Monday, January 31, 2011

10 Tips!

I'm dreaming of a house with a nice backyard for my kids to run and play in. I'm dreaming of a house with a backyard so that we can have a dog, a picnic table, a swingset, a trampoline, a firepit, and a really gorgeous garden.

I may not have a yard right now or the space for a garden, but there's one thing I'd like to try out in my front entryway. . . using planters to display some beautiful flowers. It seems easy and low-maintenance, totally perfect for me right now! Before I go buy some outdoor planters and flowers, I've been doing some research so I don't kill my little plants.

Here's a sampling of what I've learned. . . 10 tips on using planters in your garden!

1. Use planters to soften hard edges. Place containers where they'll disguise harsh edges or angles, either by direct concealment or by creating a focal point that acts as a distraction.
2. Frame an entry! Doors, gates, and other entrances are natural focal points. Make a great impression by framing them with attractive, colorful containers. I really want to do this around my door! I need to find some really great stone planters and the perfect flowers to go with them!

3. Pots and containers always require more frequent watering than plants in the ground. As the season progresses and your plants mature, their root system will expand and require even more water. Don't wait until you see the plants wilting. Check your containers daily to judge the need for water.

4. Add height! Gardeners often overlook vertical space. Use freestanding or hanging containers to give your garden some three-dimensional color.
5. Provide good drainage. Always have drainage holes or at the very least, a 1-2 inch layer of gravel at the bottom of the container. If you are using a decorative pot without drainage holes, consider planting in a plastic pot with holes that is one size smaller than the decorative pot and using the plastic pot as an insert.

6. Use a good potting soil mix, not garden soil. A mix with peat, perlite or vermiculite will retain moisture longer and yet be well draining. It will also be lighter and won't compact as the season goes on. Using a chunky-style potting mix in container of 5 or more gallons will help the soil mix remain loose even longer.

7. Choose similar plants. Select plants that will be happy with the same amounts of water, sun, heat, and food. Avoid aggressive spreaders that will compete with neighboring plants and consider dwarf varieties.

8. Unify the landscape. Employ a strategy used indoors, where repetition of color unites the decor. Outdoors, use similar or identical containers throughout an area to pull it together.
Isn't this arrangement gorgeous? SO elegant!
9. Balance the sizes. Container gardens look best when the plants are in balance with the container. Try to make sure your tallest plants are not be more than twice the height of the container and that the fullness of the plant material is not more than half the width again as wide.

10. Keep them fresh! Don't be afraid to switch out plant material for the change of season. No plant can go on blooming forever. When one plant starts to fade, look for another to take its place.

Container garden veterans, I'd love to hear from you! What other great tips do you have for me before I start my new little venture?

3 comments:

  1. I love the tip about add the height! We do forget that. When I did the container gardening I planned it out on paper first and focused on the two most important areas I wanted to do so it was not so overwhelming! Good luck.

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  2. These are great tips! I used pots for almost five years when we were in apartments...actually, I still have a few pots that I really like in our yard! I had a lot of fun with occasionally doing herb pots too...some of my favorites are basil, mints, and garlic or onions because they grow so easily here and I like the smells. Have fun!

    Carla

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  3. Thanks for linking up at Relax and Surf Sunday.

    Following you!

    www.shibleysmibleysmiles.com

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