A few weeks ago, I wrote about my plans to grow some perennials in pots in the areas of my yard where it's difficult to plant anything. I haven't spent a cent yet on the plants for my potted perennial plans: so far I've been able to use divided plants and seedlings from my own garden and those of my friends.
The trickier - and potentially more costly - part of this plan is finding the containers themselves. Containers and planters from garden centres and home stores are beautiful, but they can be pricy (and heavy!). So, I've had to come up with some free and low cost solutions to work within my budget. And really, I'm happy to do it. My perennial pots might not be super cohesive or colour coordinated, but they'll have lots of character.
In my next two blog posts, I'll fill you in on some ideas I'm trying that might also work in your garden.
What to Look for in a Garden Container
There are three main qualities to consider when looking for a container for potting perennials:
Where to Find Garden Containers: Around the House and Garage
Your kitchen, basement and garage are excellent sources for garden containers. You might have some old pots and pans in the back corners of your kitchen cupboards or some wicker baskets in the basement. In the garage, you might have an old watering can, an old bucket, or even and old wheelbarrow. Just use your imagination.
This old steel watering can was left in our garage by the previous owners of our home. And I very much appreciate that they did. I used the watering can for a couple years until it leaked more than it poured. It has a small opening, but it makes a lovely garden container for traily plants that can cascade over the sides of the container. And it's nice and deep for all those roots. This week, I divided some silver brocade artemisia (sweet wormwood) from my front garden and put some of it in this old watering can in my backyard garden.
Here's another idea you might have come across on Pinterest or Flickr - as I did: a colander makes a perfect planter because it definitely has ample drainage. And it's cute too.
This metal colander doesn't come from my own kitchen, but I got it at a garage sale down the street for a quarter! I lined it with a piece of landscaping fabric, just to prevent any soil from draining out. I transplanted some lamium (deadnettle), which is a beautiful ground cover plant, so I thought it would do well in this wide container.
Et voila! I really love how it looks staggered with other planters on my patio. (Now if I could only stop our maple tree from dumping so many maple keys all over everything.) In my next post, I'll give you some ideas for second hand finds that you can turn into garden containers.
Jane Hogeterp Koopman
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