The nasturtium I planted in this clay pot earlier in the summer is growing wild! It’s starting to cascade over the edge of the pot and has definitely overpowered the alyssum I had included in this arrangement. Note to myself for another year – forget the alyssum!
Container gardening has its advantages. Container plants add a new dimension to your garden and provide a great way to accent specific areas with color and art. It’s a design element that should be incorporated in every garden. Experiment with flower and leaf color variations, texture and size until you develop the look and combination you like. I consider pottery to be an art form and there’s an infinite variety of containers to satisfy everyone’s taste and compliment the planting. Shopping for pottery is so much fun! Rustic clay pots tend to attract my attention because I know they will develop an interesting patina over the years. But, I can certainly be persuaded to purchase colorfully glazed, artsy pottery as well! An added bonus, there are pottery choices to fit every budget!
If you have a small, urban lawn or balcony patio, containers give you the option to add color to your outdoor area and satisfy that urge to garden where space is limited. In addition, container gardening gives you more control over the planting environment. Water, exposure to sun or shade and temperature can all be monitored and adjusted as needed. Most potting mediums supply just the right mix of soil (types of mineral aggregates and peat moss) to allow for moisture retention while providing adequate drainage and nutrients for growing. Utilize pots of varying size for interest and a layered effect.
Containers are portable. If you don’t like where it is, you can move it to a new location! For example, that nasturtium in the above photo is probably going to lose its place on my front porch soon. My porch is narrow and the plant is expanding to the point it’s hard to walk around it! Portability is also nice if you lease. Renters can enjoy the fact that if they need to relocate, their garden can go with them. My son and his girlfriend have a “container” orchard growing in the side yard where they rent a house in suburban California. They are cultivating fruit trees, blueberry bushes and maintaining a hydroponic strawberry tower in a postage-stamp sized backyard!
I also like to use containers to experiment with new plants. It’s an easy way to test out different plant combinations and if something does not work, you can easily change it up! Want to grow mint but are worried about it spreading throughout your garden? Put it in a container!
There are endless resources online that provide design ideas and practical advice on container gardening. Keep it simple and start experimenting! The rewards are many with minimal effort 🙂