the Right Plant Container
gardening is wonderful! If you have trouble making up your mind about
your garden design, all you have to do is shove a few pots around and
you have a new design. If you want to grow exotic
plants in a cold climate then container
planting will let you fool them into thinking they are right at home
in the tropics.
And if you
like change - containers are about as changeable as you can get. First
of all, you have all kinds of interesting containers, from classic to
just plain wild. Don't limit yourself to only commercial pots. As long
as you can provide adequate
drainage, many flea market or garage sale items can make perfect container
gardens. (Tea kettles, wash basins and wheelbarrows are just a few examples.)
And then you have all kinds of great places to put a container
garden - from a tiny balcony to a bare spot in a huge garden - or even
indoors. You can hang them from poles or on walls,
or set them on rolling carts - or even - (dastardly thought) just put
them on the ground!
almost anything that can be grown in the ground can be grown in a pot
- and a few things actually prefer being containerized. (Is that a word?)
You can change your floral display seasonally, hide the plants that are
getting tattered around the edges, and generally, with a little slight
of hand and a wee bit of planning, fool people into thinking you actually
know what you're doing.
Of Container Materials
A pot's a pot - right? And it doesn't really matter what it's made of,
as long as it holds dirt
- right? Wrong. While all pots will hold plants, some are better than
others, some more attractive than others, and some, while downright ugly,
are indispensable. (You just have to hide them!)
A lot depends
on the climate you live in, because some materials may look strong and
then shatter into a thousand pieces with the first freeze. The kind of
plants you'll be planting may also make a difference, as some like to
live in swampy environments and will want containers that retain
moisture; others prefer to pretend they are in the desert and want
And, if you like container gardening because of its portability, a lot
depends on your brute strength. Container materials vary from featherweights
to a tonnage guaranteed to cause hernias.
of course, there is personal preference. You're going to like the look
of some materials, and hate others. (Your neighbor may have quite the
opposite tastes.) And finally, there is your budget. Some materials are
for champagne budgets only, while others can be as cheap as - well. .
Select, Prepare, And Maintain Your Containers
you could just go out and buy
a plant and plunk it into whatever container you have handy, understanding
the basics of container selection, preparation, and maintenance will go
a long way toward creating a successful container garden.
your container is made of not only affects how happy you are with the
total look of your garden but how happy your plants will be growing in
it. The container itself will determine not only how easy your garden
is to maintain but where you can grow things -- on walls,
from trees, or on the ground. A combination of the container type
and material will determine how much maintenance your garden will need
-- and how
often you need to water it.
need to select containers appropriate for the types of plants you want
to grow and for the style of your house and garden design. Once these
are clean and filled with whatever materials will give your plant proper
drainage, they'll make good homes for happy plants.
If you make sure to bring in any containers that can be damaged by weather,
and to keep permanent outdoor containers well mulched
and mounted, you should be ready to enjoy a long-lived and happy garden.