Even if you don’t have a lot of time or room to grow a garden, you can still add a dash of color to your Spring. With even the most limited outdoor space, you can easily create a charming bouquet of scent and sight with easy-to-maintain container gardens or window boxes. Transform your front steps or patio into a mini garden oasis!
Picking the perfect place and the planter:
The first step in creating a container garden is choosing your location. Whether you choose an area of the yard that is seldom used or a more prominent place such as beside your entryway or steps, container gardens will add color to any area. The best part about a container garden is that if you decide you don’t like the location, you can always pick it up and move it elsewhere!
Let the size and type of your chosen location dictate what type and size container you will select. If you have a lot of free space up high, like under an open porch or beneath a raised deck or overhang, consider a hanging basket. If your space is relatively flat and level, like a patio or near an entryway, a freestanding pot should work well. If your space is limited to window ledges or perhaps wide rails as on a porch or deck, attach window boxes using decorative brackets from the hardware store.
Many ready-made containers are widely available and fairly priced. You can opt for a store-bought container and add your own finishing touches like a coat of spray paint to complement the colors of your home’s exterior, or you can start with a container you already have. Great container gardens can be created using old tin washtubs, buckets and even old coffee cans if you plan to go for a rustic look. The only requirement is that the containers provide adequate drainage for when you water your plants. This can easily be achieved, if necessary, by drilling a few small holes in the bottom of your chosen container.
The best part of gardening comes after your container is chosen: filling it up with flowers (or ornamental edibles)! You can have a variety of different plants in your container, especially since the motto of container gardening is ‘the fuller the better.’ The more different types of flowers you add, the more breathtaking your bucket of blooms will be! Small vines and plants with long flowing foliage work well in container gardens, as they trail over the edges and give containers a bountiful look.
A couple of important things to keep in mind when selecting your plants are how much room each plant/flower needs to thrive, and what amount of sunlight/shade each will need. When combining different species, be sure to consider these needs and group together plants and flowers that require the same growing conditions. These constraints are usually listed on the tag of any plant you buy at a nursery. Certain plants are hardier than others are and will prosper in nearly any location. To make the most of your garden, select annuals that you can change with the seasons! Since it is spring, start with some early bloomers like violets, forced tulips or daffodils, or even some nice annual grasses. For more tips and tricks on flower selection or container gardening, visit www.gardenguides.com.
Little gardens can make a huge difference in small places. Enjoy the Spring, and happy planting!