Here We Grow!
In our changing world, the average gardener is no longer average. Gardeners can be found in urban city apartment buildings, suburban housing communities and in the ever-shrinking rural countryside. Today’s home owners, condo members and dorm dwellers have one thread in common they consider the outside of their home as an extension of their home and thus an additional “room” to decorate. Container gardening offers variety, color and best of all, mobility to all gardeners, novice and expert. Bringing the idea of structure, texture and color to containers allows the gardener to transform small or large spaces into a tropical forest, a desert landscape, or a cut-fl ower paradise.
The planning of any garden, even a container garden, includes choosing the right plants for the environment they will be living in and creating a pleasing combination of structure, texture and color. PLANT THE IDEA…it’s as easy as 1-2-3.
(1) First, choose a focal point, the centerpiece if you will, for your planting. Recommendations include ornamental grasses, shrubs and conifers, large leafed tropical foliage or uniquely shaped succulents.
(2) Then choose foliage plants for texture. These can include colorful seasonals like Coleus, Angel- wing Begonias, Caladiums and Dusty Miller, or trailing foliage like Ivy, Dichondra, Sweet Potato Vine or Creeping Wire Vine. Fresh herbs in containers can be attractive and functional.
(3) The next step is to add flowering plants for additional color and focus. Warm season containers frequently contain Petunias, Million Bells and other long-flowering seasonals. Cold season con- tainers traditionally use Pansies, Violas, or Stock. Don’t underestimate the effect of containers. A grouping of containers, including a single-item con- tainer can be arranged and re-arranged as the seasons progress to highlight different items. Groupings of containers at the garden entrance or around focal points such as a large flowering tree, a bench, birdbath or arbor add variety and interest to larger yards. Even flowering or foliage hanging baskets add drama and interest to porches and entrances. Now, WATCH IT GROW.
Choose a location and get a feel for how sunny or shady it is throughout the day. You can choose your pots first or let your plant choices guide your container needs. Now, choose the plants. Remember 1-2-3! Choose at least one plant from each group and try to combine plants according to light and water requirements.
Each container is a mini-environment so you can group desert plants in one and tropical foliage in another. Just water the container according to the overall needs of its occupants. Containers can be changed out as weather changes in the spring and fall. Spring seasonals last through summer’s heat. Fall seasonals will last through winter’s cold.