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.

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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.

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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?

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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!

Little Samples, Big Convience

Samples are a great thing.

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You can get samples for food, to see if you like it, samples of new book, samples of beer to see which type of homemade brew you might like. There are samples of paper to see what is going to look best with your letterhead on it. And, of course, you can get paint samples to pick the right color for your rooms. These are just a few of the many types of samples that are available for consumers to make their life a little bit easier. But have you ever thought of using samples for the garden center? When you’re trying to match colors of plants there’s no reason why you can’t take a cutting of the leaves to make sure the flowers are going to blend together. Or, take a flower sample in with you to try and coordinate a grouping of colors and make sure that they all blend easily.

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Then there’s hard-scapes; what about the rocks you’re going to use in that edging? Is it the right color to blend in with your pots? Is the mulch the exact same kind that you use last year? If you’re just trying to freshen up the beds, you may not want to completely redo your mulch; so it’s important to get the right kind. It doesn’t hurt to take a sample of soils either. Some plants like a nice loose soil, while others would prefer to have a soil mix that is a little bit sandy for a quick drainage. Taking a sample of the soil that you’re going to plant in can sometimes help the grower help you pick the best mixture to go with your selection of. plant materials.

Even something as simple as taking in a sample of the cushions that you have on your lawn furniture can help you with your decisions on plant colors and plant shapes. If your cushion has a lot of reds and yellows into it you may want to use something like a Croton which also has a lot of reds and yellows. You might want to try to mirror the shape of the leaf in the pillowcase with real plants, for instance a bird of paradise leaf.

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Samples can also be done with the camera. You may have a large pot that you’re trying to match but caring a 32 inch pot into the garden center just isn’t going to do it, so take a picture. Cameras have come so far in the past years that the picture on your phone will be a pretty close example of what you’re using. You can then take that picture of your pot and hold it right up next to the item you’re thinking of purchasing. If the colors match, that’s great! If they don’t, you can easily move onto the next selection.

And one final sample that you may not even think about because it’s not something you can physically holding your hand death of the sample of what your lifestyle is like. Are you somebody that wants to just relax around the yard? Then you’re going to be looking for more shade producing plants and comfy lounge chair. However if you’re an active person your lifestyle might demand a more open area where you can have a volleyball net put up or a big garden area to work in.

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So, keep the mental samples in mind, as well as the physical samples when you’re choosing the accents for your gardening life.

Remember, let those small samples help you get a large amount of enjoyment out of your garden!

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Yard Art

Yard Art. Almost every Gardens had it somewhere or another. And if we’re honest with ourselves we could look out our windows and find some kind of yard art somewhere on the property.

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From the beautiful, ornate, timeless pieces that you find from classic artists throughout the world to the truly tasteless, yet funny, yard art that you find in and numerous backyards. Admit it; you had one or two pieces that you would really rather not give claim to. Anything from pigs and frogs to dogs squatting to do their duty; we’ve all had a piece of yard art that we put in there to make people laugh or to get people to talk.

The pieces that you select to put in your yard says a lot about you. They can proclaim to the world that you’ve got a great sense of humor, or are more whimsical or maybe you’re a button-down diehard conservative or even maybe you’re a bit old-fashioned. You’d be surprised what your garden will tell others about you.

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Millions of dollars are spent every year on yard art. From the piece that can picked up at the five and dime to the piece you have professionally sculptured to meet your needs. And all that yard art may not always be stationary. Sometimes it twirls, sometimes it whirls, and sometimes it flaps in the breeze. You can use wind chimes, windmills, weather vanes and course there is the custom pieces of art that you have commissioned to fit your needs.

I think where you place your piece of yard art says a lot about you too, as well. Are you proud of it? Is this something you put out front and center for everybody to see as they drive by? Or is it something that you want people to discover and smile when they come upon it: in a little special corner of your garden.

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Sometimes you have to do a little searching to find that special piece. You may walk through stores from high-end art galleries to little antique stores. You may even have your own favorite shop that you know will have that piece that just about screams “take me home- I’m yours”!

And once you get it home it may be something that only you can appreciate; there maybe others in your household but that do not find it at all appealing and they just can’t understand why you brought it home. But you just smile, say you understand their point of view and then turn around and put it where you want; because it is after all expression of yourself.

So after all this discussion I think I’m ready to hop in my car and had to my favorite Garden Center…

Who knows what I’ll find! Maybe today I’ll find my own special piece of Yard Art.

Lost in Gardening Heaven.

smallweb2014 covThe calendar says that it’s spring.  The weather is trying to act like spring.  And the ads from the big box stores are telling us that spring is here!  If you watch these ads, then you know that we are being told that we must spend our weekends getting our gardens ready to enjoy, and we need to rush right out to their stores before we lose the opportunity to have the best garden possible.

That’s all well and fine.  But have you ever gone to a Garden  Center to explore and not gotten lost for hours?

There are so many exciting new products that need to be thoroughly checked out.  And then there are our old favorites that we routinely use every year.  I think that the garden center is the one spot that can offer something to everyone.  For the more hands on type of person, there are all kinds of power tools.  From the simple weed eater to the newest riding lawnmower, they can be lost to their partner for hours.

For the more detailed, creative person there are more flowers and bushes than you can possible plant in one weekend.  And the Gardening accents are vast and varied;  whimsical statues, containers of all shapes and sizes ornate fountains, lights, flags, wind chimes…the list goes on.

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And now there is even a section full of kid’s gardening tools.  Personally, I think this is great.  Train that next generation to love plants and respect the earth!  Can you think of a more wholesome family activity than gardening.  Cultivate a child’s imagination and let them have their own garden spot where they can do what they want.  The results may just surprise you.

The Garden Center can even help you plan your entertainment activities.  The proper grill, comfortable lawn furniture, lighting, maybe even a fire pit.  To me that just screams for the planning of a weekend barbeque with friends.

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The Garden Center can even be a spot for a couple to spend time together.  There is something that pulls a couple in love together when they are planning for their future.  Picking out the right colors, deciding where the newest pot of flowers is going to be set, envisioning how everything will grow shows a commitment to the future. 

Isn’t that what gardening is… planning and planting for the future?