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Container Gardening Ideas For The Many Different Garden Pots

For container gardening ideas, search the internet, the library or a bookstore. The challenge is to come up with a pleasing container garden design. There are an unlimited variety of containers available for your container garden. These range in size from small house-plant pots to large boxes and planters. Equally variable are the materials from which they are made. These include wood, glass, clay, aluminum, bamboo, straw, plastic, fiberglass, terra cotta, tin, cast iron, zinc, copper, and brass, each with certain advantages and disadvantages. What you select will depend on availability, cost, background, and appeal not to mention the characteristics of the gardening pots.

Here are some container gardening ideas. In addition to traditional circular pots and tubs, there are modern and ultra-modern forms—square, rectangular, triangular, hexagonal, and octagonal. Also eligible are old iron kitchen pots, kettles, pails, jugs, casks, vases, crocks, jelly tubs, barrels and nail kegs, Japanese fish tubs, old sinks, bathtubs, bamboo soy tubs. There are novelty containers such as driftwood, wheelbarrows, donkey carts, spinning wheels and boxes attached to roadside mail receptacle. There are also bird cages, decorative well heads, animal figures, and Strawberry jars. Woven baskets may be used to conceal unattractive containers. Even tar paper pots, handled by garden centers and florists, are worthwhile if painted or covered to improve their appearance. Any of these can be used in your container gardening ideas.

Where to find your container supplies? Start with what you have. If you scout cellars or basements, attics, garages, and sheds, you will doubtless encounter something interesting. Old-fashioned pots and kettles, often sold in antique shops at country auctions or seen at old New England inns, have much appeal.

Other container garden ideas are to consider old cookie and bean jars, pickle and other types of crocks, wash tubs, coal pails, jardinières, and ceramic bowls. For drainage, spread a thick layer of large pebbles or broken pieces of pots or bricks at the bottom and then water plants with care. In large containers of this kind, drainage material should be several inches thick. Where rainfall is heavy, be sure to keep garden containers without drainage outlets on porches, under awnings or the broad eaves of houses. With pails and old galvanized wash tubs, holes can be easily punctured at the bottom.

Plants in containers without drainage openings remain moist longer. Some of these—crocks, jardinières and cookie jars—are heavy enough to be secure against wind in outside container gardening.

What constitutes the ideal container for your container garden ideas? A container must be attractive, even if it is not an object of art. It should be strong and durable and able to resist all kinds of weather. This is especially true of the large sizes, which usually remain outdoors all year around. In the North, alternate freezing and thawing is a problem in winter (and could cause cracking); in tropical climates, excessive heat, humidity, and moisture are to be considered (and could cause fading). And in semiarid areas, there is the effect of scorching sun to keep in mind, another cause of fading. All these things must be kept in mind when coming up with your container gardening design.

The ideal container must be large enough to hold a substantial amount of soil. It should have good drainage facilities through holes or other openings at the bottom or sides, though this is not absolutely necessary. It must not rust, at least in a single season, and it should have a wide enough base to rest firmly wherever placed. Besides, it ought to be heavy enough to withstand average winds. In severe storms, like hurricanes and tornadoes, movable containers can be shifted to temporary safety. All of these things should be factored in when you are coming up with your container gardening ideas.

Resistance to rot is another requirement. Wooden containers—except those made of rot-resistant redwood, Western cedar, and Southern red cypress—will need to be treated with a wood preservative. Except for permanent containers, the ability to move your container garden is another feature, and sometimes a safety precaution, of portable container gardening. Large boxes and planters can be fitted with wheels, and garden centers have redwood tubs that rest on platforms with wheels. A hole in the platform corresponds to the hole in the tub. Large containers without wheels can be pushed on iron or wooden rollers by two or more persons; however, if you live in an area prone to disastrous storms it is best to keep your containers small.

Smaller containers are ideal for growing herb container gardens. If you plan to plant an herb container garden be imaginative Here are some container garden ideas for herbs that go well together.

For an Italian selection try Sweet basil, Italian parsley, Oregano, Marjoram and Thyme.

