By Krayl Funch
“He who plants a garden, plants happiness.” ~ Chinese Proverb
"Nothing is more the child of art than a garden." - Sir Walter Scott
There are literally thousands of quotes on gardening and more arriving daily. Every nation, culture and generation has its perspective on the importance of gardening, the importance of getting your hands dirty in the soil and the benefits of surrounding ourselves with nature. But what are we to do if our soil or locations do not lend itself to creation of a vast garden or even a few vegetable beds for that matter?
This my friend, is the time when we take to one of my favorite ways to garden, container gardening. Container gardening is simply growing plants with a confined moveable container. Most refer to them as pots but really any vessel may become a container garden. This style of gardening is ideal for entrance ways, patios, front walks, balconies, pool areas, tabletops…etc.. Any place you would like to add plant life.
A major benefit of container gardening is that you are able to control the soil conditions, which in turn allows you to grow plants you would otherwise may not be able to grow in the ground. Of course sunlight and temperature must be taken into consideration when combining your particular plant material, but you can control moisture, drainage and nutrients.
Aesthetically speaking, container selection is priority number one, followed by plant color, texture and height. Select your container style based on the design of the home or space it will be placed. For example a modern container may look out of place in on a Victorian porch, as would a highly ornate urn on a contemporary pool deck. Once the style has been decided, consider size in relation to the space and type of plant material you plan to use should be considered, select the largest vessel possible for your needs, this will reduce the amount of watering and also allow the plants to grow to fill the container.
Plant selection is the fun part of the process and where you can really let your creativity shine. Mix and match heights, colors and textures to create your seasonal master piece, keeping in mind to select plants that in general have the same light and moisture needs will have the best success.
Just as with the container design the plant material can have a style associated with it, traditional, modern, beach or urban, again consider where this container will live and what feel you are trying to achieve. Here are a few items to consider when selecting plant material:
TRADITIONAL / FORMAL DESIGN
Classic lines and symmetry
Elegant, simple and tasteful
Additional care and time are necessary to maintain
Plants selected for their beauty rather than following any rigid design guidelines
Loose arrangements that complement the overall home style and garden
Draping or trailing plants for the edges
CONTEMPORARY / MODERN DESIGN:
Frequently paired with bold or understated plants
Simplicity and clean lines
Flowers may be included but usually foliage is the main design element
What every your style is container gardening adds style to your entranceway or space, hours of enjoyment getting your hands dirty and the ability to change your plants with the season or your mood.
Krayl Funch is on a mission to make the world a beautiful celebration. She is an Entertaining & Lifestyle Expert. Along with her private client services she also shares stories and solutions on her blog www.AnAppealingPlan.com