The Art of Potting




      The Art of Potting











Beautiful Pots

I have always equated gardening, to a “Poor Man’s Psychiatrist” and, when square, dirty nails come into vogue, I’m way ahead of my time.

POTS: It has taken me years to learn the value of plants in pots. It was my friend Bev who inspired me.  She created works of art seemingly so easily, placed them invitingly by her front door, or on her deck or near her small pond.  They were like original paintings giving her landscape an artist touch.

I could do that I thought.  You just buy some pots, pick out some plants and…well.  Work of arts they were not.  My first attempts looked more like the weed patch out back.  Tall, wimpy plants that stopped blooming, lopped over the edges like limp noodles with a wild mixture of colors that looked like my children’s first splattered paintings.  Finally I broke down, admitted to Bev that I coveted her pots and would she teach me.  And she did.


Things of importance:

  1. Drainage          Holes in the bottom of the pot or a layer of stones/shells.
  2.  Soil                     If the pot is large, I use some regular garden soil topped with potting soil or an “insert” pot.
  3. Light                  Light exposure is prime.  Full sun, part sun/shade to full shade.
  4. Plants                Texture, color, plant habit ( height, mounding, trailing) maintenance.

I am a lazy gardener and chose plants that thrive on their own with little trimming. I like to keep watering and fertilizing to a minimum.  Watering is dependent on temperature and natural moisture.  I find rains, even rather hard rains, are not enough to keep the soil moist.  Fertilizing approximately every two to three weeks is sufficient.

Over the years my pots have evolved into my own style of art.  Some years they are more spectacular than others.  I have learned to take pictures and always vow to document my selections which I never do.  Hence, each year has an element of surprise.

My first thoughts regarding “pots” were that they would be more work.  Perhaps, but an early morning watering gives me a quiet time when the silence of the night is being fluffed off with birds and breezes.   Another benefit is the mobility of your garden.  If the lighting is not quite right, move the pot.  If a friend is having a wedding or a party, lend her your pots (only on the condition that she is the “mover”.)

My personal selections of plants lean toward the “never-die”, little-care specimens.  Asparagus fern, Spikes, Dusty Miller, sweet potato plant (green-burgundy) these are great moisture gauges along with New Guinea Impatiens,    often referred to as the “resurrection” plant because it can become totally wilted, pour on water and it returns to life. I always add  Bacopa (pink/white), geraniums (all colors) variegated Vinca vine for trailing purposes.  Petunias are nice, but require “dead heading” (plucking off) spent blossoms.  There are the trailing petunias and miniature specimens that are more care-free.  Colors?  Do your thing.  If you are structured you will find varied plants of the same color to satisfy your pallet.  If you like the wild and wonderful look, go for it.  I try to vary the height of my choices with upright and mounding species mixed with some trailing varieties.

Why not just plant in the ground?  I do that also, but for some reason the pots always turn out more spectacular.
Start with one or two…who knows, you might like it.







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