Years ago a very good friend of mine died after a fairly long illness. She was always an avid gardener, and her love for flowers also manifested in the lovely water colours she painted. In her declining years when she no longer could walk down to her garden she started gardening in containers on the veranda. She had herbs and masses of colour in the sunny areas which brightened and lifted her spirit. The collection of pots grew at an alarming rate: it almost became a compulsion. After her death I counted the pots that she had – 94 in all!
The moral of this story is don’t clutter patios, verandas or your garden with too many pots. A few carefully selected containers grouped together will enhance any dead spot in your garden or on your veranda and will give you much joy. But too many can become a nightmare to maintain and to replant every season.
Brandon Nguyen wrote the article below a few years ago, with his permission I’m republishing it.
Advantages of container gardening and some ideas for container flower garden
Container gardening has caught on in a big way world over and this especially benefits people who lack space for a full sized garden and also for those who are faced with a problem of poor soil in their garden.
With container gardening one can control the various elements required to grow a healthy garden; you can most importantly use soil most conducive for the type of garden you wish to grow, you can control the temperature by shifting your plants outdoors or keeping them indoors, likewise you can control the amount of exposure to sun light and the amount of water you feed the plants. Thus you can help your plants grow to their optimum best by developing a container garden to add colour and beauty to any of your areas.
Requisites for starting a beautiful container garden
The most intriguing part of beginning container gardening is selecting unique and creative containers where you can let your imagination take over. You could either go for the regular and standard store bought containers in wood, plastic or ceramic or you could venture a bit further and come up with some truly startling ideas such as using an old kitchen sink or bath tub, your old metal stock pot, and did you hear this, there are a few who went a bit more further and used their old toilets too! All you need to make sure of is that the container is cable of draining out excess water that can harm the plants.
Next is the soil; by using good quality garden soil and organic compost containing all nutrients your plants would need and feed them with natural fertilizers and natural pesticides as and when needed.
The other important aspect is location of your container garden; sun shine is most essential for most plants to grow but their requirement varies from direct sun light to filtered light. Too much sun could cause your plants to burn. So pick a location that best suits the plants you wish to grow.
What you wish to plant is another major decision you got to make and this depends mostly on the climate of the areas, the size of the containers, availability of sun shine, and the location you pick.
Some ideas for container flower gardening
For making the best use of your container you could go for bulbs during spring, they will look simply beautiful and fill the area with a lovely fragrance, another idea for your container gardening is filling your container with Dianthus, Petunias, Begonias, Pansies and Violas that have a divinely sweet perfume and come in a wide range of pretty colours such as yellow, purple, red, brown and blue.
Lobelias and petunias are great too; they can be grown in hanging containers and can liven up your outdoors. If abundant sun shine is available you can go for the sun loving nasturtiums; with their vivid scarlet flowers and beautiful decorative foliage they present a very pretty picture.
You can try out a combination of plants and create your own colour theme for your container garden; if you wish to visualize how your garden would look you can look up some good catalogues or magazines on gardening.