Container gardens might be quite possibly the most popular way to garden. It’s definitely the most versatile . Like my hypertufa pot below…the containers can be just as versatile. From shad to succulent, bold to subdued, the variety in styles, care and color are endless.
An advantage of container gardens that is seldom considered is the ability to control soil quality. When it comes to gardening in containers, there are considerations such as moisture control soil quality (the ability to make it acidic/alkaline), and ability to fertilize it to your particular plants’ needs. Lastly is the ability to move your plants for the light preference.
Now that we know the advantages, lets talk about design. While everyone has their personal preference for style, there are two ways that I feel (in my humble opinion) appeal to the eye the most. Firstly…one big solid blast of color like in my watering can above. Secondly what I call the “thriller, filler, spiller method. A container garden overflowing with one type of plant, looks very impactful…and it definitely has its applications. If you prefer more contrast, try the other. Choose something spiked for the thriller. I used a variegated loriope. Something full and bushy for the filler…like my petunias. Lastly something for the spiller aspect…where I’ve used the lobelia. Generally the annuals that are found each year work wonderfully for these applications because they grow large very quickly, and bloom their hearts out. I seriously don’t ever worry about color. I believe that all colors go well together outside. There is something about flowers that coordinates them all perfectly….use the colors you like….they’ll look perfect!
When planning your container garden, don’t forget to consider the soil, moisture, and lighting requirements of your particular plants. Choose plants that are compatible in these needs: for instance the three I used in my container. They all basically have the same needs.
Before placing plants into the container….don’t forget tease their roots (nanny nanny boo boo) Okay…I’m sorry….I couldn’t help it. This encourages the roots to “dig” deeper into the container for better growth and moisture retention.
I’m a firm believer that perennials need very little artificial fertilizer…It makes junkies out of them, and sometimes causes leaf growth…but not better blooms. Just the opposite is true of container gardens….they are the work horses of the season. Annuals bloom non-stop during the season, and require loads of nutrients. Don’t forget to reward them every few weeks for their hard work. There are lots of fertilizers out there…I prefer the kind you place on the waterhose…and feed away!
I hope this helps your container gardens grow and bloom like a weed this summer! I’ll keep you posted on how mine is doing.