Cottage-Style Container Gardens

Enjoy these beautiful containers on the patio or place them in the landscape.
Climber Covers Bamboo Stakes Forming Obelisk

Climber Covers Bamboo Stakes Forming Obelisk

Photo by: DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - How to Grow Practically Everything, 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Morning Glory Tower

This annual climber can be easily grown from seed in spring, and will quickly romp over a container support, smothering it in trumpetlike flowers.

Materials:

morning glory seedlings
large container
multi-purpose soil and slow-release fertilizer
broken clay pot pieces
tall bamboo stakes
raffia or string

Steps:

  1. Place broken clay pot pieces in the base of the pot, fill with soil, and mix in slow-release fertilizer granules (Image 1).
  2. Arrange stakes around the edge of the pot and tie the tops together. Then stabilize the obelisk by tying each stake to the next with raffia to form a ring (Image 2). Repeat this a few times up the stakes.
  3. Take a pot or two of seedlings that you sowed indoors in early spring. Carefully separate them out and plant one at the base of each stake (Image 3). Firm in, and water the plants well.
  4. The small plants will quickly start to climb on their own but may benefit from being tied in at first. Water the plants well all summer, and remove any faded flowers to keep them in bloom.

Pastel Pot

Compact versions of cottage-garden perennials grow well in pots, where they make a looser and more natural alternative to tender bedding plants.

Materials:

wide pot
broken clay pot pieces
soil-based potting mix
slow-release fertilizer granules
plants

Used in this project:

carex 'Ice Dance'
delphinium
purple betony (Stachys officinalis) 'Hummelo'
veronica 'Rosenrot'

Steps:

  1. Place broken clay pot pieces over the holes in the base of the container, then half-fill it with soil. Plant the delphinium toward the back and arrange the other, lower-growing plants, in front. Fill around them with more soil, and mix in slow-release fertilizer granules. Water the plants well.
  2. With the correct care, this can be a long-lasting container that flowers year after year. In early spring, remove all dead growth to make way for the new spring shoots. At the same time, remove the top layer of soil, and replace with fresh soil mixed with fertilizer granules.
  3. Divide the plants every two years, more frequently if needed. Lift the plants out of the pot and use your hands to tease sections apart. Discard any old or weak clumps, then replant the healthiest offsets into fresh soil with some fertilizer.
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