Container gardening is a soothing, practical and fun way to build opportunities and relationships with the plant kingdom. Bright and colorful points of interest are easy to create with planned spacing. A handy location near the kitchen can be a good spot for herbs, edible flowers and some vegetables. Large rows of tall potted plants create pathways while several pots of medium sized vegetation organized in a semi-circle invites chairs for a resting spot. The best thing of all though, is, taking a child to the nursery, selecting a container plant together and now we have a future gardener!
When we think about it, many plants from nurseries start out in a container only to arrive at your site to be transplanted into a larger container. From there, it may be necessary to change the plant’s home another time in the future as the plant may outgrow its space and become root bound. This type of planting and transplanting will utilize our intuition to sense when to change out the plant from one container to next. Aspects of this cultural practice are some of the best teaching tools we can receive for all types of gardening as the act of working with a live plant gives botanical education first hand.
Soil drainage is a priority in potted plant situations. Too fast of a watering drain may lead to roots drying out or a situation of having to water more frequently than necessary. A pot that takes water very slowly may create “wet plant feet” which can result in disease/rot. Either of these situations gives reason to consult with an experienced person to help us select a proper growing medium to use at the proper time re-pot. Be sure to use containers that have at least one drain hole in the bottom and depending on the situation, a plate that the container can set on is good to catch some excess water from spilling on flat surfaces.
Depending on one’s geographic location, when the seasons change, so can our containerscapes. Conventional landscape gardens, tree lined roadways, perennial gardens, fruit farms, etc. take on a more permanent theme but this is far from the truth when we do more exploring into container gardening. Annual flowers may do well in the winter of one region while in another they are definitely a summer use. Seasons also bring Holidays where color specific opportunities can arise for creativity. Talk to your nursery person for ideas and timing with bulb planting and even starting plants from seed if this idea gets your attention.
Let your imagination take hold and just get started with container planting for years of enjoyment! Be sure to have a daily routine of observation and monitoring. This can help in noticing slow or fast growth, too much sun or too little and even the need for turning the plant on occasion as one side may be stretching towards the light from time to time. Your gardening knowledge can come quickly when working with potted plants which can help you teach others. Hospitality, utility and flexibility are characteristics naturally shared by our green friends in containers and all we have to do is be the same for them.