Container Gardening? Ask Questions!

Container Gardening can be so much more than just putting pretty flowers in a container.

Using the same design aspect that you would use with in-ground landscaping, you can create vistas for your enjoyment while you are outside. With the placement of pots in the right place you can create framing for visual blockage of unwanted views, traffic pattern and flow, accent existing landscaping, and add interest to patio furniture arrangements.

124828

Be sure to take into consideration the style of the area that you’re going to be placing these pots in. Is the color of the container going to be crucial? Will it be something to give it a little extra punch to the design area? You need to determine if you looking for containers that are highly decorative or more standard such as Clay.

Container gardening doesn’t stop with just placing your pots in the right location. Once you place the container it’s crucial that you pick the correct plants to go in them. The most important factor to take into consideration when choosing your plants is the environment they are going to be planted in. Is it windy location? Does it receive full sun or partial sun? Are the plans going to be planted in an area that will be hard to maintain? If so you might want to use more durable plants.

124834

Another thing to consider the fact that you might have animals or children. This would mean you would want to watch for poisonous plants or thorny plants. .

The plant materials that you use will play the biggest part of your container design. Add in the use of herbs and flowers for a please accent or even to repel unwanted past such as mosquitoes The third thing that you would want to take into consideration is your decorating style. Are you a traditional stylist or a little bit more bohemian? What is the overall effect that you’re going for? Are you trying to be conservative and a little bit old-fashioned, or are you trying for tropical effect with palms and exotic flowers?

142198

It is important that you should have a good understanding to the answers of all these questions before you even set foot into the nursery looking for plants. If you’re lost asked for help and if you don’t feel you’re getting the right help from the people in the store that you’re at, ask for professional to come out to your site and work up a plan that will best meet your needs. You have to live with the results of what you plant and you want to be happy. So be sure to ask lots of questions and be willing to make changes if your ideas and plans don’t mix together.

But regardless if you are designing your own container gardens, or getting the help from a professional gardener, the most important thing to remember is…

Enjoy your planting experience!

Advertisements

It’s Not All Black & White!

images

Color!

It’s all around you, everywhere you look you see a different shade, a different color, or different brightness.

Some animals can’t see color and some humans are colorblind. This means they only see certain colors, or their colors get mixed-up. My husband happens to be one of those people and that can be quite interesting. Sometimes he’s telling me that the color he sees is one thing, when in reality is not. But for those of us that can see color in all its glory, it is a wonderful thing.

126131

Color in the landscaping is as natural as it can be. Nature provides different shades of the same color and does it quite well. We humans try to imitate nature, plus add our own personality into the mix. Color added to the landscape can be from the addition of plants that have colorful leaves, or flowers that will bloom and give you bright spots of vibrant contrast to the greenery around it. You can plant one solid color and just get different shades or mix many colors to get a unique planting that will give you hours of enjoyment.

The use of color in a landscape is as personal as your choice of color on your house. Where you use it and how you use it reflects a lot about you as a homeowner. If you look at the color wheel that any decorator or painter uses, you can see exactly where colors blend together naturally. But there’s nothing wrong with using contrasting colors. Mixing primary colors together to give you a breath-taking look.

Something that I’ve learned through my years of landscaping and container gardening, is that certain areas that have light issues need different types of color. Or rather different colors look best in in different lighting. For example in a really bright sunny spot, that is almost glaringly bright, I tend to use equally bright colors so they stand out and catch your eye. The same colors in a shady place will blend into the darkness of the shade. That’s why in a very shady place, I tend to use light or pale colors. Soft pinks, whites, light blues; those are the colors that really show up. They can also help to give you a feeling of peacefulness.

122557

But your color is it not limited to just flowers and leave textures. Color comes from your containers, from the groundcover that you use; the mulch or gravel. The accessories that you add to your landscape such as a concrete bench, a statue or a bronze fountain; all of these items add color as well as texture to the garden. Their placement is important to get the best visual benefit as well as a “play” with the colors around them.

124834

Try to experiment with your design. What works one year, may not work the next year. Remember, the growers are constantly coming up with new shades of plants- don’t be afraid to try something new this year.

So my personal opinion is: don’t be afraid to use color!

Don’t Add to the Crime Wave!

THERE OUGHT TO BE A LAW!

Mum-flower

If not a law, than at least a warning in big bold red letters for everyone to see. There’s nothing more irritating than going to garden center and seeing novelist who loves gardening, but may not have the experience to pick the right plants, searching the benches looking and choosing a plant that is wrong for them. As a professional in the landscape business, it infuriates me to see garden centers selling plants that are really not meant for the climate you live in or are being sold out of season.

Everyone likes try new plants and colorful plants just called you to try. But it does the gardener an injustice when you try to sell them plants that are out of season or out of the climate zone that they should thrive in, without explaining to them what they’re getting into.

Seasonal plants should be displayed as seasonal plants! With the explanation to the consumer that they are not hardy plants and might need some extra care. Down here in the South a perfect example are potted Chrysanthemums.

mums in gc

Oh, I’ll be the first to admit I’ve bought a Mum or two out of season, and who can blame me? Their bright colors just screams fall is on its way. If you happen to live in the north you know that this is perennial fall plant. But, I know what I’m doing and I realize these plants are not able thrive in heat of South Florida for long without blooming out. One of the biggest complaints I hear from customers is that they bought a Mum and it only lasted a few weeks, at the most. I honestly think if people knew ahead of time that these flowering plants had a short term flowering cycle in a hot climate, they wouldn’t be so upset. They would still buy them because they are beautiful and enjoyable, but their expectations would be lower and they would be treated more as a florist type of plants, then a gardening plant.

So, you’ve heard my personal rant and I hope that somebody out there will take note and at least put up a sign in front of those benches of Chrysanthemums, warning the poor southern consumer that they are short-term plant and enjoy them while you can.

633f281dd2055bc0cee24dbcd450e7d5

Gardening should be an enjoyable experience. Whether you’re in the South or the north and part of that experience is picking out the right plants for your garden. As a consumer, don’t be afraid to ask questions if you don’t know the type of plant that you are interested in. Most employees working in a garden center love to talk gardening and would be happy to answer your questions.

So, the calendar says that fall is here, even if the weather hasn’t cooled down. Go ahead and grab a big pot of Mums and put by your front door. Here are couple of hints for its care: try and keep it out of the hot afternoon sun, keep it well watered and be prepared to replace it a few times over the fall season.

Enjoy that Mum, and know that the cooler weather is just around the corner!