Do you know what you really need for a water garden?
A pot that holds water!
When you combine, a colorful planter, water, plants, stones, greens, a pump and a fountain nozzle, you can make a stunning water garden with ease.
The steps for making a water garden are easy to follow.
1. Select a colorful, generous sized garden pot that is water proof. You do not want to use low fired terracotta clay pot, since terracotta will absorb water and break down over time. Get a lovely glazed container since these have been fired twice in a kiln and will repel water unless, and this is a big unless, they get cracked or chipped.
Then the water will search out the crack and penetrate the pot, causing it to break down over time. The last think you will need to do is plug the drain hole in the bottom if there is one. Arizona Potteryrecommends using a silicone product since these are waterproof.
2. Search out plants and ask for recommendations from your local nursery. Look for ones that flower and then select some attractive foliage. Here are a few examples:
Flowers: Japanese iris, water lily, cardinal flowers or march marigold.
Greens: Water clover, houttuynia, horsetail, or fiber optic grasses.
3. Fill the inside plastic pots with heavy garden soil, not lightweight potting mixes. They will float up. Pot the plants just like you would any other garden container. Leave room for a layer of gravel to keep the soil from washing away. Submerge the pot in water. Place most plants so that the rim are at water level. You can also float lilies on the top. Place cement block in the bottom to add height to the planted pot along with dimensional character.
Be creative when selecting the wonderful textures and brilliant flowers of aquatic plants. Use both submerged plants and floating for the most beautiful visual effect. Try for fragrance to add that extra touch and finally go for a contrasting color effect. Dark greens, with light whites and pinks.
Lastly, don't be alarmed if the water turns green at first. This happens with the nutrients in water create small algae. It is only temporary and will quickly clear. By adding a small pump you can create that soothing sound of trickling water that everyone loves.
We think that the most important feature of any plant container is the style of pot, what it is made of and whether or not it has a drain hole. Drain holes are so important because they make sure that water doesn't sit in the pot but drains off. Standing water in the bottom of the pot will cause the plants roots to rot and over time the chemicals in the water or fertilizer will damage the plant also. If water run-off is a problem because of the pot location then we have a couple of suggestions:
1. Use a saucer. Make sure that it is large enough to catch the amount of water it will take to saturate the plants soil. Too small of a saucer is pointless since it won't be able to do it's job of capturing excess.
2. Drop the pot that holds the plant into a larger outside pot that is decorative. This way when you water the inside pot the run-off water will drain into the outside pot and evaporate. Many landscape companies use this technique, especially when planting trees or large bushes inside office buildings.
If you need a pot that will breathe the Terra-cotta clay planters are the best. Unfortunately they will break down over time from the chemicals in the soil or fertilizer that is used. In order to have a planter that will hold up and not break down, it must be made of a clay that is glazed and high fired or concrete, poly resin, sandstone, or fiberglass. These materials repel water and do not let it absorb into them.
Choosing the correct container is the best step you can take to assure success when planting your landscape in pots.
Other tips to consider are:
Sun exposure: Make sure where you place the pots is where the plant materials in them can thrive.
Soil: Always use a lightweight, well draining soil mix with a built in fertilizer is the best way to start.
Watering: Know what the plants demand when it comes to water and make sure to provide them with their specific needs. It is ideal to select pots that require the same watering schedule but that is not always possible.
Plants for containers: Herbs, cacti & succulents, citrus, veggies and flowers are all great choices and they offer unique ideas for displays. Try blending them together for the most outstanding arrangements.
Whether you have a balcony, courtyard, or patio begging for some color, potted plants are sure to transform even the smallest of spaces!
Never thought of it like this before. It makes sense that with all the home troubles people are having they are looking at downsizing. When it comes to pots that makes great sense. Thanks
Arizona Pottery On-line Inc.
Make A Succulent Topiary
8/8/2011 12:15:12 PM
Everybody's growing these trendy plants - but not like this.