For a lovely scented container use Lavender, Rose scented geranium, Lemon balm, Lemon thyme, and Pineapple sage.

For really great salads try Garlic chives, Rocket, Salad burnet, Parsley, Celery.

And to say “We love French Cooking!” use Tarragon, Chervil, Parsley, Chives and Sage.

Any of these will liven up your cooking and please your family.

So these are just a few container gardening ideas. Get out a pad of paper and make up a container garden design that will please the eye and maybe even the palate

Happy Container Gardening!

Copyright © 2006 Mary Hanna All Rights Reserved.

About the Author
Mary Hanna is an aspiring herbalist who lives in Central Florida. This allows her to grow gardens inside and outside year round. She has published other articles on Cruising, Gardening and Cooking. Visit her websites at http://www.CruiseTravelDirectory.com, http://www.ContainerGardeningSecrets.com, and http://www.GardeningHerb.com or contact her at mary@webmarketingreviews.com

Try Something Different With A Japanese Garden

Japanese Gardens are an interesting amalgamation of nature, spirituality and art. These gardens are meant to suggest harmony and create tranquility in your surroundings. Aiming to capture nature in the most innate way, these gardens are unique because they have been influenced by various chapters of Japanese history and also Shinto, Buddhist and Taoist philosophies.


Originally, Japanese Gardens represented a utopian land for the Japanese. Philosophies influencing creation of Japanese Gardens bring a sense of spirituality to the gardens. In the past, Japanese gardens were cut off from the masses, since the ruling elite and the religious classes used it as a place of peace and meditation. A Japanese emperor specifically built a garden in Kyoto so that he could spend his years in peace there. The Garden of the Silver Pavilion was another famous landmark used by a renowned soldier as a shelter from violence. The Buddhist influence makes the garden a paradise for peace and quietude, giving people the privilege to ponder and reflect upon their lives, or meditate.

The Essential Elements

The presence of a few elements is mandatory for a Japanese garden, and water is the most important amongst them. Water, in Japanese culture, symbolizes purity. Since Japan is made up of a group of islands, the Japanese had to cross water most of the time to go from one place to another. This has led to the presence of water in most Japanese gardens. In the absence of real water, you can use a symbolic representation, which is usually gray gravel or sand. The sand in the garden is often raked in patterns to represent the waves of the ocean.

The other essential elements in a Japanese garden are stones, garden plants, waterfalls, trees, and bridges. In their natural state, stones have an ancient, spiritual quality and also impart strength and endurance to a garden. They may also sometimes symbolize mountains and islands. Garden plants are generally chosen to fit a human scale, often evoking familiar landscapes. Some gardens owners also construct water features like waterfalls, streams, or ponds. Other features that are generally considered include fences, walls and gates, paths, steps, and bridges, water basins, lanterns, the deer chaser and koi fish. There are five different styles of Japanese gardens, namely, Strolling Gardens, Natural Gardens, Sand and Stone Gardens, Tea Gardens and Flat Gardens.

An Artist Expression

There is a common misconception that Japanese gardens always follow certain ground rules with respect to content and arrangement. Since the Japanese are highly individualistic, the look of the Japanese garden mostly depends on the person who plants and tends the garden. Though some rules are followed, the rest depends on how the gardener wants to express his or her creativity through the garden.

How They Are Different

Japanese gardens are different from Western gardens in terms of their religious and philosophical elements. Japanese gardens are an expression of art, and a symbolic representation of the gardeners view of the universe. On the other hand, westerners do not see gardens as expressions of religious or philosophical beliefs since most Western gardens are essentially smaller versions of a farm. Traditional Japanese gardens emphasize natural, abstract beauty and minimize signage on plants.

There are nearly 60 public Japanese gardens in the United States. So if you want your garden to look different from the regular ones, be innovative, have an interesting ambience around your house and inculcate spiritual solace in your life – opt for Japanese Gardens.

Get all of the latest in Japanese garden know how from the one and only true gardening resource at http://www.gardendesignadvice.com/ Be sure to check out our japanese garden pages on our web site.