How to Make a Beautiful Container Garden

Container Gardening
Beautiful Container Garden

Growing plants in containers is a great option for those who have small gardens or patios. It is an easy way to effectively change the look of your porch or a front entry. A big advantage to potted plants is that they are easily movable. You can quickly change their position if necessary or if you decide to change the look of your porch. You can easily move the plant if it needs more sunlight or if you wish to protect it from frost. Another big advantage to containers is that they help you maximize small spaces and grow many plants in a relatively small area.

The good news is that many plants do well in containers and they can thrive year long. To have a beautiful container garden, it's important to choose specific plants that can be grown easily. It's best to choose plants that can survive in the cold if you want to leave your contained plants outside during winter. Also, it's important to choose just the right container for your plant, as well as a suitable soil mix.

If you choose to leave winter plants outside during cold months, keep in mind that you have to water them less frequently than in the spring or summer. Make sure the plants are placed somewhere where they can get enough sunlight even during short winter days.

Ideal Containers

There are many different types of pots and containers you can use for your plants. Almost any container can be used as a pot, but it doesn't mean they are all perfect for your plants. The first thing you should pay attention to when choosing an appropriate container is drainage. If your chosen container doesn't have small holes in the bottom you should drill them to ensure drainage. In case you are unable to add holes, you can place a layer of gravel at the bottom of the container. This will prevent water accumulation.

Another thing you can try is to pick a pot that will drain well (and is suitable for your plant in other ways) and then place this container inside a decorative one. This way, you can achieve many creative solutions while providing your plant with a perfect potting environment. If you feel super-creative you can make many unique pots. For example, you can turn a child's wagon or an old wine barrel into a decorative container for your plants.

Soil Mix

In order to grow contained plants successfully, you need to provide them with the perfect growing environment. These plants are restricted to the pot, so everything inside the pot, from the soil to fertilizers, has to be high quality and appropriate for plants in question. You can choose a quality commercial potting mix and add peat moss or compost to it. Compost and peat moss can help with moisture retention. You may also add some coarse sand to the mix to ensure drainage. To protect your plants from various elements after planting, add a layer of mulch over the top of the soil.

Choose the Right Plants

Finally, it's important to choose the right plants for your container garden. If you wish to keep your plants outside year long it's important to choose plants that can survive in the cold. Some good candidates for your container garden include:

  • Pansies. They actually prefer cool weather. You may also choose the ice pansy variety that can survive even in the light snow.
  • Shrubs. They make a beautiful centerpiece, especially in winter. English holly, broadleaf and boxwood are excellent choices.
  • Chrysanthemums. They can do very well in cold climates. They make great container plants. They are very cold hardy and very resistant. Flowers offer a wide range of colors so they will stand out in any winter garden.
  • Flowering kale and flowering cabbages. They make an interesting choice and they will provide some bright colors in late fall when most of the other plants are fading. These colors come from leaves, which can range in color from autumn red to pink and purple. It's important to know that ornamental varieties look more beautiful than their garden counterparts but they are not as tasty.
  • Ornamental grasses. They come in a wide range of colors and types so you can choose the ones you like the most. Choose between feather reed grass, Japanese forest grass, Japanese silver grass, fountain grass, and more. Ornamental grasses are very beautiful and containers are effective for keeping them from spreading.

Photo credit: Earthworm

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