Benefits of Container Gardening

There are personal and environmental benefits to gardening in containers. First, it’s a good way for beginners to start small. A pot with a few plants in it is less intimidating than designing and executing a garden of any size. Instead of figuring the best place for a garden, digging up the lawn and planning heights, food production and bloom time of flowers, you can fill a pot with soil, plant some ornamentals and food, water it in and be done!

Eclectic Patio.jpg

Photo Credit: Eclectic Patio by Dallas Media and Blogs Sarah Greenman

You have control over the size of your garden, and there are fewer decisions to make. There is less maintenance for a container garden, too. I spend hours weeding, dead-heading flowers, checking for bugs, harvesting and dragging hoses from here to there (I know – the garden writer without an irrigation system! Blasphemy!). When containers are clustered in one spot, all your supplies and chores are also in one spot. 

Container Gardening | Take Notes

Growing only a few plants also lets you study them. If you make notes about their performances, you can expand your gardening knowledge each year, and you may eventually be inclined to dig up some lawn for a bigger garden with more varieties. On the other hand, you may never get the gardening bug, and containers may suit your needs to garden minimally!

If you only have a small outdoor living area, containers are perfect for having a bit of greenery in your life. It’s a bonus to get food, herbs and cut flowers from your deck or balcony. Containers can even be part of the design, so a small collection can be a tastefully designed art project. 

Modern Patio.jpg

Photo Credit: Modern Patio by New York Architect Resolution: 4 Architecture

Portability of Container Gardens

Being portable, containers can also be moved around. They can be brought in for the winter or placed for a special event. 

As for the environment, it’s important we grow our own food, especially in urban areas. As Monsanto creeps into our gardens more and more each day, we need to retain our independence by growing our own food, saving seed and sharing with out community. Even one pot with one tomato plant in it is a way to fight back. Anyone with a smidgeon of space can grow a little bit of food. If you’ve never grown your own food before, you’ll be hooked on the freshness and flavor!

Saving Water

Containers also save water. Instead of a sprinkler showering a garden and its surrounds, you can put the right amount exactly where it needs to go. The same stands for fertilizers (organic, of course). Instead of broadcasting them over spaces where there are no plants, you can give a container planting exactly what it needs. 

Self watering containers gauge when plants need water then delivers it to them. Alternatively, you can set up a drip system to cover a series of pots that are close together. That is the most resource efficient way to water. And you don’t have to think about it. Put your system on a timer, and you won’t have to think about it. That’s great for the gardener without a lot of time to spend fussing over a garden. 

The best containers are recycled or upcycled. See the author’s ‘container garden’ Pinterest board for recycling and irrigation ideads!

Traditional Outdoor Planters.jpg

Photo Credit: Traditional Outdoor Planters by Other Metro Wayfair

One for Every Porch or Balcony

Container gardens makes a lot of sense, from the need or desire to grow food in a small area to accommodating disabled and elderly people to saving resources with efficient water systems. Soon we will see a small garden on every porch or balcony!

(*You are reading an article originally posted to Build Direct Blog)

Nine Whimsical Touches to Wake Up the Garden

If the August heat is wilting your enthusiasm, try these playful ideas to jump-start your gardening moxie

As the August heat starts to wilt everything outdoors, ask yourself how you feel about this season’s garden. Do you love every inch of it, or does all of that dead headed, pruned perfection leave you wanting more? It’s time to have some fun in the garden, and this is the perfect time to start playing around and planning for next year.

September is a great time to plant new trees, shrubs, and fall bulbs, and as everything starts to wither on the vine, you can spend your time painting the shed, building window boxes, adding trellises, bringing in a statue, changing up the plan, putting out birdseed in funky feeders and scooping up outdoor furniture and decor on clearance. Here are nine fun elements that will get your gardening mojo flowing again.

#1 Vertical Delights: today’s vertical gardens can take on all sorts of graphic designs. You can even create a sign, a painterly composition or spell out a monogram with plants on the wall.

#2 Cutouts: heart shapes entice visitors to pass through your garden doors.

#3 Unexpected Color

#4 Sneak a Design into the Plan View

#5 Wall Planters: classical statuary plantings with Medusa-like ‘dos made of succulents bring a giggle to a fence or wall

#6 Birdhouse Villages: the only thing more fun than a single birdhouse is a swinging singles birdhouse community.

#7 Embellish the Shed: you can go over the top with a shed in a way you can’t on the main house. Have some fun with color and accents such as barn stars, window boxes, trellises and climbing vines. 

#8 Surprising Scale: oversize items become eye-catchers when placed strategically in the garden.

#9 Kooky Statues: place a statue in a spot where people will delight in stumbling across it.