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Colorful container plantings celebrate the start of the gardening season.
Tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths are bellwethers of spring. In this simple ceramic bucket, a skirt of light pink Diascia surrounds a clump of magenta tulips. Prolong the life of your plantings by purchasing plants with tightly closed buds. The buds will open in a few days and color your container for two or more weeks.
Two petite galvanized buckets connected by a crosspiece and simple handle are the perfect planting place for perennial Dianthus, or pinks. Spur Dianthus to send up a second flush of blooms by shearing off spent flowers. The plants will bloom well into summer when grown in part shade to full sun and watered regularly.
A painted wooden garden trug turns into a focal point with annual Dianthus and trailing Dichondra to create an abundant and informal look. (Tip: Line the bottom of the container with heavy plastic, or set pots into plastic water trays.)
Sweetly perfumed stock revels in cool conditions. The handles on a loosely woven basket make it easy to hang this fragrant treasure where you are likely to walk by and enjoy the scent. An excellent cutting flower, stock is available in shades of white, pink, purple, red, yellow, and orange.
Plum-and-white Regal geraniums (Pelargonium spp.) are tucked in by cheery deep pink pansies (Viola x wittrockiana) in a doll-size planter. A coat of exterior wood sealant protects the cradle from moisture. For long-lasting plantings, drill drainage holes in watertight containers. If that isn't possible, water only to lightly moisten the soil and let the potting soil dry slightly between waterings.
Delicate white heart-shape flowers float among the foliage of perennial bleeding heart (Dicentra spectabilis f. alba) while the annual cascading Diascia completes the floral pairing in this old toolbox. Perennials spring to life as container plants. After enjoying their flowers, transplant them into the garden to become a permanent part of your landscape.
In your local garden centers, look for prechilled bulbs already potted and growing. Here, hyacinth bulbs fill the air with sweet perfume.
When repotting sprouted bulbs, such as white Muscari, tightly arrange them for the best effect.
An old metal container gets a new life when used for a pretty planting of spring daffodils.