Gardening Vivian | 01 Dec 2010 05:13 am

Creating a Container Garden

Container gardens are the perfect way to add texture, color and fragrance to a terrace, balcony or deck. They often provide the only way for people who live in apartments or urbanized areas to garden. Most plants, including evergreens, herbs, perennials and annuals, can be used in a planter. Container gardens soften the hard lines of a paved patio and can provide privacy on a large terrace. Planters can be grouped for a massed effect on a large patio while a single potted specimen is effective in a small space.

To vary the theme of your container garden over the course of the year be ready to replace flowers that have finished blooming with something new. Container gardening allows you to easily change the color scheme of your garden throughout the season. For instance, spring bulbs can be replaced with summer blooming annuals. Annuals, in turn, can be replaced with chrysanthemums and asters for fall color. Evergreens, such as the Alberta spruce and holly, provide interest through the winter.

If you have steps leading up to your front door, the use planters will charm your visitors. Container gardens can accentuate interesting architectural details. For example, large planters with tall evergreens are great for framing an entry way. When massing your planters, group them in odd numbers rather than even, and try to vary their size and type. Also, be sure to include in your container garden plants of varying of shapes and heights. Take into consideration the shape and texture of the foliage as well; it is these qualities which create interest during lulls in blooming.

Indoor, pots of flowers create a cozy and warm atmosphere. Decide ahead of time where you want your pots to be positioned, then buy plants that suit the situation. Try to find locations next to windows since most plants require at least some sun during the day. Some plants, such as those which grow extensive root systems, are more suited for the outdoor garden.

Experiment with different types of containers. You can use anything which will hold soil; just be sure to allow for adequate drainage. An old whiskey barrel or copper urn are both suitable and are perfect for a more rustic garden. If your looking for something more traditional, buy your planters at the garden center. They usually have a wide range of colorful terracotta pots. You can also build a planter out of landscape timbers.

Plastic pots are inexpensive and can be decorated on the outside with water based paints. When purchasing pots, don’t forget to buy matching saucers to catch any overflowing water. This will prevent cement floors from getting stained or timber floors and decks from rotting.

When planting your containers be sure to use a high quality, nutrient rich potting mix as it will feed your plants throughout the season. Also, place a few stones at the bottom pf the pot to allow for drainage. Take some time to plan your container garden before buying your supplies. With a little imagination you can turn any patio or deck, small or large, into a lush year-round garden.

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