There are many reasons for growing plants in garden containers, flower pots and planters. An obvious one is if you are growing exotic plants that can be placed outdoors in summer in a location that suits each plant, and then taken indoors or into a more shaded spot in the fall and winter. They are also very convenient for people who live in mobile homes.
People who rent their homes and tend to move around with their job can grow their own plants that can move with them. Plants grown in garden containers are portable, and to many people this is big advantage. Not only that, but you arrange your garden as you please rather than the plants being in fixed positions. Using containers and flower pots it is possible to plant a whole garden that can be rearranged to suit the flowering patterns of the plants.
No more bare patches in spring due to some plants flowering late, or in summer when the short-lived flowers die off quicker than their longer lasting or hardier cousins. You can fill in the bare patches with new pots or planters, and arrange the colors to suit your preference. You can decorate your veranda or patio with the flowers that are in season, and are not restricted to the same ones all year round.
While this all sounds like a very good reason for using nothing but pots and planters, there are certain aspects using them that have to be considered. Potted plants are totally depended on you for their water and nutrition. Their root growth is restricted and you have to know which plants are suitable for this type of environment. You should also consider the overall look of your garden and the shape and color of your pots and planters.
First the plants. Pots are restrictive and the size will depend on the requirements of the plants. Ferns, for example, grow better when the root system is crowded whereas roses prefer a bit more space in which to grow, especially climbing varieties. Cyclamens too prefer more space, and so would be more suited to large pots or planters. Trees prefer large pots, and the larger garden tubs would be more appropriate for the larger varieties.
The same is true of shrubs and larger perennials such as hydrangeas. You can start these off in smaller pots, and gradually increases the size as they grow. Bulbs can be grown in planters, about two to three bulb widths apart, though the fall bulbs will need some exposure to the frost since they need a low temperature for a strong root growth.
Annuals are ideal for color, especially if you get a lot of frost in the winter, and they can be replaced each year. If you plant them fairly close together in garden containers or planters, you can design a lovely looking garden, or a fine display for a patio. Planters are available in a wide range of colors and shapes, and can be made of concrete cast into a variety of shapes or stained or painted wood to suit their surroundings.
Hardwood planters fitted with a trellis are ideal for climbers, and can be free standing units suitable for outdoor use, or even for hallways, vestibules and conservatories. Cedar is popular, but so also are cypress, oak and cherry. They are suitable for a number of climbing plants from sweet peas to cyclamen to passion fruit.
Most annuals are suitable for garden containers, pots and planters, some particularly attractive choices being petunia, tobacco plant (nicotiana) with its wonderful smell, and begonias. The latter two are particularly suitable for growing in shaded areas, as is impatiens or ‘Busy Lizzie’. Other flowers suitable for containers are lavandula, gaura and salvia which provide colorful opportunities for any type of garden design. Cigar Plants (cuphea) love lots of sun and have unusual flowers. These shrubs are ideal for tubs in sunny climates.
Many people use containers for window ledges and balconies, and if you have decking, then deck rail planters are an attractive means of hanging plants from the handrails. Many people prefer the look of natural terracotta, but keep in mind that earthenware pots and planters dry out very quickly, and so need a lot of watering. The plastic equivalents are much more practical, if not as attractive.
Garden containers, flower pots and planters are an attractive and very practical way of decorating your garden, patio or conservatory, and a little bit of imagination can work wonders. They also provide a very practical means of planting for those that like to frequently rearrange their garden, or are often on the move.
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