When I was a little girl I enjoyed spending summer afternoons gardening with my dad. We would plant flowers in the front and back yards and create container gardens to brighten up the front porch and back deck.
Shortly after E and I purchased our house, I started gardening. I find that flowers brighten our home and enhance the curb appeal. Seeing the beautiful blooms when I walk up to the house instantly brings a smile to my face.
Personally, I find the potted flower combinations available at garden centers or Home Depot to be rather expensive. Rather than purchasing them, I choose to plant my own because I like the idea of being able to pick my own flowers and colors.
Creating a simple and elegant container garden just takes a few easy steps and you’ll have beautiful flowers all summer long (just remember to water them).
Supplies Needed to Create your Container Garden:
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Soil – choose a potting mix
Plant food – choose one specifically for flowers
Containers to put the plants in (make sure they have at least one hole in the bottom for drainage)
Decide where you’ll be placing your container garden when it’s finished. This step is important so that you can choose the proper pot size and the right types of flowers. Different flowers thrive in different conditions and you’ll need to consider these conditions.
If your location is sunny for most of the day, choose plants that require “full sun”. Some “full sun” loving flowers include petunias, calibrachoas, begonias and geraniums.
If your location is very shady, look for plants that grow in the shade such as impatiens, lantanas and ferns.
Our front porch is very hot and sunny in the afternoon but cool and shady in the morning. After a fair bit of trial and error in previous years, this year I decided to focus my search on “full sun” plants.
It’s also a good idea to choose plants of varying heights with different propensity to spread. I usually choose one taller flower and one plant that will spread across the pot and hang down (such as ivy). I find this adds interest. You can also decide whether to plant flowers that are all the same colour or a variety of colours. This year I chose to go with a bright and fun mix of pink, yellow, light green and purple.
For my container garden I chose zinnias, hibiscus, sweet potato vine and lobelia (I think those are the little purple ones). The zinnias are tall and the sweet potato vine and lobelia will spread nicely as the plants grow. I also decided on a square black pot since it matches the style of our home and porch railing.
Create a mock up of your planter to see where to place the different flowers. In my mock up you can see that all of the plants are still in their containers so I can change them around to see how different options will look.
When you’ve decided where to place your flowers in the pot, fill up around half of the pot with potting soil. Then spread the plant food on top of the potting soil.
Once the new container is prepared, take the flowers out of their small containers carefully. I find the best way to do this is by turning the flower upside down, holding the stem of the flower between your fingers and then gently squeezing the plastic and taking the plant out of the pot.
When the plant is out of the pot, gently separate the roots a bit at the bottom. Then place the plants in the container where you ultimately want them to be.
Once you’ve placed your plants in the pot fill the rest of the pot with the remaining soil. Make sure to check all of the different corners to see if they’re full. Once you’ve filled up the pot with soil, give the plants a good watering so they can settle into their new home.
Keep a close eye on your container garden. Depending on how hot and dry your location is you may need to water your flowers once a day to keep them healthy and happy.
Do you enjoy planting? What are your favourite flowers to use?