The Pottery Post Blog
 
Arizona Pottery On-line Inc. USA

Vines & Climbers for Garden Planters



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We try to offer great suggestions for creating garden planters and today we want to talk about vines or climbers that are perfect for pottery.  Adding a vertical touch to all kinds of planters is not as hard to do as it seems. When you display a cluster of different pots with plant materials it always looks best when you use different sizes and heights.  Here are the best climbing vines we think that will add a elegant touch to any garden pot.

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Ivy - There is nothing that works better and is used more often then placing trailing ivy draping over the outer rim of a garden planter.  It has the ability to twist and turn so it can easily fill in where you want it to most.  This is a great place to start because it is the most common and easy to use.  What we truly love is the different foliage it offers.  From deep green to variegated and it stays green all year long.

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Morning Glory - It's one of those you will really enjoy because of the colorful blooms it has.  Not only is it really easy to grow but it adds lots of color and beauty with it's flowers.  This is one plant you don't want to grow in the ground because it will take over any garden area. It's durable and wild.  Stake it in a garden pot and it train it to go up for a wonderful vertical dispaly.

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Climbing Hydrangea - We love this for containers that are in the shade or partial shade.  It's grows pretty aggressively so you may want to pot it up by itself.  It also needs a large planter to grow in and doesn't like being contained by a small container.  Hydrangea is know for being fragrant so it's perfect for a patio or porch where the fragrance can greet your guest.

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Bougainvillea - In Arizona we know this plant well. It really does great in the warm climate and it's stunning colorful flowers add so much to our desert landscape.  Unfortunately it has barbs on it and is not the most fun to keep trimmed and under control.  It's considered more of a shrub because it grows out and not just up.  You may have to protect this plant in winter months.

Here are a few suggestions that we hope interest you.  If you give one a try let us know how you did. We would love to hear from you.

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potted climbing vines, potted climbing plants, potted planters, garden pottery, home and garden planters, pots



By

Arizona Pottery On-line Inc.

3 Reasons Your Containers Might Fail



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3 main reasons why your container plants fail.  Sounds pretty basic so lets dig right in.  There are not a lot of reasons why a potted planter may being to show signs of stress.  Often it has to do with the plants and what is going on under the soil.  Here are a few reasons to help eliminate guessing.

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1.  Vine Weevils - Grubs can come on sudden and destroy a potted plant arrangement in no time if you don't catch them early.  Even though they don't fly they can grip to most plant surfaces and can easily crawl across walls and ceilings. Then they lay eggs in the soil.  They can come in a nursery planter so check carefully before potting up the plants you bring home.  Once the eggs hatch they burrow into the soil and feed on the roots.  Obviously the plant can't take much of that and will stress out leading to death.

The best thing to do is egg shells to the soil mix. Their sharp edges discourage them greatly.  Adults can be picked off the plants.  You can then add parasite nematodes to the soil to control the larvae.

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2.  Poor Drainage - This is a obvious one.  If your garden container doesn't have proper drain holes or if those holes get blocked with soil the planter becomes waterlogged and the wet soil will suffocate plant root system.  Once the roots dye, top growth will collapse and your plant can die overnight.  You want damp not wet soil that drains well.

Here it's best to start with broken pot shards covering the drain hole. This let's the water drain but keeps the soil from plugging up the planters drain hole.  If using a saucer keep the saucer empty once the pot has fully drained.  Don't let the planter sit in standing water.

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3.  Starvation - Nobody thinks about your plant starving especially if you use new potting mix.  When you water your plants, the water will leech out the soil nutrients eventually leaving your healthy plants sitting in nutrient depleted soil.  Because your plants are contained and can't search for nutrients they will eventually collapse and die.

Here is where fertilizer comes into play.  No matter how good your potting soil is, your garden containers will need regular fertilizer treatments.  Try to use a good organic fertilizer and follow instructions well.  Over fertilizing can burn your plants roots and also cause stress.

