Whether it’s a question of space or interest, container gardens are everywhere.
Container gardening is becoming more popular in Australia due to our small back yards. Many perennials have become increasing popular on balconies, patios or courtyards in containers giving a splash of colour. Combination plantings are where several plants are chosen suiting the same sun or shady position, one growing taller and the other spilling over the pot. These combination plantings are very rewarding and can be changed at any time. This gives your outdoor room a place to take pleasure in with family and friends.
CONTAINER, BALCONY & PATIO GARDENS
Modern living has changed the way we enjoy our outdoor spaces. New building blocks have become smaller and our lifestyles have changed. We want to enjoy our outdoor living areas as an extension to our homes and this can be done by beautifying our balconies and patios with plants. There are many ways to have this outdoor room look like a paradise.
Balcony and patio gardens rely on container gardening and there are a number of important steps to ensure it’s successful. The container, soil and the plant selections are all essential elements to your balcony garden. When selecting your containers consider the size of your space and how much space you are willing to give to your container garden. When selecting, think of the shape of your container, could you choose a rectangular pot or planter rather than a round, giving you more useable space. Hanging baskets can also be use to block out ugly or unwanted sites.
Hanging baskets look fantastic on a balcony or patio especially if you have limited space. They can also screen out eyesores and provide privacy. Combinations of plants are endless for hanging baskets; why not combine several different plants giving you a colourful display. Hanging baskets can add colour or be useful for edibles and can be changed easily each season. APG plants which are fantastic for hanging baskets for part to full shade areas are Dicondra Silver Falls, Lysimachia Persian Carpet, Sutera Atlas White or Lavender.
PLANTER BOXES and MIXED PLANTERS
Large planter boxes or pots will hold the larger plants for your balcony or patio. These can easily contain mixed arrangements or combination planting. A taller plant combined with smaller fillers makes a beautiful display. Ensure the plants require similar conditions when selecting plants for your mixed planter boxes. These can hold either colourful flowering plants or your own vegetable garden. APG combination plantings for sunny areas which look great together include Salvia Icing Sugar, Gaura May Farm and Scabiosa Mauve Delight. Euphorbia Baby Charm with Lamiums or Lavandula Little Posie Pink with Nepeta ‘Cat Mint’.
MAINTENANCE OF CONTAINER GARDENS
Setting up you balcony or patio garden can be a rewarding experience. To ensure your excellent start continues here are a few tips. Plants in pots do require regular watering and fertilising. Remember also to choose good quality potting mix as all the fertiliser requirements the plant will need will be supplied.
If you fail to look after potted plants they will not perform to your expectation and they also could get pests or diseases more readily which will require spraying. You will gain much more pleasure from your containerised plants if you look after them correctly. Purchase saucers for under your pots or purchasing pots with inbuilt water wells. This helps to keep moisture available to your pots on hotter days or even when you are away on holidays. Watering in the hotter months will increase depending on the temperatures. During the cooler months the watering requirements will decrease. Check the moist levels in the soil prior to watering as overwatering can be just as harmful. Fertilise you pots during spring with a granular fertiliser which should last right through till autumn. If you are unsure of your plants, you should check you have selected the right plants for your conditions. Enjoy your new living space with that special touch and have your family and friends over to enjoy the paradise.