CONTAINER GARDENS - MAKING THE BEST USE OF POTS AS GARDEN FEATURES
There are so many elements of a garden that we really love, but chief amidst them would be a great “container garden” or well-made use of potted plants in a garden environment. Who doesn’t love a beautiful pot spilling over abundantly with tumbles of flowers and greenery? It gives an instantly fresh “spring” appeal to your living space.
Regardless of where you live, there really are many good reasons to keep a container garden:
Decorative flair & visual appeal: The use of pots in a garden allows you to really bring out your creative side, using the colour of pots to complement another feature in your garden for example white pots on terracotta stones. Pots also ads visual appeal to any home, adding value at the same time.
Easy Maintenance: Potted plants are generally free from weeds due to the small area and don’t needs as much trimming or pruning as garden plants or heavy garden equipment, and easier to feed.
Time saving: Container Gardens take up much less time in maintenance than a full garden.
Portable and Versatile: Pots of most sizes can easily be moved between spaces to change up any area. As they generally don’t take up a lot of space they can be used in courtyards, on patios and balconies, on pathways and in driveways. If you move, you simply take them with you.
Now that you have heard some great reasons to keep a container garden, here are some tips to help get you started:
Start with a plan. Sketch out the area you are putting the pots in, and plan the quantity needed. Then think about suitable plants for your environment and climate, and the area the will be placed – some plants are suitable for shade only, others for sun only, some for a combination.
Consider what containers you will use. Choose from plastic, terracotta, wooden crates, tin, metal, old watering cans or wheelbarrows, modern stone pots, the list is almost endless. We’ve even seen plants potted into old shoes and garden boots! Do however think carefully about what you will be planting as different plants will have different soil depth requirements and hence different container depths will be needed. Consider also the look and feel of the pots to fit into the area of placement.
It’s important to carefully consider the soil you are using in the pot. Avoid contamination of your plant by using a packaged potting mix. We use Living Earth potting soil which is a blend of Living Earth compost and composted bark. It is ideal to use as a growing medium when potting plants into containers . Potting soil needs to be porous to allow easy access for good root development and for acieration. The potting soil is tested and has a balanced nutrients ideal for potted plants and is a great start for any plant .
You can water most potted plants daily because excess water tends to drain out but overwatering them can drain essential nutrients along with the water. Find out from your local green-thumbs team what your plants requirements are.
Remember to feed your potted plants as you would a garden – but on a smaller scale. Ask the experts if you are not sure. Feeding your plant on a regular basis is important as the Potting Soil mix is mainly a medium for the plant and additional feeding is necessary every month . A liquid feed from your local hardware store is great .
Be varied with your planting – you are not restricted to potting only plants for visual beauty. Edible gardens are very trendy, and many herbs do very well in pots and can be conveniently planted right outside the kitchen door. You can also pot for fragrance. As an idea, lavender also does well in a pot.
Potted plants don’t necessarily need to be kept on the ground. Consider placing potted plants on levels like balconies, window ledges, old bar stools or chairs, or hang them from the patio rafters.
Eco Balance Landscaping recently undertook a full garden makeover, part of which involved some container gardening. We repurposed a beautiful old cast-iron pot, keeping the cost down, and prepared the pot with some Living Earth potting soil. We have done many similar makeovers and just love the outcome every time.
Have a look at how Tracey & Albert really get all the goodness of the potting soil well embedded into the pot plant:
If this all sounds too intimidating for you and you feel you need some advice or help with your container garden, why not give the experts a ring for a garden visit!