Container Gardening

  • Difficulty Rating: Beginner
Container Gardening

As we reach mid-summer, if you are like me, you're longing for a little invigoration in your garden routine.

container gardening 1

Vegetable gardens are producing abundantly and pruning and diligently weeding flower beds is rewarding us with a profusion of color, but sometimes we just have a need to get our hands in the dirt and create something new. Container gardening is good way to fulfill this need. Not only does it take minimal time to pull together a container of plants, from the very beginning you can have an arrangement that requires no waiting to have that complete look.

We have plenty of plants in traditional flower pots but I also like to use creative alternatives. It's fun to come up with new uses for things others are discarding. As the old saying goes, one man's trash is another man's treasure! But it's also a lot more economical than purchasing a new pot from a store or a nursery every time you want to make a new arrangement. I've seen Hen and Chicks growing in the holes of an old bowling ball, herb gardens planted in the sections of an old wagon wheel lying on the ground, wildflowers planted in an old soda pop crate, as well as arrangements planted in old wagons, wheelbarrows, and even old car tires.

In addition to sharing some ideas for inexpensive alternatives to flower pots, I thought I'd also show how the container you use can give the same flower a totally different look.

container gardening basket alone

I'll be using a basket a friend of mine had set aside to throw in the trash.

container gardening aqua pail alone

I'll be using a colorful pail I bought at Target in the Dollar Spot bins for $2.50.

container gardening enamel bowl alone

And I'll be using an old enamel bowl I bought at a yard sale for 50 cents.

If you're using a container that is non-porous, you'll need to add drainage holes, as was necessary with both the aqua pail and the enamel bowl I used. Normally I wouldn't have the heart to drill holes in old Enamelware that is still in good condition but when I found this bowl, it already had holes drilled in it. If you're using a container that's too porous, such as my basket, you'll need to line it with something to help hold the soil in the container. Sheet moss is a popular choice. I used some burlap I had in my craft supplies.

container gardening collage coreopsis 717ppi

The first plant I used was a pretty purple (although it was labeled as scarlet) Coreopsis. The basket complements the rustic, natural look of the foliage. The aqua pail contrasts beautifully with the bright color of the flowers. The enamel bowl gives the arrangement of the Coreopsis and a vining Sweet Potato plant a lovely country feel.

container gardening collage coneflower 717ppi

I used the same containers to pot a purple coneflower.
So keep your eyes open for creative ways to give new life to something old and fun ways to use something new in a unique way!