Photo by Vilseskogen
Container gardening has become a popular method of fine gardening in the past decade or so. Prior to that, container gardening was almost exclusively used by space-starved apartment dwellers. Nowadays, container gardens are found on decks, in nooks and crannies, and in even incorporated into traditional gardens!
Container gardening involves selecting appropriate plants to put into movable buckets or barrels. It is important to match the appropriate plant to the appropriate container and put them in the best location possible. However, since container gardening is both versatile and portable, it is easy to change your design if you find you don’t like your original idea.
When looking to design a creative container garden, the first step is to look at the type of containers you will use. Terra cotta pots are the most popular container gardening choice, but they will often crack after two or three years of use. Don’t limit yourself. Try fiberglass, wood, or concrete. Found objects can be perfect for container gardening: try an old sink or a tin washtub. If you find a container in the shape you want, but not the color, try painting it. Home improvement stores are full of ideas and supplies for creating any kind of faux finish you could dream up.
The next element of design in your container garden should be the plants themselves. It might be possible to grow species you would not otherwise be able to, as you can control the soil mixture and sun exposure in each individual container. Container gardens are also great places to grow rock plants as long as your container has good drainage. Think of the purpose you want these plants to serve. Should they be tall to screen an ugly area of the backyard, or should they be low and colorful to outline a sidewalk? Choose your plants accordingly.
Container gardening means versatility of location. Use your containers in a creative configuration on the corner of your patio. You can also use them to create a border around your traditional garden. The containers can even be put into the ground as a quick fix if one of your other garden plants dies. Some people have found success placing a row of containers on top of a low wall. However, these containers should be sturdy enough to withstand wind and passersby. Others have mounted their containers on garden walls to add height their garden design. Sometimes a single container on the landing of a staircase can brighten up the entire space. Just make sure that the container and the plant work well in your chosen location.
Truly, the possibilities are endless when it comes to container gardening. It is easy to see why it has become so popular.