Summer is a great time to create or recreate a garden. Whether you have several acres of land outside your front door, a tiny yard or patio, or just a fire escape or window boxes, you can plant and grow wonderful, beautiful, stylish and even delicious gardens in containers quickly and easily. Container gardens allow to you make something small, so it's more manageable and easier to care for and keep watered in the hot, busy summer months. It also allows you to make changes quickly, if you care to. And it allows for enormous versatility and creativity in choices of plant colors, shapes, sizes and styles. Container gardens are fantastic for beginning gardeners or children. You can give them each their own small containers to plant and take care of, or work on a few larger ones together.
First, choose containers that fit your space, with good drainage holes. Once you chose your containers, make sure you put something on the bottom to help with drainage before you add soil, such as broken pottery pieces, marbles or pebbles. Be sure NOT TO BLOCK the drainage hole in the bottom of the pot so that water will still be able to drain out. Next, fill the pot half way up with good soil. Now comes the fun part: choosing your plants!
The basic way to style a beautiful container garden is to put a plant with some height in the middle, then surround that plant with many smaller ones. You can even add some trailing plants around the outside for extra flair. For example, if this is an edible container garden, you might choose tomatoes or basil or rainbow chard in the middle, depending on how large your pot is. Then you could surround these with delicious herbs like thyme, basil, sage, oregano, etc. You can consider edible flowers for extra color, and fragrant herbs like mint and lavender which smell great too! If you are planting an ornamental flower garden, it's a nice idea to mix colors, shapes and leafy textures, all focused again around a larger plant with some height in the center. "Potato vines" (which are not edible, just for show) are beautiful, quick growing trailing leaves that come in a vibrant bright green and dark purple and hang beautifully down around the edges of pots.
Once you have you plants arranged, fill the pot up with soil, and water well. Be sure to pay attention to sun or shade needs when you buy and chose plants, depending on where you want to put the container garden. Mixing full sun and shade plants together will not work, of course. Then just watch your garden grow and enjoy, and be sure to water every couple of days in the heat!
Have you ever planted a container garden?