Container gardening: something for everyone (Google / The Cornwall Standard Freeholder)

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Container gardening: something for everyone

Posted By CAROL ANNE MALONEY

Even the smallest of outdoor spaces can be transformed into a display of flowers and foliage. Whether you have a patio, balcony or a window box, container gardening allows you to have a green thumb. The first step in creating a container garden is to assess your site carefully. Determine if the container will be placed in sun, semi-shade or full shade. Hostas and ferns typically do well in shady conditions. A number of flowering plants will also flourish. Begonias, pansies and impatiens will provide colour all summer long. Plants with white and pink blooms will really make a statement. In the last few years, coleuses have really made a comeback. With new interesting varieties being developed yearly, they also are a welcomed addition. The range of plants that thrive in full sun is virtually limitless.

Plants with bright blooms are generally sun-lovers. Colours such as orange and scarlet are intensified in sunny conditions. Geraniums continue to be one of my favourites, along with petunias. They provide continuous colour and are easy to grow. When creating your arrangement, remember to add in some perennials from the garden. Creeping jenny, hostas, ornamental grasses and lamium all do well in containers. It will save you some money and as well as provide beauty. When shopping for your plants, try to purchase the healthiest specimens available. Look for plants with a large number of buds. Select sturdy bushy plants and avoid those that are long and leggy. The secret in container gardening is using quality potting soil and fertilizing.

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Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.