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contained planters, garden pottery, garden planters, container tips, garden containers, planters, pottery, pots



By

Arizona Pottery On-line Inc.

Why We Love Terracotta Pottery



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Yep, we can honestly say we LOVE terra-cotta garden planters!  When Arizona Pottery first started that is all we sold.  Nothing but real clay garden pottery and some accessories.  They were and still are the basis of our business.  You may ask yourself why do we love terracotta planters so much?  Well, let us explain.

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Plant Health - Terracotta breathes.  This means the clay, which is real and harvested out of the ground is not so compact that it lets air thru it.  This also means water will saturate the pot and seep.  A plants roots like good air circulation and clay flowerpots are know for being healthy.  Once you use real clay you will find that your houseplants will perform better.

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Watering - Since a clay pot is porous it will keep water from sitting in the bottom of the pot, soaking the roots and possibly drowning them.  The water will seep into the clay and dissipate.  Unfortunately if you have chemicals in the soil or water they will show up on the sides of the pot as a white calcium line.

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Beauty - Because real terracotta pottery is porous it will start to age and show it's wear.  Many folks really like this and will even take steps to age their clay containers by applying yogurt or milk to the outside of the clay pot.  Everyone has a different idea of what beauty is but we love the aged, rustic look of terra-cotta pots and planters.

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Selection - Arizona Pottery imports real clay flower pots from Italy, China, Mexico and Vietnam.  Each factory uses their own clay mix or will harvest the clay out of the ground using their own firing process.  Some clays are smooth and silky like the Italian, while the Mexican clay is dark and very porous.  So porous and heavy that it will start to break down the first year of use.  We love the old traditional styles of Rolled Rim Garden Planters as well some of the newer more contemporary styles. There is always something to choose from.

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Many Uses - Yes real clay garden pottery will break but that doesn't mean you should toss them.  You can re-purpose them into pot shards to fill the bottom of your larger containers.  The terracotta shards will shield the drain hole and keep soil from plugging it up.  You can stack large pieces into pots and create a fairy garden or elf shelf.  Don't toss those broken pieces.... think outside the box and have fun with them.

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So those are a few of the reasons why we love our terracotta home and garden planters so much.  If you wish to share your thoughts we would love to hear them.

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real clay pottery, terracotta pots, terra-cotta pottery, planters, garden pottery, pots



By

 Comments (2) Last comment made 
23
2/22/2018 12:52:02 PM 
Arizona Pottery 2/22/2018 12:52:02 PM 
Hi Elaine, Once you get those calcium and salt deposits on the outside of the garden planters it's next to impossible to get them off. It's best to seal the pots before you use them with Thompsons water seal from Home Depot. You need to keep the chemicals in the potting soil and the fertilizer and water from leaching into the clay.

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Elaine stamate 2/10/2018 2:05:24 PM 
What treatment or type of oil do I put on the outside of my pots as they have water marks I do not like. I know there are many home remedies for it but canít find out what. Thanks

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Arizona Pottery On-line Inc.

Protecting Garden Planters Over Winter



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As the years go by you find yourself collecting more and more garden planters.  Many of them are very expensive or just ones that you love very much.  So of course you want to protect them from Winters cold and damage.  Here are a few tips that may help ease your discomfort.

Before anything you need to clean them out and clean them up.  Of course this is only for garden pottery that is empty and being stored.  Start by dumping the soil into a compost pile or recycle can.  You will not be using it again so it has to go.  You do not want to pass on any bugs, mold or fungus that may be growing in the soil so get rid of it and start fresh next season.

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Use a wire or stiff bristle brush to scrub off any chunks of soil that are sticking to the inside of the flowerpot.  Then mix a bucket of 1 part bleach to 10 parts water.  Now scrub the inside with the bleach mix to disinfect the pot and make sure any thing that may be still attached to the insides are killed or removed.  Let the pots dry completely before storing them in the garage or shed.

