Posts Tagged ‘container garden’

Unusual Petunias To Grow

A petunia that caught my eye this summer was this deep red-violet with a subtle stripe through its rays.

A petunia that caught my eye this summer was this deep red-violet with a subtle stripe through its rays.

Petunias used to be available in only a few colours, the ubiquitous red, white, hot pink and all kinds of blues and purples. Now we have way more choice in this very useful annual flower. Before I go any further, let me say that I am no flower snob and love all kinds of everyday annuals, including petunias. Some may sneer at common annual flowers, just because they have tended to be overused, but not me. A flower is a flower, and petunias are lovely in the right place. For one thing, the scent of many varieties (whites and purples, and most of the supertunias) makes them worth it alone. My soft spot for petunias began when I was a beginning gardener. I bought all kinds of plants to grow in a shady garden, and the petunias were the only ones that lived. For this novice, those sturdy petunias made me a fan for life.

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Boost the Power of Garden Colour With Matching Containers

Blue Love in a Mist

Blue ‘love in a mist’ annual flowers with matching blue container.

We don’t have to settle for plain old terra cotta anymore. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I love the look of natural clay pots or believable-looking (plastic) fakes. However, moving towards the pure rainbow hues of the spectrum can give your garden some colour pizzazz. This bright blue container increases the impact of the blue love in a mist flowers in the foreground. Now that manufacturers are creating so many garden containers in varied colours, we can easily maximize our favourite colour choices in our garden arrangements.

This pairing of blue and blue is a real knockout. Of course, in my view, there is almost nothing better than a blue pot in the garden. The blue makes a perfect contrast to the garden’s green, while still being an analogous colour. Analogous colours sit next to each other on the colour spectrum, naturally blending together, while also giving just enough contrast. And it’s that bit of contrast that makes a garden interesting and noteworthy. Try a coloured pot somewhere in your garden, and pair it with one of your favourite garden flowers. The two often make an impact that’s greater than the sum of its parts.

Worry-Free Planters: Mixed Succulents

Mixed succulents in a clay planter.

Mixed succulents in a clay planter. Echeveria, (rosette form), and two kinds of crassula among others.

Why do I love succulent planters? Because, not only are they beautiful, but they are tough and worry-free: they’re the ultimate drought-resistant container planting. Succulents can thrive in the tough growing conditions that a clay planter provides, and are the only plants I grow in an unglazed terra cotta planter.

Why is a terra cotta planter so hard on plants? Because they are porous. Beware, because beautiful, decorative clay planters often seduce us at the garden centre or in photographs, but keep in mind that garden picture books may have photos taken in other climates, with different growing conditions. In rainy, old England, for example, or any Maritime climate with tons of rain and mist, you can get away with planting mixed annuals—like petunias, begonias, browallia— in clay, but I would never do it in the Toronto climate. Sunny, hot summer days dry out a clay planter in a couple of hours. All planters dry out from the top, but porous terra cotta dries out from the sides as well. It can spell certain death to most flowering annuals, they don’t stand a chance.

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Potscaping: Container Garden Tips

Worth It To Get Potty

  • Mobility: Move ’em around. By hand, or with a plant dolly (circular stand with wheels) that lets you move even huge pots.
  • Gardeners with mostly shade can catch available sun by placing pots in sunny areas like lane ways, driveways, where there may be no soil for in-ground planting. Moving pots around during the day to follow the sun’s path can make growing edibles possible for some without full sun.
  • Add jolts of colour. Pots come in vibrant colours, whether they are bamboo or ceramic. You can never go wrong with a blue ceramic pot.
  • Seasonal plantings. Plant differently in spring, summer, fall and winter. You’ll never be bored.

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