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Introducing Container Gardening

Aug 17, 2007
Container gardens are the means to creating a natural sanctuary in a garden on almost any busy city street, along rooftops or on balconies. You can easily accentuate the welcoming look of a deck or patio with colourful pots of annuals, or fill your window boxes with beautiful shrub roses or any number of small perennials. It doesn't matter whether you arrange your pots in a group for a massed effect or showcase a smaller space with a single dlightful specimen, you're bound to be enchanted with this simple way to create a spectacular garden.

Container gardening enables you diversify your color scheme, and as each plant finishes its flowering, it can be replaced with another. Whether you choose to harmonize themes in your garden, or to contrast your colors, do your best to ensure there exists a variety in the height of each plant. Take into consideration, also, the shape and texture of the leaves. Tall strap-like leaves will give a good vertical background to low-growing, wide-leaved plants. Choose plants with a long flowering season, or have others of a different type ready to replace them as they finish blooming.

Experiment with creative containers. You might have an old porcelain bowl or copper urn you can use, or perhaps you'd rather make something really modern with timber or tiles. We used old pre-WWII mixing bowls found in our cellar and Pooh-bear honey pots to create our container garden - you can use all sorts of things. If you decide to buy your containers ready-made, terracotta pots look wonderful, but tend to absorb water. You don't want your plants to dry out, so a tip is to paint the interior of these pots with a special sealer available from hardware stores.

Cheaper plastic pots can also be painted on the outside with water-based paints to improve their overall look. When purchasing pots or containers of any kind, don't forget to procure (or paint) matching saucers to catch the drips. This will save cement floors getting stained, or timber floors rotting.
Be sure always to use a good quality potting mix in your containers. This will ensure the best performance possible from your container plants.

If you have steps leading up to your front door, an attractive pot plant flanking each will enchant your visitors. Indoors, pots of plants or flowers help to create a cosy and welcoming atmosphere.

Decide ahead of time where you want to position your pots, then obtain plants that suit situation. There is no point buying sun loving plants for a shady position, for they will fair badly. In addition, some plants have really large roots, so they are best reserved for the open garden.

If you have an abundance of space at your front door, a group of potted plants off to one side will be more visually appealing than two similar plants put at each side. Unless they are spectacular, they will appear somewhat unintersting.

Group your containers in odd numbers rather than even ones, and vary the height and type. In order to integrate the groupings, include large rocks that are similar in appearance but just slightly different in size. Three or five pots of the same type and color, but in different sizes also highlights a creative effect.

With a modicum of creativity and the right information, you will easily be able to create a container garden you will be proud to call your own..
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