Container Gardening

How to Have Full, Lush Garden Beds

For the style of gardening I like most and try to maintain, the goal is to have garden beds that are packed full of plants to the point that it looks they’re bubbling out. They’re densely packed in, but each plant has sufficient room to do its thing, and there’s a variety of height, texture…

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How to Tell When a Hanging Basket Needs Watering

I believe that watering is the most important factor in determining whether or not you’ll have success growing plants in a hanging basket. Water them too much and they’ll die. Water them too little and they’ll get crispy and die.   This is true for plants growing in the ground as well (which is why…

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Top 5 Filler Plants for Sunny Containers

Top 5 Filler Plants for Containers in Full Sun

The basic recipe when selecting plants to combine in a planter is to select at least one from each of the categories of thriller, filler and spiller. I provide guidance on selecting the right thriller, filler and spiller for your particular container and growing conditions in my Container Garden Guide, but in this post I…

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How to Paint a Cast Iron Urn

My friends bought a new house last year and asked me for some help with their garden in the spring. The previous owners had left behind a cast iron planter, but it was in rough shape:   Someone had drawn on it with crayon and it was quite rusty. I get that rust on old…

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Winter Decorating Mistakes To Avoid

How to avoid the most common mistakes when making winter planter arrangements

Creating an attractive arrangement of greenery and accessories in your outdoor planters isn’t difficult. But there are a few common mistakes I see, and a few I’ve made myself, so I thought I’d compile a tip list of what not to do.   Using too many accessories Some well selected decorations (including winter urn ornaments…

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The Container Garden Guide

Learn about the Container Garden Shopping Guide

Containers, urns, pots and hanging baskets are a lot of fun to put together and they can add a lot of pizzazz to your garden.     Planters are a big deal for me. I create a lot of container plantings for my own garden every year, along with a few for clients. On my…

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Do I need to use potting soil in my pots?

When I first started growing plants in pots I wondered if I really needed to buy potting soil, or if I could use something cheaper, like topsoil or regular garden soil. I read a few articles that said you really should use it, but aside from potting soil being lighter, and therefore the pots easier…

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My two best water saving ideas

Using water from ductless split air conditioner to water a hanging basket

I’m always looking for ways to use water wisely–it’s the right thing to do for the environment and it saves money–so today I want to share with you a water-saving/reusing tip that I’ve never seen anyone else try, but which has worked out really well for me. It isn’t something for every household, but maybe…

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A quick & easy upgrade for hanging baskets

hanging basket of geraniums

Hanging baskets are a must have in my garden. In particular, I love to have a big basket of bright red geraniums hanging on the front of my garage. They’re easy to find at a good price and they pack a lot of oomph. What I don’t love is the cheap plastic hanger and basket…

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Coleus, the most useful plant

several varieties of brightly coloured coleus

I noticed an empty open spot at the front of our garden, near the sidewalk. Bare soil (or bare mulch) is a rarity in my garden, by design. Actually, saying it’s by design sounds like have a plan—if there’s an empty space I see an opportunity to cram in another plant! I still have a…

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