We saw this article in Fine Gardening Magazine featuring Debra Lee Baldwin and thought we would pass it along. It is a easy and great idea. Enjoy!
A succulent topiary suggests an evergreen tree yet makes viewers do a double take. It's a container garden with a twist: a moss-filled cone planted with eye-catching, low-water, easy-care succulents. This topiary offers a festive and engaging way to expand your garden art.
Your palette is a wide range of colorful, fleshy-leaved plants with appealing geometric shapes. With widespread demand for succulents, suppliers are increasing availability to meet your needs and satisfy your heart's desire. Here is how to create your own succulent potted topiary.
Fill the wire frame with chicken wire or wrap it with rustproof wire to create a small supportive pockets for the succulents. Stuff the wire frame with moist sphagnum moss or a mixture of the moss and potting soil, or line the frame with eye catching succulents, like princess pine.
Fill the container with gravel or sand to create a sturdy base. If there is a drain hole cover it with paper towels first to prevent the sand from spilling out. Stab the prongs of the stuffed topiary frame into the sand to secure it.
Add the succulents. Use the sharp end of a needle nose wire cutter to poke holes into the packed moss. Insert the succulents cuttings into the holes, and secure with U-shaped florists pins. Tuck moss into any gaps. Let the succulents complete the job. Their leaves contain all that the plants will need to survive. They'll soon put out roots that anchor themselves into the moss. If they don't find soil and aren't fed, they will go into a kind of stasis. If they don't find moisture, they will drain their leaves.
Planting in a garden container can be fun and easy to do. We offer a few tips here on how to make it a complete success.
1. Give potted plants the conditions they need. Assess the site for your containers as you would for an in-ground planting. Does the area get full sun, filtered shade, or deep shade? Choose plants accordingly. Is the area sheltered or exposed to lots of wind? If it's exposed, you will need to install a trellis, windbreak, or other protections before putting your pots there.
2. Use foliage plants lavishly. They add structure and form to the garden and are a good foil for flower display. They also create a point of interest in shade, especially when you use glossy leaves that catch the light, or ones with white or yellow markings.
3. Choose containers to match the style of your house. Try not to mix too many themes and stick to one idea. Remember that terracotta clay pots are low fired and will absorb the water you use. They will dry out faster than a ceramic or high fired pot so take that into consideration when selecting the type of materials the pots are made of. Concrete or poly resin are both very durable and almost indestructible. Dark colored containers will absorb more heat than light ones.
4. Pay attention to watering - the single most important step of container gardening. If you have many pots, make it easy by trying some of the following devices. A hose end nozzle with an off-on lever allows you to turn off the water between containers. Long handled watering wands attach to garden hoses to extend your reach, they are perfect for hanging pots or pots in the middle of a large grouping. Drip irrigation, which is a micro irrigation system that delivers water to containers through a network of thin tubes. Automatic times work great also.
Potted plants are magicians. They can turn hardscape into landscape. Pots filled with greenery and flowers soften the hard edges of any patio or deck area. They also create the feel of a garden where there's no earth to plant one. Plants in pots contribute gentle textures, graceful movement, delicious scents , and seasonal changes. They lure butterflies, hummingbirds, and other welcome visitors.
In short, they can add life to urban outdoor spaces and best of all, because container plantings are portable, you can make little changes at any time without distributing the whole scene.
Remember all you need is potting soil, outstanding containers, and plants, and a place to display them. How easy is that?
The first opportunity to create a contained garden is by your front door. Visitors form their initial impression of your home, so this is the area you would most like to appear welcoming. Just a few potted plants is all it takes to change the picture from austerity to hospitality.
Then check out the patio areas. Keep in mind that the more garden-like you want a potted plant space to appear, the more important it is to focus on foliage plants. Use vertical space to help create a convincing garden by filling potswith tall plants and grasses.
If you have stairs make sure they are wide enough to hold the pot selected for that space. This touch can really add something to a long flight of steps in your garden area. Try to make all your outdoor areas warm and welcoming.