There are many advantages to container gardening such as lack of room or space for a full size garden, apartment living or just to decorate your patio area. Container gardening is also ideal if you have very poor soil in your garden, as growing plants in a container can be controlled and easy to tend. Here I have suggested some container gardening ideas that will add color and interest to any area.
Before you start your container garden there are a few tips that will help to ensure your plants grow healthily. Firstly, although almost any container can be used for container gardening, it must be a container that has sufficient drainage to allow surplus water to drain away from the roots of the plants. If there is not adequate drainage your plants will rot and die.
Choosing your container is only limited by your imagination. You may opt for a traditional wooden garden planter or large plastic garden pots. But you may choose something a little more unconventional such as a garden sink, an old stock pot, buckets or even an old toilet. It all depends on the look you want and how much of a talking point you want your container garden to become. Most garden supply stores and garden nurseries sell a variety of containers.
Secondly, using a good quality garden potting compost should be used as this will contain all the nutrients your plants will need. They may be in the container for some time, so a regular feed with garden fertilizer will also boost the nutrients. Slow release pellets are very useful for container gardening.
Thirdly, consider the location of your container garden. Although your plants will need sunlight to thrive, too much sun and they may burn. Some plants prefer a more direct sunlight, while others prefer a sheltered spot. If unsure always read the growing instructions or seek advice from a garden nursery or online web site.
Once having decided on your container, your next step is to decide what to plant. This will depend very much on the climate of where you live, the size of the container you have chosen and the height you want your display to be.
If you wish to make the most of your container for the whole year, consider planting bulbs for the spring and then refilling your container with summer plants. A container filled with daffodils, tulips and hyacinths will not only look beautiful, but smell fragrant too.
Other container gardening ideas for the Spring are bowls full of sweet perfumed Iris. They have beautifully formed blooms that range in color from yellows, blues, purples, deep reds and brown. Pansies and daisies are particularly good for an outdoor display of color at this time of year. These are also suited to a hanging container. A shallow container of crocuses can look stunning if tightly planted.
You may wish to have a color scheme for your container garden. Using gardening catalogues and garden magazines can often help you visualize how you want your container to look.
For a red hot look, sun loving nasturtiums make a long lasting easy to grow container garden display. Their vivid scarlet flowers combined with decorative foliage make nasturtiums a very popular choice. These can be planted along with other plants such as apricot verbena to compliment the reds.
Of course it may not be flowers you want to grow, herbs make ideal container gardening ideas. Having your own fresh herbs for your cooking is made very easy in a container. Containers for herbs are best if the herbs can be grown at several layers, but is not vital. To make your container herb garden, plant your herbs in Spring. If looked after well they could last for several years. Herbs such as parsley, sage, basil, chives and marjoram all make good container grown plants.
If you want a container garden that has some height, putting a garden obelisk or canes constructed as a wigwam into your container for plants to grow up can look quite stunning. Sweet peas will happily grow in a container and give you many sweet smelling flowers to cut. A clematis will also grow happily in a container. These come in a wide variety of colors and shapes and will last for many years. If using a container in this way, other plants can be planted around the base to give extra color, trailing plants such as petunias will give an all summer long display.
Care of your container garden is very important. Although container gardening is fairly simple your plants need to be cared for on a regular basis. Regular watering, especially in hot weather is essential. However, too much water can do as much damage to your plants as too little. Always check your plants need water with your fingertips before you water