Planting a Container GardenWritten by Johann Erickson
If you are a person not blessed with a big sunny backyard, you need not be deprived of joy of gardening. You just need to think on a smaller scale. The perfect solution…container gardening. Container gardening is an extremely versatile method of growing not only colorful flowers, but also herbs and even some fruits and vegetables. A container garden is especially ideal for apartment dwellers that often don’t enjoy luxury of owning any “green space” of their own. The beauty of container gardening is that they generally require minimal effort and maintenance and yet still yield beautiful results. Whether you choose to display your plants inside your home or even as an additional feature to a bigger gardening area, container gardening is a beautiful addition to any home or garden décor. With a few simple steps you too can experience joy of growing garden of your dreams.
Choosing right container
Just as there are a countless number of plants to choose from, there are just as many containers to grow your plants in. Whether you choose an elaborately decorated window box or opt for more simple terra cotta pots, your choices really are endless. It just depends on your own personal sense of style. There are some things to keep in mind, however, when choosing a container. Avoid containers with narrow openings or that are small in capacity. Small containers restrict growth of plants and their roots and are prone top drying out very quickly. Make sure your pot allows for adequate drainage. If your favorite container has no drainage holes drill some into bottom spacing them about ˝ an inch across. If hanging baskets are your preference then line containers with moss to increase water retention. Wooden containers are lovely but are prone to rotting. If you have your heart set on a container made of wood, try redwood or cedar, as they are more durable and relatively resistant to rotting.
Choosing your plants
Although annuals tend to be most popular choice for planting, virtually any plant can be grown in a container, form shrubs to tomato plants. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try planting things that are pleasing to you. Some things to remember are to pick right plant for right container. For example, don’t choose a plant a shrub or an ornamental tree in a small container. Bigger plants need bigger pots for their root system to grow properly. Also, if mixing plants in same container, make sure they have same light and water requirements. For example, don’t plant a sun-loving plant like roses with a shade loving plant like hosta. Also keep in mind bloom times. Don’t pick a combination of tulips, a spring-bloomer to be planted with autumn blooming mums. Other things to keep in mind are mixing of colors, size, and texture. As much as it’s fine to experiment you do always want to pay attention to symmetry and balance of container you’re planting.
Caring For Tropicals And Exotic FlowersWritten by Gerry Belvedere
Tropical flowers make an exciting change from more traditional floral gifts such as roses and gerberas, assuming that they're available in your area. Their stark and colorful beauty makes them an impressive gift for special occasions like Mother's Day, Valentine's Day, birthdays and anniversaries.
If you're lucky enough to grow tropical flowers such as heliconias or gingers in your garden, here are some tips to help them thrive and extend their shelf life as cut flowers.
1. Water your plants well and give them a big drink before cutting. This is important for foliage plants as well because some varieties “drink’ very little after cutting. Instead, they live off their own sap.
Tropical plants have adapted to their natural environment which typically involves frequent but short periods of heavy rain.