Ideally all garden pottery and planters should be stored indoors over the winter months.  May planters are frost resistant but not frost proof.  This means they can handle light frost but not freezing weather.  If there is standing water from rain or drip system in the soil and the soil freezes, the water will expand and crack the planter.

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If you are leaving the empty planters outdoors, try flipping them over and use bricks, pot feet or wood to keep them off the ground.  You can cover the empty containers with a large garbage bag to keep the water off or cover with burlap wrap.  If you can't flip them then just fill them with hay or mulch to protect them from the water and cold.

If you can't move the garden planters and need to keep them planted then you need to top the pots with mulch to keep the water out and the roots from freezing.  We like wrapping the planter with burlap and string to help.  Plastic bubble wrap works etc.  We know it's not the most beautiful look but if it saves your planters from cracking it's well worth it.

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The only exception for all the above information is a terra cotta flower pot.  Terra cotta is porous and absorbs water like a sponge.  This is healthy for the plants but obviously bad for freezing water conditions.  If you can't bring them in, get the pots off the ground, wrap in a waterproof bag or tarp and move them under a roof eave so water doesn't directly hit them.  If you can't do any of that then at least lay down a thick layer of mulch or hay to protect the top soil.

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Hope this helps and you find some of these tips for protecting your garden planters from freezing during Winter work.

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winter protection for garden planters, overwintering pottery, winter planters, protecting garden pots in winter.



By

Arizona Pottery On-line Inc.

Make a Faux Succulent Planter



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Using fake succulents to make a garden container is not only smart but economical.  Not only do the new faux succulents you can get at craft stores look real but they come in a huge variety.  Not all garden centers carry the vast variety that you can find in faux.  And yes, they really do look real.

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First select a garden container.  We like a large garden bowl or bulb pan.  The width allows for a larger variety of plants spread out instead of them all piled up on each other.  Once you decide on the planter, cut a piece of styro foam to fit inside and approx half way up the planter.  Use glue to attached it to the bottom of the planter.  You may need to criss cross the top of the foam with clean tape attaching the tape to the sides of the planters. No body will see these when you are done.

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Next cover the foam and tape with moss.  Bags of dried moss are available at all craft shots.  Just tuck it around the foam and fill in the gaps with it making sure that no foam is showing.  If the planter is going to sit on a patio table or coffee table we recommend placing the succulents first in the foam then covering the foam with small decorative rocks.  This will allow for rain run off to drain properly.

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Start with the large faux succulents and place them in the middle and one one each side.  Press them into the foam once, do not keep making the holes bigger, just one good punch thru and it should be the height you desire.  Now place med fake succulents ending up with the smallest size.  Use these to fill in around the sides of the garden planter.  Add a string of pearls to drape over the side.  Make sure to work on all sides and you fill in.

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If the potted container will be where wind can get to it we recommend you use a craft glue to glue the stems of the faux succulents once punched thru.  If you are using moss then lay down a bead of glue first and press the moss down firmly on top of it.  End with any decorative touches.  A raffia bow, garden rocks, flower picks.

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potted faux succulents, fake succulents, planted faux succulents.pottery



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Arizona Pottery On-line Inc.

Roses in Garden Containers



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Let's say you have limited growing space.  Maybe you live in an apartment or condo and you have always wanted to grow beautiful smelling roses. You have never had the yard or garden area to grow them and wish you could.  Well, potted rose bushes are easy to do and once and for all you will have your mini sweet smelling rose garden.

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Roses are very diverse with many varieties.  Many of them can withstand cold temps as well and warmer temps.  When purchasing your rose bushes to pot read the tags or talk with the local nursery to find the ones that are best for you area.  A favorite for potting is miniature roses.  They are easy to grow and are perfect for small rectangle garden planters on a terrace or balcony.  They usually don't grow more than 18" high so they will work everywhere.

