container garden

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I am not that great at plants. Especially ones that aren’t planted directly into the ground. In fact, there’s a large probability that they will croak inside of just a few weeks in my presence (I seem to have a Medusa-like-effect on potted plants – they turn brown within hours of my glancing at them). So it should be no surprise to anyone that a free container gardening event at my local Orange would wind up like this on my ride home:

Yep. That, my friends, is what I like to call “an afternoon of cancelled plans”. Also known as, “well, shit.”

Thank God for shop vacs. And for a good set of brakes (as you might imagine, a container full of moisture-rich, plan-ruining soil doesn’t voluntarily get pushed over; it falls over in a car when the driver has reason to slam on her brakes to avoid the idiot in front of her).

After everything was cleaned up, I did manage to salvage my new plants and re-practice the tips I learned at the event (for instance, “spiller” plants – the kind that grow & hang down to spill over the container – can be planted at an angle to help them do their thing a bit faster.

container garden

They now have a new home to make my front door look a little more inviting.

container garden

Tip:  if you ever see garden events going on at your local home improvement store, take them up on it; you’ll usually walk away with a take-home container or free shrub to plant in your yard, which is an easy way to start your seasonal planting without costing you a dime! This one was hosted by Southern Living Plants & they had a small class to teach us a few tips on how to plant a container garden. It’s perfect for black thumbs like me who don’t have the funds to purchase and kill everything they (try to) grow.

colorful garden display

colorful garden plants

Hopefully I can keep things growing this summer, but if I don’t, I at least have a large pot to decorate and re-plant. The greens on either side (the smaller leaves you see in the picture) are supposed to spill over the edge of the container, which I’m really looking forward to seeing.

container garden

Do anything fun this weekend?


P.S. This wasn’t at all a sponsored event; just something fun to do in the area. Usually, these types of things are posted on the improvement store’s events page if you’re interested in finding them!

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  1. Very cute! I’m awful with containers – I forget to water them, and my dog used to eat drip line like my husband eats licorice, sooo…

    I’m hopeful though! I’ve got a huge succulent transplant and some newbies (spillers!) in a container on my front porch. I’m hoping that the poor sprinkler coverage (i.e. they spray the porch!) will suffice for now. Otherwise, maybe seeing the thing twice a day every day will force me to water the damn thing.

  2. I keep a bungee cord and cinch strap in the back of my SUV to prevent stuff like that. Although, I’m not so sure how you would hold up a round pot anyways.

    I’m with you on potted plants. If they are in the ground great. They will probably survive. Things that I have to water in a pot every day don’t stand much of a chance. With the new house, we’re going to use a lot of potted plants as part of the hardscaping/landscaping. I’m thinking if I get some really colorful pots, they will distract viewers from the wilting brown plants that they will most likely be holding.

  3. I have a couple container tips. First, never go too small for an outside container. You can’t keep enough water on the think to keep the plants alive. Second, put a piece of drain tile in the bottom of the pot before you put in the dirt. I generally use duct tape to tape up the ends and just set the thing flat on the bottom. Then it will act as a water reservoir to help self water so you don’t have to water as often. Finally, don’t put the drain hole at the bottom of the pot. You want it about 4″ to 6″ below the top of the dirt, or 3″ to 4″ from the bottom of your planter. That way you can keep some water in the bottom of the pot rather than letting it all run straight out the bottom. Once again, to keep your container wet longer. I have burned up a lot of plants over the years. I have better luck now!

  4. I love the plants! I’ve seen a lot of pots lately where people stick a tall, grassy-type plant in the middle, “for height”, but to me it just looks like the pot is having a goofy bad hair day. Yours are much better.

    I use large self-watering pots (DIY) on my front steps; our climate is so dry here in the west that with traditional pots I would have to water 2 or 3 times a day in the hottest part of summer. Since that will never happen, everything would die. I get 2 or 3 days from one watering in July and August, and that I can handle!

    1. VERY interesting tip! This pot & plants were given to me, so if I go and buy one, I’ll have to be on the lookout for that. Thanks!

  5. I have had luck with water crystals from the Orange store. The blue one does not have them here. I’m in Memphis and plants fry very quickly in containers.