Now that we’ve had a few sunny days in a row, it’s nice to sit out on the porch to enjoy the weather. It’s also nice when we can bring garden flowers to the porch by using containers.
Growing flowers in containers is pretty simple, especially when you follow some basic ideas.
Flowerpots, no matter what size and design should have drainage holes in the bottom. Water has to be able to drain out. If you have a decorative pot you want to use, but it doesn’t have a drainage hole, you can still use it, but plant in a smaller plain pot and then put the smaller pot into the decorative pot on top of some gravel. That way the water will be able to drain from the inner pot that contains the plant.
If the drainage hole is too large you can place a piece of screen, a shard of broken pottery or a coffee filter over it before adding the soil and plants so that soil does not come out.
It’s best to use a good quality potting soil mix. Some have fertilizer already mixed in, but if it doesn’t you can add plant fertilizer following directions on the package. Soil dug up from the yard doesn’t work as well since it’s too heavy and often has too much clay content.
Some of the flowers that are recommended for pots include daisies, begonias, geraniums, impatiens, marigolds, petunias, pansies, portulaca and nasturtium. Some people like to start flowers from seeds, but some like filling their planters with already blooming flowers.
No matter which you prefer, it’s best to buy from a reliable source. One local source for beautiful flowers and other plants is Bristol’s Produce in Troy. Another is Smithfield Country Store near East Smithfield.
Some people like to be creative when it comes to choosing a pot for their flowers. Things like old buckets, purses, shoes or boots, suitcases and even an old typewriter have been turned into some interesting planters. On a larger scale, an old bathtub or grill can be used, rather than adding those items to the landfill.
It’s fun to create a fairy garden, combining plants with tiny creations for fairies to live in.
And it’s not too early to begin getting ready to enter your creative gardens in the Troy Fair floral exhibit. They have several sections including flowering and foliage container-grown plants, terrariums, hanging plants and dish gardens including fairy gardens of course.
According to Barb Andrus, co-chair of the floral department of the Troy Fair, planned for July 22-27 at Alparon Park, one of the important things is selecting the plants that will do three things: an attractive arrangement will have a thriller, a spiller and a filler. The thriller is a focal point in the center of the largest plant. The filler is smaller plants around the thriller, usually of complementary colors and textures. The spiller is one or two that drapes over the edge of the container of yet another complimentary color or texture.
No matter what you plant, follow the basic directions, but have fun and use your imagination!