still wants flowers or vegetables. If you have room for a pot you can have a garden and there are so many styles of containers it's easy to find something to enhance or compliment your own style.
In fact if you're feeling creative or you want a challenge, you can even make your own containers out of hypertufa!
Notice these narrow steps below. What a clever way to add charm and utility to a very small space.
Container gardens make it possible to add flowers, vegetables and herbs to patios,decks,front porches,and balconies and are an easy way to express your creativity and individuality.
Anything that holds dirt and water can be a container for plants. I enjoy going to garage sales, and I always have my eye out for a new plant container. Since my style is on the country side, I find myself looking for baskets, crocks, and weathered looking pots, but if you want something more formal, you might look for things that match or perhaps a tall urn.
Notice in the picture below the combination of wooden chairs, metal pots and an urn. You can combine several different elements to achieve one pleasing effect. Don't be afraid to experiment , either. If it pleases you, use it. If it doesn't work, move it!
This summer I was with my sister when she nabbed a vegetable crate that made an awesome container for her back porch. Finding the perfect container for your garden can be half the fun of creating a container garden.
Every year I create an annual herb garden in a big whiskey barrel. I also have several graduated brown and cream pots that I cluster together. I usually put lobelia in all of them. I love Lobelia and this way I get to enjoy it all summer. If one pot dies, I just put away the pot or plant something different in it and rearrange my remaining pots.
Containers look good going down the steps of your porch, in groups around the swimming pool, in corners on your deck, or on the center of an outside table.
Using containers is also a way to move non hardy plants outside during warm weather and back into the house at the end of the season. I have a hibiscus, and a fern that do this every year.
If you decide to use containers for your garden there are a few things you need to remember. They will need to be watered more frequently than plants in the ground and in very hot weather they may need watering daily.
There are special soils that you can buy that hold water and special pots too that are designed specifically for plants. They have hidden reservoirs that hold water, but you don’t need to go to this expense if you are diligent about watering your plants.
Many, many plants are comfortable growing in a container if you follow a few rules. The pot you choose should be deep enough to cover all the roots with a little extra room for growth. There has to be some way for water to drain out of the bottom of the plant so that your plant is not sitting in constantly wet soil.
Does your plant like sun or shade? Knowing this is important, but the nice thing about containers is that you can move them to follow the sun if you want to. If you have a very large heavy pot, you might want to have some kind of trolley with wheels to help you move it if you need to.
Some of my favorite containers are strawberry pots. I like the big ones, and I use them for all manner of plants. One of them is filled with several varieties of hens and chickens. I use another one for herbs. Plants that trail look especially good in these pots.
Another good thing about gardening in containers is the ability to create a soil that is perfect for your plants. Below is a cactus container garden in the making. Notice the sandy soil that is being added to pot.
So get out your creative hat and have fun designing your own container garden.
For more information on growing plants or flowers in a container, visit Brad at
Annual Flower Garden
Small Space Gardens
Spring Container Gardens
Potting Soil and Fertilizer
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