Gardening in Containers

| 5/11/2015 9:14:00 PM

Tags: Micki Brown, California, desert, water conservation, containers, flowers, fruit trees,

Gardening in containers can be a lot of fun, and I have found many situations where container gardening was the answer to a particular gardening dilemma. Using various containers absolutely solved many gardening issues including adding color to patio areas, creating planting areas where flower beds are non-existent, controlling soil pH, making cold- or sun/heat-sensitive plants portable, and water conservation.

For me, gardening with containers seriously began many years ago when my husband and I moved into our current house. We decided that part of what we wanted to do with the back patio was to add some lattice on the ends and across part of the width in order to create an outside room (sort of) and some privacy from the neighbors since our only fence at the time was chain link – great for keeping things in and out of the yard, but useless for privacy.

Privacy Screen of Fragrant Flowers

We wanted to grow vines on the lattice to offer additional screening, plus a cooling effect from the plants, which is very necessary during the summer. Natural cooling helps us reduce our cooling expenses during the hot summers of the Southern California desert. Each end of the patio was adjacent to planting beds so we were able to plant our vines – trumpet vine and honeysuckle – directly into the ground. Across the width of the patio was a different story – it was a good two feet from the lattice to the ground. Our solution was to use large containers as planting beds. The plants we chose for the containers were an evergreen vine called  Star Jasmine, which quickly grew up the lattice creating the desired privacy effect, and have provided us with intoxicatingly fragrant springtime blooms ever since. We love hanging out in our hammock when they are in bloom.


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