Planting a Container Garden

Creative Container Gardening Ideas

When creating your container garden, the actual containers you use can be as plain or elaborate as you wish. Clay or plastic pots; wood, plastic, or metal window boxes; decorator pots of ceramic, terra cotta, alabaster, or wrought iron; recycled plastic or metal pails; wire frames lined with sphagnum moss; a child's cast-off metal wagon; hanging planters; a plastic-lined bushel basket -- any of these can be used. Here's a chance to give your imagination free rein!

  • Use window boxes to brighten your house with flowers and add height to surrounding gardens. Elegant window boxes can feature flowers that match the color of nearby curtains, carpets, shrubs, or shutters. Another option is to grow herbs such as thyme, basil, and parsley in a kitchen window box.
Window boxes are versatile planters that are not just useful on window ledges. They can also hang from porch rails or fences, perch along the tops of walls, mark the edge of a deck, or line a walk or driveway. Add them wherever you want color without creating a flower bed.
  • Hanging baskets provide another almost endless source of color. You can group them at different levels on a porch; hang them from tree limbs; or add half-baskets to brighten a blank wall or bare fence. You can even create tall pillars of color by hanging baskets from an old coat rack or other suitable recycled stand.
  • Plant annuals in a big bag of potting soil for a quick, easy balcony garden. This method, commonly used in England, is still a novelty here and will make a great conversation piece:­
Lay the bag flat on the ground where you want a mini garden. Punch a few small drainage holes in ­the bottom. You can cut one large opening in the top side for several plants, letting them intermingle in a decorative planting scheme. Or make several individual planting holes for a working garden of annual vegetables and herbs.
  • The plastic wrapper will help to keep the soil inside moist. But when it does begin to dry out or needs water-soluble fertilizer as a plant pick-me-up, carefully drizzle water or water-soluble fertilizer inside to moisten the entire bag.

Want more information on creating a garden? Try: