Container gardens: Beauty for any space
May 21, 2008
Container gardening is one of the hippest trends in gardening today – and no wonder. It can transform any deck, patio or entryway in seconds with bouts of color, texture and style. With the busy lifestyle of many residents in Park City, container gardening, which provides endless beauty with very little work, is gaining popularity. And believe it or not, it’s easy! Well, with a little help that is.
Let these inside tips transform that dull and lifeless nook into a gardener’s paradise:
1. Choose the right container. First off, you need to pick a container that works. Two of the newest and hottest pots out are lightweight foam and fiberglass. Both are pleasing to the eye and easy on the pocketbook. For a more classic look, there’s terra-cotta, glazed ceramic, or concert, all providing their own benefit of durability. And remember, bigger is always better, no matter what space you are trying to fill.
2. Get smart about hydration. One of the hardest parts of container gardening would have to be keeping things watered! So let me let you in on a little secret. You know that irrigation box mounted in the garage? It can water both your lawn and containers. You can run drip irrigation to any hanging pot or container. Once you have the parts in place, simply set a zone and kiss the hose good-bye. So the next time you bounce out of town, finding someone to water your plants will no longer be a nuisance. (Brilliant, I know!)
3. The dirt on soil: Make sure your mixture contains peat moss, ground bark, and Perlite. This combination is lightweight, holds the right amount of moisture, doesn’t compact, and it drains well. Also look for a wetting agent, which allows organic matter to absorb water easily and evenly. Don’t purchase bags labeled "topsoil," "garden soil," or "cow manure." These products are heavy, drain poorly and contain little nutrition.
4. Let there be light. Next, you need to assess how much light your space receives throughout the day. Shade plants will never survive in endless sun. Sun lovers will become leggy and lack color in the shade.
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5. Pick the right combination. When shopping, fill a cart with different plants to see what looks best together. Stack colors for a bold showing. This means combining low with medium-size and tall plants. You will need to reflect back to your light requirements to ensure you pair the right plants. Your eyes will do the shopping for you, so don’t be surprised when you get to the register.
6. Don’t be afraid to try something new.
There are many great plants out there, so there’s no need to use same tiresome combinations year after year. Give a few of these a try this summer:
Japanese roof Iris
Purple fountain grass, Japanese blood grass or red dragon rice
Simple is sometimes better. Although a beautiful mix of color is always nice, it may not fit in with some spaces. Look into topiaries, which can be found in many different styles and varities. Boxwood, holly, sasanqua camellia, cast-iron plant, palm and clipped ligustrum are great choices for structure that stay constant and look great throughout the year. You never want to take away from the space. Make sure your pots are packed with the right punch without being overpowering.
For more information on container gardening and design you can contact Buckets of Blossoms at Bucketsofblossom@gmail.com or (801) 934-1519. Or stop by the Buckets of Blossoms booth at the Park Silly Sunday Market.