Container gardening, Part 2: Dena's advice
Dena Cameron creates the container gardens for sale at Homestead Gardens in Davidsonville, and she creates custom container gardens and hanging baskets for customers, too.
She created a dish garden with minatures for me, and I asked her advice. After all, she probably puts together 15 ro 20 container gardens a day.
Here's what she has to say:
Make sure all of the plants you choose for your container like the same conditions: lots of water, or not so much. Full sun, or part shade.
Are you disciplined enough to water regularly? Or not so much? What is the sun exposure? North, south, east or west?
Is this container for a weekend home? Then you need drought tolerant plants.
Photo credits: Baltimore Sun/Susan Reimer
Not all your plants have to flower. You can choose plants with leaves that have interesting textures or shapes.
If you are a beginner, stick with the tried-and-true formula of three plant levels: something tall, something full and something that will spill over the side.
Consider where the container is going to be. Front porch, deck, by the pool?
Dena said poolside containers present the biggest challenge because the reflected heat from the pool and a cement pool deck - and the lack of shade - mean the plants in the container will "never get a break." Palms and tropicals make the most sense here.
Consider mixing perennials and annuals in your containers. You can switch out the annuals with the seasons and the perennials are likely to winter-over, giving you a ready-made structure for next year.
Remember to mix a time-release fertilizer into the potting soil before you plant.