Thursday, July 23, 2009

Using Pots to Great Effect (1)

A potted Iceberg Rose in terracotta pot.
Picture: Gena D Photography shot on location, Irene.

Using pots is a great way to add interest to your entrance, patio, courtyard, a secluded corner or passageway. I have touched on this topic briefly in a number of other garden articles on this blog, but today will cover this in a little more detail.
Pots work can work very well, especially when used as features and focal points (the grander and larger the pot, the greater the impact) or when massed together in a group i.e. in the same colour or style or made from the same material, such as terracotta, always makes a great impression, more so, when planted with the same plant - see example below.
Of course pots are fantastic for those with very small garden spaces, and they work very well for growing herbs and vegetables (and I will touch on this in more detail in a future post).Even succulents do well in pots (see pic above) - just remember to water according to the specific plant's requirements.
But, like everything, pots do have their negative aspects, in particular needing more frequent watering, especially in the hotter/ drier months. It may be a good idea to add some form of vermiculite (speak to your local nursery) to the soil - in the right quantities of course, to assist in retaining moisture in the soil for a longer period. Over time you will assess how much is too much/ too little - a good way is to use the simple "finger test" - lightly press you finger into the soil - if it's damp, no need to water, if the soil is bone dry or you need to press deeper to establish moisture - then the pot needs watering.
When choosing plants for your pots, also, always bear in mind, where you wish to place the pot taking into account the actual plant's light/ sun requirements. As for the rest, quite simply you treat your potted plants with the same respect and care as the rest of your garden, you feed, add compost, mulch, water etc. etc. etc. as may be required...

Pictures: Gena D Photography

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