Container gardening is a great alternative for people with limited space and a big heart for plants. It can also be implemented as a fitting addition to patios, driveways, walkways, or any other hardscape feature to add a touch of greenery and a lot of beauty to a yard. Our plant nursery has put together this guide on everything you need to know about starting a container garden in Bergen County, NJ.
Location, Location, Location
Just like real estate, one of the most important aspects of container gardening is the location of the vessels you’ll be installing. Depending on what type of scene you’re trying to create, the placement of the containers will create different effects. Placing containers right outside the entrances of the home is a great way to transition from indoors to out. Placing containers on patios is another option for breaking up the monotony of masonry, by adding a natural touch that enhances the beauty of the patio pavers.
You should also account for the height of both the plant and the container when considering your design. For example, a short plant in a container very low to the ground will likely not create much effect, as it’s not at eye level and will be very low impact. Use plant stands for small to medium plants that you want to have more height.
Choose Your Plants
There are a ton of different plants to choose from, each with its own special qualities and aesthetic. Choose among flowers, green plants, topiary trees, evergreen trees, edibles—the options are almost limitless. Mix and match different types of plants for visual interest, like blending tall, green plants with shorter, colorful flowers.
If you want to add another element to your design, incorporate something fragrant like lavender into the container garden for a beautiful scent that will make the entire outdoor living experience calming and therapeutic. Border an outdoor patio with a trough-style container with multiple lavender plants for an intriguing way to define space and perfume the area.
Another way to design a container garden is by layering textures. Plant a flowering vine like Morning Glory against a wall as a vertical backdrop for ornamental grass. Finally, an herb garden is a classic choice for a container garden that can be picked from as needed when cooking or even making cocktails. Rosemary, sage, thyme, oregano, mint, and parsley are all herbs that can be easily kept in containers, and they always provide a chic look and fresh scent.
Care and Maintenance
Plants kept in containers sometimes require different steps than plants growing in the ground. Container gardens may need additional watering as containers tend to drain the water out quicker than in plant beds, where roots tend to have better access to stored water. Always make sure your containers have some source of drainage as certain plants can get root rot if there’s too much water.
Also be sure to familiarize yourself with the needs of each species of plant so you can maintain a healthy garden or relay the valuable information to the homeowners. Most plants do well with a fresh layer of mulch every couple of months, especially before a frost. Make sure you know which of your plants are frost hardy, as some plants will die if left outside in the winter. Luckily, container-kept plants can easily be brought inside for harsh winters and brought back out in the spring. Finally, be attuned to the fertilizer needs of your plants, by being aware that different plants need different amounts of nutrients.