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One of my former co-workers is extremely creative and prides himself on having the craziest container choices. I will never forget the day when I walked by his old F150 truck and saw a coconut-lined window box attached to his toolbox. He would plant annuals and was so eager to share his experiences, he would tell everyone, in case you didn’t know, that impatiens do not like wind burn. Well, as you can imagine, I will never forget harvesting tomatoes from the back of his truck.
Planted pots belong in every garden and can be a way to express your personality, whether you have shade or sun, an apartment or a house. You can introduce striking textures, forms and colors in plants from around the world. Sometimes the most dramatic effects are created when a pot has a single beautiful specimen planting.
When picking out your planters, make sure they are at least 16 inches in diameter to reduce watering frequency. Fill your pots to within three inches from the rim with a soil formulated for containers. Soils for containers are always modified in some way to ensure proper drainage and aeration. Container soils are often referred to as soil-less or artificial media, because they contain no soil at all. They are often composed of various things such as peat, vermiculite, bark, coir fiber (ground coconut hulls) in a variety of recipes depending on the manufacture and the type of plant material being grown. Combine plants with similar light requirements whether for sun or shade.
There are certain areas where pots look particularly nice, such as: at the garden entrance or front door of the home, next to a bench or gazebo, in a corner of a stone patio or terrace, on steps, alongside a path or atop a stone wall, or even in perennial borders to fill blank spots. Putting containers together as a grouping can also have its advantages, especially when they are first planted. Newly planted containers often don’t have that “full” look right away. By grouping containers closer together, you can give the illusion of fullness. As the containers fill out, they can be spread further apart to present a totally different look. The same number of containers now takes up more square feet and looks like you actually added containers to the display.
Container height can also be varied simply by sitting some containers on overturned pots, bricks or other things to give some elevation.
Placing container groups by the entrance to the home helps to draw attention to the door and act as a sign of welcome. Grouping containers on a porch, balcony or patio has the affect of softening what might be a very stark, open space. It can make the place a refuge from all else that is happening in the world.
Landscaping with containers can be as simple as one well-chosen and planted pot to a group of several pots making a statement and colorizing an otherwise unplantable area.