How To Plant A Container Garden

Container Gardening

How To Plant A  Container Garden
by Rob Sproule

So you wanna plant a container garden? It can be intimidating, especially if you’ve been  surfing the net looking for inspiration on professional gardening sites.  Stop being intimidated. Professional designers make the containers on these sites so  keep that in mind.

You’re going to make your own container gardens and they’re going to be awesome.  Blending colours and textures is about artistry, so here are 3 approaches which vary on  how artistic you’re feeling (1 being not at all and 3 being downright ambitious).  Remember that container gardening is the most colourful, zany, and non-committal  gardening there is. Leave your inhibitions at the door and have some fun!  Advantages of Planting in Containers

The  Recipe Method

If you’re just starting out, or if you just want a showy container without worrying about  what clashes with what, download a grab and go container recipe. They’re available  across the net, but ProvenWinner.com  and Better Homes and Gardens  do it best.

Sites like these provide planograms and glossy pictures of manicured showstoppers to  get you started.

While these recipes feel like your next great container is just a print button away, keep a  few things in mind. First, the big money in gardening is in the Eastern and Southern US,  and plants that thrive there are rarely survivors here. Make sure the ingredients are right  for our dry air, chilly nights and short seasons.

Second, these sites are often selling their own plants, typically using their popular  planograms to encourage people to buy lesser known or newer plants in their lineups.  Often 1 or 2 items in the recipe will be hard to find. Instead of exhausting yourself on the  phone, substitute with something that’s the same approximate colour and habit.

At Salisbury we release our own recipes every season in early May. I put them together  with plants that thrive in our climate and which are readily available. Watch for it on our  Facebook page  and homepage. You can find our 2016 recipes here.

Napkin Planning

If you want more freedom than a planogram gives you, but aren’t ready to walk into a  garden centre cold turkey, sketch it out first. Look at your  particular situation and likes,  then go from there and make the choices that you like the best.


I always encourage this one! This is where you muster your creative forces, saunter into  the garden centre and let beauty guide you. Gardening is about expressing yourself  after all, and the most gorgeous container gardens are always those that make you,  their creator, smile.  Trends in Container Gardening

Begin with love. Look for a plant that calls out to you like a puppy at the pound. Once  you’ve found the one you need to have, build your container around it. It doesn’t have to  be the biggest element in the container or even the showiest, but you do need to love it.

Put it on the top layer of your cart. As you keep shopping, pair plants with it that you  think blend well. Contrary to what many people think, we all have strong innate artistic  instincts. Container Gardern Yard Interview  If it looks good to you, it’s probably going to look good to others (and if it  doesn’t look good to others but you love it, remember that it’s your expression). Create the container on your cart within an area about the same as your pot diameter.

Try to pair plants together that have the same growth habits (aggressive with  aggressive and passive with passive). Try to limit yourself to 3-5 different plants so  things don’t spiral out of control.


Read through our Growing Guides for tips to enrich your garden! 

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