Creating a Decorative Garden from Containers


Equipment needed:

Small garden spade
Various Garden Containers (Pots) of your choice
Watering can or accessible water system

You will also need:

Pefferlaw brand Hanging Basket Mix (recommended) or Pefferlaw brand Potting Mix,  Pefferlaw Commercial Mix or Seeding and Planter Mix
Annual flowers, bulbs and foliage plants, ect.

When:  Plant your container garden in spring as soon as all chance of frost has past.

Why:   Container gardens are a wonderful way for anyone to garden.  It works exceptionally well for people with limited garden area, and can make gardening accessible for people who have height restrictions due to a disability.

1. Select plants and container:

a) Containers - Container gardens look best when grouped in numbers of 3 or more and with various sizes and/or shapes.  Pick containers that compliment each other and the area you will be using. Use taller containers for vines that cascade downward.

Look for a few basic factors:

Ensure that you have picked a container with enough room to accommodate the mature plants root system with room for roots to grow downward.

Ensure there are drainage holes in the bottom of the container.

b) Plants - Annual flowers are a good choice as they flower almost all season.   Bulbs will flower for a particular period during the season. Consider climbing and cascading vines and ivy.

Look for a few basic factors:

-Choose flowers and/or plants for each container which has the same requirements. Eg. sun, shade.

-Bulbs are also a good choice; remember that they only flower for a portion of the season although their foliage will be a welcome addition to your display for the rest of the season.

-Consider various shades of foliage; think about splashes of color, size, texture, shape and flow.  The possibilities are endless and the end result is always unique.

-Safety will need to be considered, ensure that the container garden’s weight when wet is easily supported.  Make sure that containers being displayed on balconies or upper level windows or other high areas are secure so they will not fall on unsuspecting people below.




2. Preparation:

Fill container to just over half way mark with Pefferlaw Hanging Basket or Potting Mix

3. Planting:

Begin placing the plants in the pot for a practice run, to get a feel of what the end result will be.  How many plants to plant in a pot would be dependent of the maturity of the plant and the final plant size.  Generally, it is acceptable to crowd them in a little closer than in a traditional garden, keep in mind that the roots will need room to spread and that healthy plants will grow and fill out the pot quickly. When you are happy with your arrangement gently continue to add soil mix around the root systems and gently firm up the soil.  Fill the pot to about 1” from the top.

4. Pinch back plants:

Certain annuals like petunias, impatients and snapdragons among others will benefit from being pinched back after planting.  This will encourage them to fill out and flower nicely as they grow.  Pinch back to about 3” or 4” from ground just above where the leaves meet the plant and a stem is waiting to grow. It may seem brutal but the end results are well worth it.

5. Placement:    

Place potted plants in an area where there is some relief from midday sun as potted gardens tend to soak up more heat and dry out quicker than in ground gardens

6. Care and Maintenance:

Monitor the soil daily and water accordingly.  Container Gardens tend dry out quicker and need more watering than traditional gardens.

Dead head annuals by pinching of expired flowers before they seed, this will force them to continue producing flowers.  Pinch back annuals now and again to keep them from growing leggy.

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