When it comes to choosing containers for your plants, why opt for the typical terra-cotta pot? A wealth of more intriguing objects is just waiting to be transformed into creative container gardens.
For inspiration, search everything from gardening magazines to your own kitchen cupboards, garage, and basement. They're sure to yield a host of creative possibilities -- decorative urns, watering cans, wooden crates, old milk cans, tins, half barrels, even an old pair of boots.
Planted with enchanting floral displays, these objects take on renewed life and invigorate our outdoor spaces. A hollowed tree trunk packed with a stunning array of annuals creates a colorful focal point, while a weathered pair of boots overflowing with striking succulent rosettes lends intrigue to an otherwise overlooked spot. And a basket brimming with blooms adds instant charm to any area.
While searching for unusual containers, don't overlook the toolshed. It can be a virtual treasure trove. Use drought-tolrant plants such as sedum and herbs to create your garden and consider adding sphagnum moss to help retain moisture. If using a wooden container, opt for one made of redwood or cedar, which resists rotting. If you must use a container made of softwood, protect it by treating it with a preservative.
Gardeners have long been enamored by the practice of growing plants in troughs. Today, troughs modeled after those of yesteryear continue to be used as planters, particularly for growing alpine and other compact, slow-growing plants.
When planting a trough, consider a few important details. Make sure it has a drainage hole at its lowest point. Cover the hole with bits of pot shards or pieces of screening. For potting soil, use an equal mixture of medium-rich potting mix and fine-grain gravel. Fill the trough with compact, low-growing, and dwarf plants. Good options include varieties of Alyssum, Armeria, Campanula, dianthus, Gentiana, moss, Primula, phlox, Saxifraga, sedum, Silene, thyme, and viola.
Learn how to make your own hypertufa trough.
Continued on page 2: More Container Ideas