C-Container Gardening
Every gardener has a different opinion about how things should be done. An example is a favorite saying from one of my good gardening friends: "You get three gardeners in one room - fist fight!". While I don't completely agree with Gerry - I know that there is always more than one way to approach a subject. I hope that we can provide you with some useful information, and some ideas to get your creative juices flowing.
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Things in Pots - A Fresh Start

By The Garden Commando

Most gardening fanatics running short of garden space spend hours poring through gardening catalogues and trying to figure out how they can squeeze in one more new plant without losing any existing ones. 

Well, the good news is that you can do it - just use containers! 

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 A Word about Containers 

Using containers to extend your garden is not new, but many people seem to think that only those with small courtyard gardens, or balcony gardens should do it. 

There are plenty of plants that you can put in large patio pots and urns, and window boxes, and display them in strategic places around your garden. 

Containers have an added advantage: you can move them to wherever you need the colour. (Use a dolly for the larger, heavier ones, please!) There are a wide variety of shapes and sizes, as well as a good selection of different materials. You can get Grecian style urns, window boxes and huge pots resembling clay, but made from various lightweight, artificial materials (great for apartment balconies); and you can get all shapes and sizes in cast concrete. 

To be successful with container gardening you will have to be scrupulously careful to use the correct soil mix, so as to avoid drying out or waterlogging of growing medium. Your garden supply center can provide you with information about soil options for containers. 

Some Container Plants 
Hemerocallis (day lilies) are a good plant for pots. You can plant several different varieties in each tub or pot, thus ensuring a long period of bloom. 

Some of my favourite container plants are herbs. Many of the herbs used in cooking are quite ornamental. Pot Marjoram cascading down the sides; Rosemary in the center, various types of Basil; Thyme, Parsley, Sage and several different types of Oregano. A tub full of colourful annuals is nice for a shady corner of your patio or veranda. This gives you a chance to use some of the shade tolerant plants such as: 

mimulus (Monkey Flower); Browallia; Variegated Impatience; Fibrous and Tuberous Begonias; Hosta (various); Brunnera macrophylla (Brunnera); and Heuchera spp.(Coral Bells). 

For a sunny spot, a large tub filled with different ornamental grasses is lovely, with pink, mauve or white Lobularia maritima (Sweet Alyssum) alternately planted around the edge. 

A series of large clay (or simulated) pots on a sunny patio filled with various different Pelargonium (Geraniums) will create a focal point. 

Nasturtium; Marigolds (French, South African and Pot or Scotch)and even Morning Glory make attractive pot displays. An exotic to try would be Tigridia

For something different, fill a half-wine barrel with water (Hint: this is one tub you will want to leave in the same spot all summer!) and treat yourself to a Water Lily and some surface water plants - such as Azorella - to keep the water clear. Most garden centres stock water plants these days, and there are many water garden specialty suppliers that will pleased to advise you on suitable plants for small water gardens. 

You can extend both your garden and your season by using containers. If you would like more detailed information on this subject, please contact The Gardening Network

Comments or suggestions on this Web page: TheGardeningNetwork

This page was updated January 23, 2000 

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