If you tend to lean toward the exotic, they are hybrid teas that pot up nicely.  They have long, straight, sturdy stems and look lovely when planted in a colorful garden planter or pot. These rose are popular because of their large blooms.  If you prefer a more bushy rose bush then we recommend Patio roses.  They are compact and really like to be potted in your garden container.

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When selecting a garden container try to go a bit bigger than you thought.  Some roses need deep planters because they have a hardy root system.  The mini varieties not so much.  When selecting the container make sure there is some room to grow so that you don't have to re-pot in one season.  Make sure it has a drain hole.  You do not want these roots to sit in water.  If they do they will rot.  You need well draining potting soil specifically for roses if you can find it.  If you buy the rose bare root, pre-soak them for a couple of hours in a bucket of water to loosen them up and make them adaptable.

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See how easy that is!  Now you can select some beautiful garden containers and planters in colors and styles that you adore. Fill them with the type or roses you desire and create that rose garden you have always wanted.  

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potted roses, roses in garden pottery, container roses, patio roses



By

Arizona Pottery On-line Inc.

Grapes In Garden Planters



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Let's grow some grapes in a garden planter!  Doesn't this sound hard? We agree! But, surprisingly if you follow some specific guidelines it's not all that hard at all.  This is the perfect project for people with limited patio or porch space.  Apartment dwellers, condos or small houses with small yards.  Give it a go and see how you do.

One of the most important things to remember when starting out is to select a nice large and sturdy garden container.  This is not the time for starting with a undersized garden planter.  On the other hand you don't want the plant to be swimming either.  You should shoot for a deep (18 to 24" wide container and 18" to 24" deep.  We recommend you use a planter made out of terracotta.  This clay pot is meant to breathe and is the healthiest choice for the plants root system.  Of course that doesn't  mean you can't use glazed, ceramic or concrete planters. They will all work find as long as they are large enough.

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There are many types of grape vines so we recommend asking your local nursery professional what is best for your area.  You can go online for lots of information also.  Unless you have the room for a trailing grape vine we recommend you start with a dwarf variety.

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Plant in spring or summer.  Don't use garden soil but instead look for a potting mix that drains well.  Mix a good fertilizer into the soil to begin with and use according to the mfg.  During the growing season it is best to mulch the top of the garden planter or use a pot topper like garden stone, colored marbles or clay pot broken shards.  They will help to keep the moisture from evaporating so fast in the heat.

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Let the potted plant grow freely and no pruning till late winter.  By not pruning you will develop a strong root system. Come winter you should move the potted grape vine into the garage or preferably indoors.  Reduce watering and no fertilizer.  

Give it a go and let us know how it goes.

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Arizona Pottery On-line Inc.

A Few Container Gardening Tips



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We have talked about container garden tips in the past but we still seem to come up with more that we would like to share.  Hope you find some useful here.

Give potted plants the conditions they need.  Assess the site for your contained garden 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 protection before placing your garden planters there.

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Use foliage plants lavishly.  They add structure and form to the area and are a good foil for flower displays.  They also create a point of interest in shade, especially when you use glossy leaves to catch the light, or ones with white and yellow markings.

Choose containers to match the style of your home. One a Mediterranean terrace you can use terracotta tuscany style pots and use bright colored pottery with glossy finishes in front of a Cape Cod that needs a little boost of something.  Don't mix to many pots but stick to a theme.

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Indoor pots can easily match your decorating style.  Shiny, matte, colorful or plain clay - there are so many options to choose from that will blend in an add character to your indoor needs.

Pay attention to watering. Containers that dry out fast, especially in hot, windy weather. If you have many pots, make it easy by trying some of the following devices:

A.  A Hose end nozzle with an off-on lever allows you to turn off the water between containers.
B.  Long handled watering wands attach to garden hoses to extend your reach.
C.  Garden coils - self retracting hoses also extend reach and take up little space.
D.  Drip irrigation delivers water to individual containers and is easy to install with times.

