This is the first spring where I have been craving time outside...gardening! Never before have I been interested. My husband loves to garden (herbs, hops, and exotic lemon trees are his specialties), and I grew up with parents that took great pride in their gardens and pots. But I never took advantage of learning anything from them in my youth. Last weekend I had the opportunity to head to Bachman's with my mom and pick out greens and flowers for our pots in our front and back yards. I was so excited as I perused the rows of plants, asking questions left and right. There is something to be said for finding the joy in little things and for soaking up the newness of being in the learning stages of a hobby.
Today I want to share my new found love of gardening with you! Planting beautiful pots is not difficult and the result is truly worth the time and effort. I actually found digging in the dirt and working with plants to be very calming and relaxing. Below I have some tips and tricks I learned from my lovely mom and the gardeners at Bachman's (they are so helpful and knowledgable). Happy gardening everyone!
: : Tips and Tricks to Planting Beautiful Outdoor Pots : :
My mom taught me that an appealing pot should have some foliage, a larger flower, a smaller flower, a crawling plant, and a plant with texture. You can mix and match these different kinds, or try to include all the options in one pot. There are no "rules" for this, but it is nice to have a variety of plant types in your pots. In some pots I included all the different variety types and in others I only included a couple.
Spend time just perusing through your local greenhouse. We love to go to Bachman's because they offer unique and beautiful plants, the gardeners are extremely helpful, and the plants are healthy and fresh. Find the flowers and foliage that catch your eye, and if they work in your space, get them! I fell in love with spiralis, begonias, toffee twists, and dahlias last weekend.
Mix and match different colors and textures with your plants and flowers.
Buy smaller plants that come in flats of four. You get a lot for your money and they are a great little addition to add in to your pots.
Look at the informational tab that comes with each plant. This will tell you what type of sunshine/shade the plant benefits from, how tall and wide it will get, watering habits, etc.
Invest in a good fertilizer. My mom suggests fertilizing your pots every two weeks or so. The difference between pots that are fertilized and pots that are not are quite drastic. The fertilizer will help to cause the plants to reach their full potential in regards to height, fullness, color, and overall health.
Pay attention to when your greenhouse is offering coupons and percentages off; buy your plants then!
: : How to Plant Beautiful Pots : :
When I got home from the greenhouse I separated all of my plants into different groups: large flowers, foliage, crawling plants, small flowers, and plants with texture. After separating them, I started grabbing different plants from different categories until I found a mixture of plants that was visually appealing.
Start potting by stirring up old soil and getting any large chunks worked out. Take out some of the old dirt and add in new, fresh potting soil; mix together.
Next I laid out my different mixtures of plants in their pots before I began potting, making sure I liked the arrangement. My mom suggests placing the foliage near the back of the pot, along with the larger flower. Smaller plants and flowers can be towards the front of the pot. Crawling plants should be placed near the side, so they can crawl over the pot and down onto the sides, creating a beautiful look.
One especially important tip I learned is to not over-crowd your pots. Everything in me wanted to buy bigger flowers and foliage, and to plant my pots full from the get-go. But the plants are going to grow immensely in a few short weeks. Leave some bare spots and spaces in your pots so that the plants and flowers can grow and fill in.
After you find an arrangement you like, dig a hole into the dirt and carefully remove the plants from the containers by turning them upside down and inching the plant out. Place into the ground and press the plant down into the dirt; fill in with extra soil. Repeat until all of your plants are in the pot.
Photos by Angela & Preston Anderson