Happy Summer, friends!
One of my favorite things to do during summer is to go out on the patio with an iced coffee and a good book and enjoy the little oasis I've created. It occurred to me that I go on and on about how much I love my plants and container garden, but I have never talked about how to create your own gorgeous container gardens!
This is my third year creating my patio oasis and I've learned a number of lessons. Here are my top 5 tips to create your own beautiful container gardens.
1. Know your light
It's crucial to know the light conditions of your outdoor space and pick your plants accordingly. Take a few days and notice where the sunny/shady spots are, and how long those spots get sun. My patio faces east, so it's bathed in sunlight from sunrise until about 1-2 p.m. I picked plants that need full sun to half shade. (I do have one exception --my Asparagus Fern needs a little more shade so I planted it in a container that gets shady first. So far, so good.)
2. Keep 'em together
Keep the plants that require the same lighting and water conditions together in the same container. I made the mistake of planting a succulent type Sedum with water hungry Brazilian Red Hots the first year. It wasn't until my Sedum looked sad and sickly that I figured out I was over watering the poor thing!
3. Keep 'em close
Though the little information tag on the plants says you need to plant each one 9 to 12 inches apart (or whatever the recommended space is) you can (and should!) plant them a lot closer. The first year I started container gardening, I planted petunias the minimum of 6 inches apart that was recommended and my two foot long planter looked pretty sparse and ugly. My new railing planters are approx 24"x9" and I have about 12-15 plants in each. It looks incredible!
4. Combine different height plants
Combining plants of different heights will give your containers height, fullness, and depth! Plant tall ornamental grasses in the back, a plant like Coleus that is a little bit shorter in the middle, and something that hangs down and trails, like English Ivy or Sweet Potato Vine, in the front.
5. Combine different colors and textures
Don't be afraid of combining plants with different colors and textures. Your planter does not have to contain only one kind of plant. That's boring! Combining wild colors and crazy textures will give your containers some excitement. My two new favorites are the asparagus fern (dark green and feathery) and the licorice vine (small greyish fuzzy leaves) They have such fun textures. Another fun plant that comes in variety of colors and leaf shapes is the Colesus. I have at least 8 different varieties in my containers. I set the plants up next to each other in it's potential planter and make sure I'm happy with the color/arrangement before I commit to planting them. However, I do replant if I'm not completely happy with the combo after a few days. Don't worry-- as long as you're careful, moving and replanting is okay and won't hurt your plants!
I hope you find these tips for creating your own gorgeous container garden helpful. Leave a comment in comment section-- I'd love to hear how your garden is doing!
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