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Potted plants are magicians.  They can turn hardscape into landscape.  Pots filled with greenery and flowers soften the hard edges or a patio or deck. They also create the feel of a garden where there is 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.  Best of all, because container plantings are portable, you can make little changes at any time without disturbing the whole scene.

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container tips, pottery tips, garden planters tips, clay garden pots



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Arizona Pottery On-line Inc.

Mexican Terracotta Pottery



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We have been importing Mexican garden planters for over 17 years. While the clay is heavy, very dark and considered porous it is still in high demand because of it's unique designs & original styles.

The Mexican clay pottery that we import have very distinctive designs.  It's very rough, porous and many times lined with a black tar product, that helps to prolong the life of the clay.  Each design is usually hand made and so each one is slightly different.  One thing we can say is unless the outside of the planter is sealed with a water proof product the clay will break down from water and sun exposure.

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These planters are not made to last and will start to deteriorate after a season of use.  Our terracotta sealer will not waterproof the pot but it will help to prolong the life of the clay by laying down a barrier of protection.  Just brush it on and let it dry.

Many of the styles, like garden hose containers, strawberry jars, pocket pots and animal planters have been standards in the industry for years and continue to be good sellers.  These same patterns and styles are not being produced by other suppliers.

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When it comes to price point, Mexican terracotta can't be beat.  It is very inexpensive because it is easy to make, the clay is a powder product and it's fired in wood burning kilns instead of gas.  Since the durability factor is poor we recommend using them with perennials and annuals flowers that will last only one season.

Good designs, unique styles and easy ability make these garden planters good sellers.

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mexican terracotta planters pottery pots garden containers etc



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Arizona Pottery On-line Inc.

Poolscaping Tips



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Do you own a pool that is lacking in landscaping?  Do you have a table and chairs or maybe a lounger or two.  Is the one thing missing is some potted plants, trees or sweet smelling flowers?  Here are few tips that may help you make some decisions.

When it comes to most pool decks flowers or potted plants are some of the last items to add.  Yet they shouldn't be.  They add so much for a minimal expense.  Fragrance from flowers, fruit trees or bushes, color from bold green evergreens, or a rainbow of color from blooming plants and flowers.  If you organize it right by following a few of these tips you will add so much warmth to the deck, softness to the view and a lovely frame for the pool itself.

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Needing more privacy?  Add tall potted trees or plants on the side you want to block.  Space large planters evenly and fill with trees that will have height and width. Just make sure the planters are large enough so that you don't have to re-pot every year.  We like the look of tall grasses.  They add interest and are perfect for blocking areas behind them.  

Place some large colorful garden planters around the deck next to a table and chairs. Plant with sweet smelling flowers so that you can enjoy the fragrance.  Add some trailing ivy or vinca to the edge of the planter so that you have some green falling over the sides that will add some depth to the design.  Make sure the flowers are one's you can control and they won't be dropping petals all over the pool.

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We also like to see potted plants that will repel mosquitoes.  Obviously this will help when sitting outside after sunset.  Adding a layer of color to the pool will really compliment the trees & plants you may add.  If you decide you don't want anything that blooms and drops petals then use colorful glazed planters and fill with succulents, cactus, grasses and evergreens.  That way you will have lots of color but no debris issues.

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Lastly, make sure you don't pot a type of plant that will drop debris that could stain a deck, clog a pool drain, attract bees or has thorns that kids could come in contact with.  Nothing is worse than creating a bigger mess than if you just left the deck bare.  So choose wisely, get creative and have fun.  Having a beautiful landscaped pool deck or area is only a few tips away!
 
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pool landscape, pots for swimming pools, planters around pools



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Arizona Pottery On-line Inc.


Latest Posts
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How to Grow a Avocado Plant from Seed..
Potted Flowers That Attract Hummingbirds..
Vines & Climbers for Garden Planters..
3 Reasons Your Containers Might Fail..

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