I’ve always loved Container Gardening. I think it might have started when I was about 10, getting totally obsessed with rooting an avocado pit by putting toothpicks into it, elevating it over water and then planting it. It actually grew into a small tree that I had for many years in a container. These days I am a totally self admitted, full fledged “Container Freak!” I will try any type of plant/combination and have found that there really aren’t too many things that you can’t grow in a container. The possibilities are endless. Add in the benefit that a beautiful container can be created in a very short period of time and except for watering, there’s usually not a lot of maintenance or weeding. Oh and for the impatient souls amongst us, including myself…I don’t know of too many gardening projects that can provide such “instant gratification”.
Container Gardens come in all shapes and sizes. They can be simple single specimens or more elaborate combinations of various colors, textures and shapes. Trees can adapt well to containers and it's easy and rewarding to grow luscious herbs, fruits and vegetables. (Click on photo's for full size views)
Container Gardening is also very easy. You really don’t need much to get started and even the self proclaimed “I have a black thumb” plant murderer can create a beautiful container with a little knowledge. It can also be a gardening solution for persons affected by Arthritis or other conditions limiting movement, and at the right level can even be performed from a chair.
Even if you travel frequently and don’t have the time for regular watering, you can still enjoy this type of gardening. There are many self-watering planters on the market as well as soil additives and watering systems which will keep your gardens healthy and thriving while you’re away.
Now if space is a limitation, then container gardening is definitely for you. Even the smallest balcony can be transformed into a paradise with a little creativity. With so many choices these days of space saving, hanging and stackable planters, an Oasis is totally achievable in a confined space. If you’re worried about Sun exposure or lack of it, there’s an appropriate container plant for every location.
Gardening in planters can also be very liberating from your locale. Although a short season, how else could it be possible to grow a Palm tree in Alaska or other loved tropical’s in Northern States? With good potting blends, it can be a welcome escape from gardening in poor soils or clay, or in my case bad fill dirt and sand.
F L E X I B I L I T Y
The word that really says it all is – flexibility! If you get tired of the look, just change your pots around for a fresh new landscape! (don’t water first – I’ve made that mistake many times!). In mixed planters, if some plants have declined or outgrown their season…just pop in a new one and change the entire look. Bring them inside for the winter, put them back outside for the summer. Add a touch of whimsy, have fun and experiment!
Oh, and by the way! You also don’t have to spend a lot of money on planters. Basically you can use almost anything for a container - A pail with some holes drilled in the bottom, inexpensive finds from a Yard sale or something you found along side the road. You would be surprised what you may come up with! “Think outside the Pot!” As long as you have decent drainage, you’re in good shape!
Container Gardening is a way to express your personality. Whether you like things “colorful and bold” or “demure and elegant” or maybe you just want to pick some fresh herbs - there’s a container creation for everybody! Just have Fun!