It can be overwhelming to start a project, can’t it. There are just WAY too many possibilities. But section it out, come up with a theme, and most of the choices are made for you. If you haven’t started landscaping because you don’t know where to begin, how about putting it into perspective? Bite off a small portion by beginning with a pot. Not just any predictable pot, mind you. Go with a theme, either based on the style of your environment or make an environment with your theme. Clear as mud?
In a couple of weeks, I’ll head to Little Rock to speak at the annual Arkansas Literary Festival. I’ve been paired with one of the city’s own landscaping legends – author and owner of Botanica Gardens Chris Olsen – to show folks the easy way to DIG A LITTLE DEEPER into gardening. Chris and I will put together some of our favorite plant combos for a little hands-on show-how for gardens anyone can make just about anywhere. Whether it’s whimsy or wow you want, a few simple tools and secret ingredients are all you need to create a barrel – or BUCKET – of fun.
TRADE SECRETS FOR POTTING IT UP!
Soil: Scooping up a few handfuls of plain ‘ol dirt from your landscape just won’t cut it. Why? Mainly because it lacks the ability to drain well, retain moisture and give off nutrients to your new plants. A good potting soil will keep you steady on the tightrope between too much water and not enough. Don’t forget to feed it appropriately, too. You wouldn’t give your baby dog food….although my nephew thought dog treats were cookies for some time!
Container: Although it might hold plants just fine, your “pot” – in whatever form it comes – will probably need a few tweeks to make it a proper container for healthy plants. Make sure there are holes of some sort for excess water to drain, or a “false bottom” allowing drainage to go somewhere else besides the root area. Very few plants like wet feet. Or you can do what I do…put a smaller pot within a larger, ornamental pot.
And speaking of larger, teeny tiny pots = LOTS of trips with a watering can, so use the largest container possible to enable enough soil and water to be maintained around the roots of your plants.
Now that you have pot parameters, have some fun. Here are a few ideas you can borrow to explore the POTS-abilities for your landscape…….and I bet you’ll have a hard time containing yourself!
- JUST EAT IT! – no disrespect to Michael Jackson or Weird Al for his parody of Michael’s song, but this is an edible pot you just can’t BEAT; fill with lots of lettuce, garlic, onions and peppers for a salsa pot, or Italian herbs and tomatoes for a pizza pot
- MARGARITAVILLE – combine some of your favorite adult beverage ingredients
- LEMONADE STAND – citrus won’t grow in your clime? put it in a moveable pot for a moveable feast (bring this inside for harsh winter protection)
- FAIRYLAND – a great one for little girls, or little girls at heart
- JURASSIC POT – plants that are as old as dinosaurs
- FERN GULLY – shady lovers
- CLIMBING TO NEW HEIGHTS – rebar, wire coat hangers, just about anything that can be bent to your will gives vines a chance to grow
- FOR THE BIRDS – berries and seeds and nesting, oh my!
- WINGED WONDERS – hummingbird and/or butterfly plants bring beauty to your balcony or patio
- LIGHT IT UP – pair flower bulbs with light bulbs for a night-time knock-out
- EVERYTHING’S COMING UP ROSES – roses come in all shapes and sizes and most don’t mind be contained, so spill ’em and stake ’em and everything in between
- SEASONAL WISDOM – change out a couple of props, or do a make-over for each month’s special day
- CUT IT OUT – enjoy having cut flowers in your kitchen all the time? grow your own!
- PRETTY IN PINK – monochromatic is NOT monotony (one of my favorite themes)
- UP AGAINST THE WALL – got a boring vertical space with no room below to garden? put a climber in a pot and give it something to hold on to then watch it go!
- LIVING IN A GOLDFISH BOWL- fish for compliments with watery delights in an old goldfish bowl or make it into a terrarium
- REBOOT – repurpose your favorite worn-out boots
- MINT TO DO THAT – plant your favorite add-on for iced tea within arm’s reach of your kitchen sink
- SWEET DREAMS – gather a few night-blooming plants for a dreamy combo
Now that I’ve stirred the pot, bet you come up with something even better. Love to see what POTS-abilities you discover!