The weather here in So Cal has been lovely! Perfect for gardening! So today I’m going to share 3 easy steps to create a container garden for any size home!
Thank you so much for visiting while my posts have been a bit sporadic over the last few weeks. Family life has been crazy… crazy, but good! My daughter’s last few weeks of pregnancy were rough, so I felt it would be helpful to focus on being with her. Then, she gave birth on June 1 to a baby girl, so, of course, I’ve been spending lots of time being a G’ma! Praising God for a healthy baby, a healthy mommy, an amazing daddy, and a wonderful little brother that is adjusting well! (I often update my Instagram account as things are happening in my life. Join me there to see new pics of my growing fam!)
Container gardening is a beautiful addition to any home. Whether you use large clay pots, small metal pails, or anything in between, they can bring a pop of color and charm to a porch, patio, step, or window. What’s more, container gardening can provide a lovely solution for small homes, apartments, or tiny houses where regular gardens can’t be created. So, let me share with you first, what I purchased, and secondly, the three easy steps to actually planting the garden!
I knew I wanted to be able to have a ‘garden’ on my tiny landing-patio, so I did some brainstorming for a couple months! Yeah… sometimes it takes me a while to figure, refigure, and then CONfigure what I want to do! After looking at several options, I decided that the best container for my wee spot would be a window box that I could place on the floor. It gives the look of an actual garden, but still uses a small amount of real estate. You know what I mean? So, using a gift card that I won through a giveaway from the ladies at the Decorating Tips and Tricks podcast (thank you, again, Anita, Kelly, Yvonne!), I purchased the Cape Cod Window Box from Jackson & Perkins, and it’s perfect!
(Special feature: This container has a slow-watering feature which means I don’t have to water but maybe every two weeks!)
Along with the container, I purchased two bags of soil (but, I actually only needed one for the 3-foot container). Good Dirt Potting Mix came highly recommended by Kelly, and it seems my plants love it! But, between you and me, if you ever need to give your plants some extra ‘umph’, Kelly has a great fertilizer recipe that she actually recommends you use when you first plant your container garden, but I think you can mix it in at any time, too.
So… container gardening can use LOTS of different plants, depending on the container shape and size. You can use draping plants, tall plants, “full” plants… separately or all together.. . you get the picture! 😉 For my window box, I wanted to make it simple and ‘clean’. One thing that is wonderful about gardening of any type, you can change it up with the seasons, which I can see myself doing in the future!
I think I’ve shared before that My Wee Abode is a loft apartment. At the top of the stairs, leading to my front door, is small landing which is the only area I have to create a ‘garden’. This area gets full sun for almost the whole day! So, after an online chat with a J&P garden consultant, I decided that I would purchase three white Sunpatiens. More about those in a minute…
So, when you don’t have a garage or yard to do your planting and/or gardening, where do you do it? Why in your kitchen, or course! Pfff, anyone knows that! Most of my DIY projects, and now my gardening, happen in my kitchen. It’s the largest open space I have, and has an easy-to-clean surface. 😉
So, after I dragged my window box into my kitchen, it was time to fill it with soil. But first, J&P recommend filling the bottom of the container with several inches of a drainage-type material. They actually suggest using foam peanuts if you are planting non-edible plants, which worked out great, as the window box was packed in those little white thingie-wingies! Re-use and recycle!
Next, I filled the window box with soil, just about to the very top. No trick to this… just pour it in. (This is where you might want to mix in Kelly’s fertilizer recipe.) After the container was filled with soil (on top of the white foam disguised as nutty goodness), it was time to plant!
After arranging the potted plants in the exact spots I wanted them, I then dug out the dirt in those spaces. The holes were dug out deep enough for the pots to sit inside. This was to make sure that the plants would nicely fit into the area once I took them out of the container. I also made sure that the top soil of the pot and the top soil of the window box were level with each other.
The plants were then ready to be placed in the container. I took the plants out of the little plastic pots and removed most of the soil from the roots. Don’t worry… it’s pretty hard to hurt these plants. You can even remove some of the roots, and they will just keep going and going and going.
I placed the plants in the holes and then filled the holes with the soil I had dug-out earlier, making sure to push the soil in a bit. You don’t want to pack it like brown sugar for a cookie recipe, but you do want to give the plant a nice snug home, especially at the very top. Be sure that all the roots are in the soil, just as it was in the soil in the pot. (I hope that makes sense!)
Next, I slid the window box back outside and gave the whole container a good watering (the next day, too)! And I was done!
PROGRESS AND RESULTS
Now, I grew up planting impatiens in our family garden. They are easy to plant, hearty, and pest resistant. Plus, they come in an array of colors! But, these Sunpatiens (part of the family of impatiens) are a bit different. These plants have been bred to withstand constant direct sunlight and have even more of a hearty ‘spirit’ than their sister plants. The Sunpatiens’ leaves are dark and thick and are known for their thorny-like edges, but they are actually soft to the touch.
Sunpatien after about two weeks, healthy and starting to show buds.
The white flowers on the plants I purchased (they also come in a variety of colors) were barely in the bud stage when I received them (in the mail!) And boy, did they get A LOT of buds!!!
Two more weeks, and seeing lots of buds…
Starting to open… it actually took another week before I saw….
First flower took almost 6 weeks to bloom!
The blooms on Sunpatiens are quite large (most are at least 2.5 inches!), and the petals are quite a bit thicker than normal impatiens, too! And these white flowers are REALLY white!!!
I even planted a couple miniature Boogie-Woogie roses between the Sunpatiens. I’m not sure I will see any roses this year… It may be even too crowded in the container for them to grow later, but we’ll see.
I have a tad bit of purple in my garden, too! I think I need to replant this…it’s looking a bit scraggly… or maybe I need to use Kelly’s recipe!!!
Just a couple more of the Sunpatiens…. Can you tell I’m REALLY happy with these??? I think these will be my go-to flowers for a while to come!
And the buds just keep coming!!!
So, are you sold on container gardening, just like me? What are your fave plants to put in a container? Let me know in the comments! I read and reply to every single one!
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