Whether you shop online (and we hope you do) or visit your local garden center, finding the perfect garden planter, plant materials, soil etc to create lovely flowerpots to decorate your home or garden area is easy to do. Lot's of choices, colors, textures that when put together can make a look that adds color, beauty and life to your garden decor.
However, keeping those potted containers looking nice all summer long when the heat and windy weather can beat them up pretty good, is another thing. We want to give you some tips that may help you over come the garden planter blues.
Start by selecting the perfect container. Make sure the size is correct for the plants that you are putting in the pot. Too small and roots are crowded, too large and soil stays too moist and you have fungal issues. Make sure the pot has drainage. No plants like to sit in standing water.
Next get a plan on what you are going to plant. Don't go to the local nursery and buy impulsivily. Choose plants that will thrive in your area and add some foliage to pots to fill them out when you are planting flowers. Try to buy a plant to place in the center of the pot for height. This really adds a focal point for deciding what to plant around it.
Get good potting soil. Don't ever use the ground soil and don't use old soil that has been sitting in the garage for a few years. If you choose to reuse soil from a spent container make sure there are no spores, fungus or mites and other unfriendlies can live in long after the plants are gone.
Presoak the plastic nursery pot in a tub of water to loosen and relax the roots before knocking the plant out of the pot. Just fill a shallow basin, or wheelbarrow with water, sit the pots in so the drain holes are covered and let them soak for 30 mins. Then knock the plant out and repot in your decorative garden container. The roots will be pliable and soft and they will thank you for this, presoak. The after the pot is complete make sure to give everything one last drink.
Don't underestimate how important it is to keep up the grooming of the finished planter. Deadhead spent blooms, cut back straggly stems and replace anything that just isn't doing well. This little weekly step makes a big different in how your planters look all season long.
And finally, fertilize. Purchase a slow release fertilizer or better yet every two weeks water with a liquid fertilizer to keep everything looking it's best all season. Every time you water a pot till there is water coming out the drain hole you loose valuable nutrients. These need to be replaced.
Have you ever heard of "pottery toppers"? Well, we may have just made it up but we think it's a easy and creative way to top your garden planters and containers. No only does it add a decorative touch but it also serves a great purpose.
Let's start from the beginning. When you plant directly in a garden container you finish with a good amount of top soil exposed. This is not a bad thing. We want you to give your potted plants as much soil as possible so that they can grow and not be crowed. However, in harsh weather conditions that exposed soil can cause some major damaged to plants and plant root systems. Sometimes making them even fatal.
What you want to do is provide that exposed soil & plant roots to protection. Something to keep the water off in case of freezing temperatures, or a layer to provide warmth. Mulch has been used for generations to keep plants protected during the winter months
We suggest using something a bit more decorative. Maybe add color with pool balls, Christmas ornaments, filbert nuts, acorns, pine cones, or like the photos show, colorful and fragrant fruit. Get creative! Your pots will look fantastic and your plants will be happy for the added protection.
Choosing from tons of plant materials and containers can be confusing. Sometimes you don't know where to begin. Well here are a few tips that we hope will help.
First try to figure out what your style of decorating is. Are you into colorful planters with wild patterns and bold pigments? You love to plant green in them and have the focus be the container and not the plants. Or, do you like all white containers? This way you can plant all the colorful flowers you like and change it up from season to season. One season go all pink and the next season you plant all colors of the rainbow. All of these combinations work in a white garden planter or container.
Do you like a traditional look where topiary trees are potted or do you go for something a bit more playful like a bright pot with grass shooting up out of it creating a wild look. Do you like mixing plants in pots or are you prone to one plant style per container? How about smell? Maybe you don't like a lot of fragrance or does the smell of something sweet drifting on the air excite you? Some prefer to group many pots together and others like a simple bold statement!
By answering these questions will help you to get started and make a decision before you spend a ton of money on something you are not happy with. Everyone has different tastes and not one is better than another. Discover what moves you and go with that. There is nothing more satisfying then sitting out on your patio, drinking a glass of tea, and admiring the decorative pottery you have surrounding you.
Julie, can't say we know but a great question to try on google. Good luck and let us know what you found out!
9/30/2014 12:04:41 AM
Do antique roses do equally as well in a deciduos summer shade location?
Arizona Pottery On-line Inc.
Empty Pots - Yeah...Empty Pots!
Have you ever noticed how beautiful a pot can look left completely empty in the garden? Perhaps you think that a garden pot left empty is sad and not very appealing? You believe a pot is meant to contain something, like soil with flowers, or water turning it into a fountain. Most pots call to be filled. They have drain holes encouraging you to plant a favorite flower or shrub in them and they can provide super drainage. All good points!
However, there is something special about a pottery left empty. Especially when you display it along an entry way to a home or deep in the center of a lush garden. Need something to add color, place one under a green tree and leave it empty. This emptiness draws your eye to it and let's your imagination soar. You wonder why? Why was it left empty. Is it being displayed like a piece of artwork? Maybe you are just leaving it empty temporarily until you figure out what you want to plant in it.
