Thursday, May 20, 2010

Container Gardens - Part 2

Yesterday I posted about my obsession with surrounding myself with flowers throughout the year and, specifically, about creating beautiful container gardens in the spring. I ended up planting all of the flowers I had in those pictures into 15 containers. It felt so good! Here are a few shots of the containers as they are now...

The plants look a little puny now, but within a few weeks these containers will be filled out and be overflowing in blossoms. A few hints for maintaining container gardens might be:
  • Soil - Purchase a good quality potting mix. Some come with fertilizer added, which might save you some time and money.
  • Fertilize - I fertilize (Miracle Grow works well) approximately every other week to keep the plants putting out magnificent blooms.
  • Drainage - Make sure your pot has adequate drainage. If your container doesn't have a hole in the bottom, drill one. Put a thick layer (at least several inches) of mulch, bark, or rocks in the bottom of your container before you add your soil to facilitate drainage.
  • Dead Head - For those plants that need dead-heading, do it often! I dead-head every other day. That way the plants are constantly producing beautiful blooms.
  • Water - In Colorado during the heat of the summer that sometimes means morning and evening, but usually only once a day. Keep the soil moist. Plants in clay or foam pots (more porous) will need more water than those in plastic containers.
  • Entertaining - If you have a scheduled outdoor event in your yard and you want your containers to be at their best, clip off all the flowers on them about 1 to 1 1/2 weeks before the event. This will ensure new, luscious flowers for the event.
  • As you plant the flowers into the containers, make sure to leave space around the plants for growth. Avoid packing the plants too tightly.
When I first plant a container, it usually looks a bit sparse. But it doesn't take long for the plants to fill the container. Here is an example of that. This is a photo taken the end of May (last year) just after planting:

This is the same container a month later...

Here are a few more photos from past summers of container gardens in all their glory...

There's nothing that welcomes a guest like a lush, vibrant container overflowing with blossoms situated by your front door. On a patio, container gardens can surround a sitting area with soft fragrances and can create a more charming atmosphere. I hope this post encourages you to plant a container garden, especially if it's something you've never tried. Happy planting!

Linked to:
We're Organized Wednesday @ Organize and Decorate Everything
Transformation Thursday @ The Shabby Chic Cottage
Strut Your Stuff Thursday @ Somewhat Simple