|Not my door, but I wish it was (hahaha).|
You don't have to be elaborate, and it doesn't have to be something newly purchased. You can use existing materials you have on hand, or shop the thrift stores or craft shops for some ideas for decorative containers. Containers can be made from clay, plastic, ceramic, tin, fiberglass, stone, cement, compressed fibers, and peat moss. One nursery owner that I talked with last year uses coconut fiber called Coir for hanging baskets. Coir is the natural fiber found in the coconut between the outer and inner shell of the coconut. This material actually holds more water than the sphagnum moss hanging pots. It is also longer lasting. This is the same fiber that you will find used in doormats. I haven't used it before myself, but I'm going to look for it in the nursery or online.
Link to: Coconut Coir bricks
|Recycled watering can that leaked used for planter.|
The picture at left is from a recycled watering can that one of my neighbors gave me (it leaked). And another neighbor shared some of her 'Golden Creeping Jenny' that I filled the container with. Because the watering can leaked I didn't have to add any additional drainage to it.
When you want to have some containers around your house or yard you should first determine where you want to place them. Depending on whether or not they will get sun or shade will determine which plants will grow best in the amount of light they are exposed to.
I use a mixture of potting soil with moisture pellets and composted manure for my planting mixture. You don't want to use just soil from the ground because it will end up being compacted in your container and probably doesn't contain enough nutrients for your flowers to last the season. And most potting soil in itself does not have any nutrients. If you use an organic mixture as above for planting your flowers, and if you find you need to add additional fertilizer throughout the season then use a liquid organic fertilizer. If you were to use a chemical fertilizer it would kill off all the beneficial organisms in your composted mixture.
If you decide to use a coconut coir block and add them to your potting mixture, break or cut into pieces and add water to it, then mix it in with your potting mixture. If you add coir to your mixture you should add perlite because the coir will have a tendency to pack down.
When you are shopping in the nursery or store for your plants remember to check the plant tags for their requirements or ask an employee. Plant tags usually give you a lot of information on that specific plant. This tag will tell you what the light and water requirements are, the height and width of the plant, and how often you need to fertilize it. And if it's a perennial plant it should give you the hardiness zone that's recommended for your plant. Be careful when shopping for perennials in your hardiness zone. I have found several instances where nurseries and big box stores (like Lowes and Home Depot) sell perennial plants that are not suited for that particular hardiness zone in which they are selling them. I've seen them sell tropical plants in stores up north and customers see the word 'perennial' on them and purchase them thinking they will survive our winters outdoors. If you are shopping and have a smart phone you might want to look up a plant if you are unsure of the hardiness zone of a specific plant that you want to plant outdoors for your hardiness zone.
USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map
Sometimes the plant labels will give you additional information too, such as the habit of the plant meaning if it will form a mound, if it is a 'filler' which means it will fill out in the pot, or if it is upright like a spike, or if it is a trailing plant like ivy which would hang over the pot.
When filling out a pot try to incorporate these three things: 'Fillers, Thrillers, & Spillers'. Example: a filler could be petunias, a spiller could be ivy, and a thriller could be spike like a snapdragon. Here is a link to a previous post with more links that I wrote on Window Boxes and Container Tips.
|Kingston, Ontario Canada|
|Sackets Harbor, NY|
Feel free to mix up your pots with perennials, too. At the end of the season you can plant them right in the ground and either pot them up the following year or leave them to come up in the ground.
"You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream."
C. S. Lewis
|This window box that my husband and I put|
together a few years ago was one of my all-time favorites!
Here are some links from previous posts on the Villages photographed in this issue of my blog:
Lewiston and Youngstown, NY
Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario, Canada
Niagara-On-The-Lake Part II, Niagara Parks Botanical Garden, Ont. Canada
Hope you find some ideas you are able to use for your upcoming gardening season!
Leave a note if you'd like. . .