Many people feel overwhelmed when it comes to gardening. They either feel they don’t have enough room for plants, or that they have a “black thumb”. Have no fear, ArtFire is here!
Whether you have a huge patio or a tiny porch, container gardening is a fantastic way to add color and/or functionality to any outdoor space. The first step is to decide on your gardening goal. Are you looking to add a pop of color to an entryway, or are you a cook who would love their own herb and vegetable garden outside their back door?
If you answered color, let’s start here. Sun exposure plays a huge part in what plants will do well in your area. Take note of how the sun hits the area that you plan to make your garden. How many hours of sun does it get? Is it full sun or dappled? Is it morning sun or afternoon suns (afternoon sun is much more intense than morning sun). When purchasing your plants, be careful of relying on the little tags that are often in the plants. If you do not live in sunny, temperate California, those tags may be extremely misleading. Take a walk around your nursery and notice which plants are placed in a similar sun exposure as yours. If you still aren’t sure, ask your nursery professional or hop in a social media group and ask the “experts” from your area. Be sure to select a pot that has adequate drainage holes and use a good potting mix.
If you have a large container to fill, having plants that vary in size and texture is very appealing to the eye. Here are some examples of a summer combination that we put together. You can see they each have a tall base plant in the back, medium size plants in the middle, then they graduate down to the shorter plants and trailers that will spill over the edges. All of these plants enjoy the same season, amount of sun, and water which is why they will work well together. Be sure to keep these three factors in mind when selecting your plants. You wouldn’t want to put a cacti that prefers dry soil in with annual flowers that need daily water.
If you are looking to grow some plants that will give back, consider an herb garden. Herbs to extremely well in containers as long as they are placed in adequate sun and receive the correct amount of water. Lucky for your, most herbs thrive is the same conditions as one another- a good amount of sun and even watering. Remember that some plants do better in summer than winter. For example, here in sunny Arizona, fennel, basil, and tarragon do great in the summer but will freeze back in the winter. But parsley and dill prefer the cooler winter climate. Again, don’t be afraid to ask someone with a little more experience.
Don’t be afraid to mix flowers, herbs, and vegetables together. You may even consider putting together themed containers. For example, an Italian Bowl could consist of tomatoes, basil, oregano, and tarragon. A Salad Bowl could have mixed lettuce (they come in a surprising amount of colors- even spotted!), nasturtiums, and pansies. The possibilities are endless.
Gardening is an art and you are the artist! Mix colors and textures that you like. Experiment with plants that you aren’t familiar with and listen to them when they show you that they are happy or need a little something extra. Most importantly, have fun! “Life is a garden, dig it!”
For some added garden fun, check out these ArtFire garden finds!