Container flower gardens

Published 7:00 am Friday, May 15, 2015

Spring and summer are the seasons of bloom for a wide variety of annuals and perennials. It seems like every year there are so many new choices that it is hard to keep up with all that is available. So, when I visit a garden center I’m like a kid in a candy store. I would like to take it all home with me. Most of us don’t have the time or space to plant even a little bit of everything. However, a great way to enjoy the vast array of color and foliage without spending a lot of time or money is to container garden.

Container gardens, including pots and hanging baskets may be purchased at local garden centers in their finished form. These ready-made arrangements will brighten any spot and may be moved from deck to patio to poolside depending on the need. Baskets of color are versatile and can be designed for either low or high light locations. If you are not familiar with the plants in the container be sure to ask what light exposure the plants prefer and how often they should be watered and fertilized.

Ready-made container gardens are beautiful and garden center employees do a great job of blending color and putting the right plants together. However, you may want to design and plant own container garden. It’s really not that difficult and you don’t need years of experience to make it look good. Let me give you some very simple pointers about putting a container garden together.

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Containers come in all shapes and sizes and almost anything that will hold soil will work. Just be sure that water will readily drain from the container. Standing water will kill plant roots. Avoid choosing plants those that grow rampantly. They will take over! Avoid plants that will grow too tall and need staking. Start with small transplants so they will look natural as they grow up together. Combine plants with similar light and water requirements.

Limit the number of plant types to four or five different types per container. Use plants whose colors complement one another and blend with the color of the container. Include taller plants for height and place them in the center. Trailing plants look best around the edge where they may cascade.

The list of plants that can be used in containers is very long. The best containers are designed like a bouquet with a mix of tall, linear plants and flower spikes (line), round flowers and broad-leaved foliage (form) and plants with small leaves and dainty flowers (filler).

Take a trip to your local garden center and feast your eyes on the myriad of flower and foliage choices that are available for container gardens. Choose one ready-made or design your own for instant color and the absolute best kind of decoration!

By Eddie Smith.