Spill, fill and thrill. We’ve all heard these “rules” of container gardens. And, after planting dozens of pots this summer, I agree. Our most successful containers each include three important elements: a trailing plant (ivy, vinca, petunias) a showy and lush fill plant (impatiens, marigolds, lantana), and a thrilling tall plant (clematis on a tiny trellis, dahlias, cat mint).
But, that’s where the rules end!
Today, container gardens don’t need to be confined to traditional clay pots. Your imagination is the only limit. Choose from wheelbarrows, vintage tins, even dresser drawers! And, I think that some of the best choices for container gardens are the ones that add an unexpected element of whimsy to the garden.
For container gardens, a few simple tips will ensure stunning success (even for the amateur):
- Choose large enough containers, as plants continue to grow. I have occasionally underestimated the amount that flowers will grow and have had to repot. Resist the urge for “instant fill gratification” when potting.
- Don’t forget to water frequently. With our current, oppressive heat wave, that means every single morning.
- Use proper soil for potting. I prefer Miracle Grow Potting Soil with Moisture Control.
- Containers look best when grouped. And, pots or containers need not all be the same. Vary the height and flowers for the best look.
If you haven’t tried container gardening yet, there’s still a lot of summer left. A group of pots overflowing with colorful annuals adds pizazz to a front entrance. Or, try a cluster of containers to accent a deck or patio for al fresco dining in style. Plus, you can use large containers with tall plants to camouflage less than desirable elements (the air conditioner unit or the electric meter).
And remember, pots aren’t only for showy summer flowers! Some of my favorite containers are filled with fall flowers such as mums, paired with sculptural elements including potted cabbages, tall grasses, and even some pumpkins or gourds as accents.
But, my favorite part of container gardening? No weeds to pull!
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Since 2009, Susan Said… WHAT?! has been your guide to a life filled with style. You’ll find everything from must-have fashion and accessories, to gorgeous gardens, stunning interiors, plus the latest products for parties, weddings, and events of all kinds. Susan Said…WHAT?! was named one of the Top 50 Beauty Blogs in the World by RebateZone.com. Editor Susan Conforte McNeill is an author, entrepreneur, and co-founder of the literacy organization Success Won’t Wait!