Think Outside the Pot

Unusual container gardening ideas


Think Outside the PotContainer gardening is a wonderful way to add color to a porch, deck or patio. It's also a great way to fill in bare spots in the garden by placing a fully blooming container of flowers in the middle of a garden bed that may be lacking in color or that might be between bloom cycles.

The easiest way to do this is to go to the store and buy a bunch of pots you like. You could coordinate them and get the same color in different styles or choose three coordinating colors and scatter them around the landscape.

But, that's just not me, and maybe it's not you either. I'm here to say that anything that can hold soil and has good drainage can be a container for growing flowers, vegetables and herbs. So think outside the pot when it comes to container plantings. Use your imagination.

Over the years I have planted in all kinds of containers, from milk cans and milk pails, to wicker baskets and kitchen colanders.

Here are a few pictures of what I've done and maybe they will spark your imagination so you can try your own unconventional container plantings.

Think Outside the PotI love planting in baskets. I'm a bit of a collector so this is a great way to use them. They also last longer than you think (3-4 years) and provide really good drainage. Line the baskets with newspaper or burlap to prevent the soil from coming out the bottom. You can also add sme water absorbing crystals to the potting soil to help retain moisture. To read more about how to plant a wicker basket, check out this article.









Think Outside the PotI apologize for the poor quality of this photo. I know I have better photos somewhere, but could not locate them in time to publish this article. I will replace them as soon as I can.

One year I decided to plant directly in a birdbath. This works great if the birdbath is cracked and won't hold water or if it's chipped, then the foliage can hide that. Impatiens worked really well in the shade garden and petunias worked well in the sunnier parts of the yard. ** Update: this birdbath will be redone in 2016. Return later this year for updated photos.

Think Outside the PotMost garden junkers have planted a chair or two in their day. You can get as elaborate as removing the seat and inserting a pot right on top of an old chair.

You can see step by step instructions on how to create your own chair planter here.

It's also very easy to change up the chair for the season and pot sitters can be purchased to hang from the chair backs for added interest.  You can see a frog pot sitter on the chair to the left.

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