Monday, May 17, 2010

plOTTing and planting: flower pots


I saw a sign at a craft store the other day that read: “Gardeners know the best dirt.” That brought a smile to my face as I thought about a quirky thing my family does. My grandparents, parents and myself plant annuals in flower pots and hanging baskets every summer to display around their houses. Our flower baskets always bloom and grow like crazy, and while the neighbors may think it’s fertilizers that make them grow, the real secret is in the dirt. That’s right, we make our own potting mix for the baskets. You may have your grandma’s secret cookie recipe, but I have my family’s dirt recipe and just like the Bush’s Baked Bean Dog; “I’m not sharing it with anybody.”

What I can share with you are the pictures of the pots I have planted around my house. Whenever I’m planting a hanging basket or stand alone flower pots there are 3 styles of annuals I match up to give me a great looking planter. Of course I like to coordinate colors too, but that aside, here are my rules for a great looking flower basket.

1.) Pots must contain height (like a spike or a vinca vine)

2.) Pots must contain a plant that will vine and drape over the side of the pot (like petunias or white alyssum)

3.) Pots must contain non-flowering textured plants (like dusty miller or sweet potato) to give the pot some depth and sometimes filler or additional color.

Then in and around those three items I plant flowers (like geraniums, begonia, snapdragons, dahlias, inpatients, etc.) that give the pot color. When all of these items are in place I think you’ll have a great pot with lots of variety and balance to showcase.


Heather said...

I do not have my own dirt recipe, but I completely agree with you in regards to needing height, something that vines, texture and color in every pot. Yours look beautiful.

Katie said...

Great tips. My pots always look too formal and symmetrical, I think. I need to use your tips instead.

QueenB said...

i love your pots!!

i'm also a new GFC follower from the blog hop

Lil's Garden said...

very nice. I love planting containers as well! nice blog, I'm following you back from Lil's Garden. Happy Blogging! Lil

Heather said...

You tease. I thought you were going to share the recipe and it would magically make me a gardener. You can check out pics of my dead plants on my blog.

Heather said...

Great tips! I always have grand ideas for pots and then get so overwhelmed at the nursery that they never live up to my expectations because I am not sure what to choose. Now that I am armed with your great suggestions I 'll try it again:) Thanks for sharing.
(on Jami's garden tour)

Candi said...

I love sweet potato vine too. They have the lime green foliage and the darker one...alot of the landscapers use them in the front of office buildings in their beds (that's how I get my inspiration...I just copy what they do :)

Following you back, thanks for popping by :)

AlarmClockWars said...

Great tips. I haven't tried much with pots yet, but maybe this year! Also, I left you something over at my blog -

Shannan said...

Awww...come on...share your dirt recipe - we won't tell!

I really enjoy container gardening as well and you have to promise to post pics as they grow. I always like to get new ideas. And I'll drink a latte while I look at your pics :)

Adriane said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. I love this post! Thanks for the tips. :)

Amanda T said...

Hey there :)

I'm a new follower from Tuesday Tag Along. I hope you'll stop by and follow me too.

Take Care :D

Sharon@Keeninspirations said...

Hi! I am your newest follower! I found this post at My Backyard Eden. Thank you for the tips on combining in the containers for the best effect. Can't get you to share your "dirt" though?loln
You had stopped by my blog and commented on my Tipsy Pot Planter
and I am way behind in my correespondence...but I do appreciate your visit and comment! We have coffee, gardening and "dirt" in common, so stop back on by!

Amy @ Positively Splendid said...

Don't you love how planting spring flowers just breathes new life into your home? You did a terrific job!

Thanks so very much for the gracious comment you left on my blog this morning. I really appreciate it!


Paula said...

Love your tips! Thanks for stopping by my blog. I was anxiously reading for your recipe! I think I better to an internet search and find a good recipe. I appreicate your great ideas on pots.
Thanks for sharing! Paula

Jami said...

Maybe you could share with us why home-mixed dirt is better? I've not heard of anyone doing that before- why is it different from the bags of potting soil? Is it more compost/humus? Do you add extra fertilizers? Really curious, as my pots start looking good and then by August they're not so good. :-) Thanks for linking to the Tuesday Garden Party!

LC said...

I admire all the beautiful containers but get overwhelmed trying to keep everything watered.. I do keep thirty 14" hanging baskets going and with hauling hoses about several times per night for our two acres of gardens throughout the summer, anymore is just too much of a time commitment... welcome to Fertilizer Friday... Larry

Sherrie said...

Love your pots! Thanks for all the good info on planting pots, I need all the help I can get. Have a great day!

Sherrie's Stuff

siteseer said...

Your pots are already beautiful.... btw you have to share your recipe with me... we might be family :) I was born an Ott. So if it's a family secret - spill the beans lol I won't tell.

Tootsie said...

for me...a good pot is a pot that is full of all things that are plant related!! haha...your pots are lovely...thanks for linking in.

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