28 May 2011

Garden Update: Pots, Pots, Pots

Last week I finally planted my patio and front step pots. I'd purchased the plants several days prior but rainy weather kept me from finishing this task.

I started by scrubbing out all the pots and getting them ready to be planted. This task really should have been done in the fall! Once clean, I filled them full of potting soil.

Next I checked out a few websites looking for design ideas. One helpful idea was to choose three types of plants -- "thrill" (something tall and
eye catching), "fill" (plants to fill the space), and "spill" (a trailing plant which will extend over the side of the pot). With this concept in mind, I combed the greenhouses and purchased several plants. This step involved a couple of return trips since I underestimated how much space I needed to fill. I don't like skimpy looking pots, nor am I patient enough to wait for small plants to fill in over the summer, so I tend to overfill my pots!

This year I added a few new colors to the patio pots. Instead of sticking with pink and purple, I added orange and yellow flowers for a more "tropical" feel. I also lucked out and found large zinnia plants which completely filled two pots. I like the look of a single type of flower in a pot and this option ended up being cheaper than buying several smaller plants.

Another website suggested "dressing" the tops of the pots with mulch. Maybe it's not a new concept but it was new to me. Supposedly it helps retain moisture and it certainly improves the overall appearance.

While I was working on the patio pots, I also planted the two pots I use on the front step and re-potted several houseplants into new or larger pots. Hopefully they'll be set in their new pots for the next few years.

With all of this potting and re-potting, I was definitely ready to be done with this task! Now we'll see how all of my patio pots hold up to a hot and humid Iowa summer!


Kristina said...

They look great! This year I used herbs as fill in plants among the other container plants I used. Thyme and oregano look especially pretty.

Janet said...

Thanks, Kristina! Great reminder about the herbs. I haven't planted herbs in pots in many years. I think I will pick some up!

Jill/Twipply Skwood said...

Oh that sounds (& looks) neat! It almost makes me wish I planted stuff...