Just know in your heart that it's OK to leave a garden pot empty. You don't always have to do the norm. Take your time deciding. Let it sit in a place where you can view it from inside the home and take your time deciding what to do with it. Purchase a bright blue pot and surround it with blue glass that reflects the light. Add water and make it a water feature or leave it empty and just admire the color and beauty of the lines.
Hightlight Your Garden Pottery With Color. Part II
12/20/2012 12:28:41 PM
Here are a few more tips we promised in the earlier blog. They should aid you in selecting color to put in your garden pottery & planters.
Did you know that color effects your emotions? Bright colors such as red & yellow excite us and make us feel warm, where blue, green and pink are considered cooler and calmer! Maybe you want to create a planter that makes you feel warm and exited. Use exciting colors as yellow and scarlet. In the backyard where you want a more relaxed feel select the pots with rose, and blue shades.
Monochromatic potted arrangements emphasize a single color with flowers or foliage of various hues. Though the emphasis is on one color, its not the same color but different hues of the same color. Even an all white garden pot is best emphasized with shades of silver, cream and pale yellow. Stunning!
When setting up your color palette, plan it out so that your potted display is focused and unified. The area of display inside a garden planter is small and confined. The details, colors and combinations should accent the rest of the yard, finding the right mix is sometimes difficult but rewarding.
If you are stuck about what color palette to use, try white, which is very calm and neutral. It combines with many colors to develop different moods. White and green create a fresh feel and by adding yellow to the mix produces a cool tone that still lively. White combined with pink and blue gives off a romantic feel.
Lastly, for a restrained, yet vibrant attention getting feel, try purple. Place with gray and pink,it produces a sophisticated look. For a lighthearted stylish feel poisiton it with yellow and light brown.
Placing large stones around your yard or garden area may seem rather easy and simple to do. You harken back to the days of childhood where you built play things out of stones and river rocks. We think if you follow a few simple steps you will get the most bang for your buck and a final display that is stunning and functional.
Below are a few tips that you should take into consideration when trying to design with rocks or just place a few around your yard. These ideas are only a framework and meant to give you a sense of how to set rocks. Of course your personal preference will play a roll when deciding placement.
1. Make sure you consider nature before placing rocks. Study landscapes and land forms such as ledge outcroppings, stream beds, waterfalls, and stony islets.
2. Make sure that your stones are set firmly into the ground. This means that you want to set them either up to their knees or about one quarter of the way up from their bottom and go to their waist. If you allow the underside of a rock to be exposed, it will look as though it was simply plopped down.
3. Establish a relationship between stones. With two stones, make the larger rock the major or dominant stone and the smaller rock the minor or subordinate stone. It helps to create an image for the relationship between stones. When placing 3 stones together, create a triangular relationship between them, such as a tall standing stone, a med size flat topped stone, and a low lying stone. No matter how many stones you set, it helps to have an image firmly in mind before you begin.
4. Use stone of different sizes. Think of how rocks look at the edge of a stream. Smaller stone tumble to the side of larger rocks, varying the depth and height.
We saw these great tips from Sunset Magazine on how to create a planter pot that will attract Hummingbirds and we thought we would pass it along. By Debra Prinzing, Photos by Ed Gohlich
It is really easy to pot a special type of plant that will attract certain birds, butterflies and other desired garden friends. This particular pot has 3 plants that attract hummingbirds. Fingertips (dudleya edulis), Sticky monkey flower (Mimulus aurantiacus) andJim Sage(salvia clevelandii). Each one of these can easily be found at your local nursery center.
Here are easy tips on how to plant them:
1. Use one or more pieces of broken pottery to cover the drain holes to prevent soil from seeping out but allows water to drain through.
2. Fill approximately one quarter to one third of the container with high quality potting soil. This helps for plant growth.
3. Arrange the plants listed above in the containers, placing the tallest plant toward the back. Add soil until it reaches 1/2" to 1" below the pots rim. Add decorative accents like driftwood, or seashells. Water thoroughly and watch them grow.
These nectar rich native plants are lovely and the hummingbirds love them. Give them a try and let us know how they worked out for you!
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.
If you yearn for the beach but live miles inland, you can re-create the look easily in a garden pot.
Find a low wide pot or bowl, that is approximately 14" in diameter. It can be made of terracotta clay, ceramic, poly-resin, concrete or any other type of planterthat you like. Partially fill the bowl with new potting soil. Set the plants you purchased still in their nursery container on the soil, and move them till you find the position that you really like. Make an arrangement that makes you happy! Use 4" slow growing plants, approx 3.
Knock the plants out of the nursery containers and gently take the coiled roots apart. Fill in around them with more potting soil up to within an inch of the pot rim. Make sure the soil is compact and then water till moist.
Pour sand on top of the soil and finish with a piece of driftwood or other beachy treasure. Shells, and sand-dollars make interesting pieces to add.
Set the finished pot on a sunny patio or porch, where it gets some sun and some shade. Water once a week or so using a gentle stream of water. You don't want to disturb the display. A watering can comes in handy here.
*Idea found in Sunset Magazine by Kathleen Brenzel