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Container Designs Built to Last

You’ll save time and money if you don’t start from scratch every spring

Fine Gardening - Issue 149
I started asking more from my container designs when my kids were still young. Three seasons of interest no longer seemed like enough return. I was tired of starting over every spring, sinking all that time and money into creating new designs. And tossing out loads of frostbitten annuals every fall felt wasteful. I wanted my designs to last—for years. Filling my containers with perennials was just the beginning. Over time, I’ve refined several key practices for planting and maintaining my pots. By learning how to give plants a solid footing and manage root competition along the way, you can keep the same planting healthy for at least half a decade. (The oldest in my garden just turned seven.) If you follow these techniques, you’ll have an established planting to tweak next spring, instead of an empty pot. Pick Plants that are Always on Good Behavior Most potted plantings look…

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