I've lost my container garden! Need ideas

(Judith) Denver, CO(Zone 5b)

I had to move to a much smaller place, and they only allow 4 containers. I have a different exposure than I've been used to for the last 10 years. Instead of shade it's sun -- faces south. Here's a picture of my space. I thiink these two have bit the dust since it's been way below freezing for the last few days and we're having more snow and cold off and on for the next week. I'd love to have some ideas about what I can do here, probably three pots since three is always a better number than four for better symmetry.

Judith

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zone 6a, KY

Hmmm. My first thought is..... Did they say how big the containers could be? Hibiscus are nice, and bougainvillea, for summer planters. If you want something hardy, well get an evergreen, a clematis, and a tophat blueberry :).

(Judith) Denver, CO(Zone 5b)

Thanks 3jsmom. No limitations on dimensions. Here's a photo of my view of the courtyard from my front door. The office (which is across the courtyard from me) has a gigantic hibiscus indoors which is blooming beautifully now. It feels great in our sub-zero weather. That's a thought.

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zone 6a, KY

Are you looking for cold hardy plants for now, or just planning ahead for some really big beautiful patio plants?

(Judith) Denver, CO(Zone 5b)

The latter, and perennials would be okay too. But, of course, they need to be for full sun. Neither of the two I currently have have to stay. I can start from scratch.

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

Are you limited to where the pots are allowed? Would you be able to put a pot beside your door?

How about a very large container, 1/2 barrel size with a obelisk in the middle for height. Or a climbing rose with annuals around the edge to drape over.

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

Here's a link to my containers last summer. We have a cold wet spring with snow on June 6th, so you may want to skip over the pictures at the beginning. What ever you choose to do, I think matching the pots (all the same color) would look great; have 3 different sized pots; go big with the plant material chosen to compliment (ie purple & orange) and also try to echo the colors in the pots.

oops, forgot the link

http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1009136/


This message was edited Dec 6, 2009 9:32 AM

(Judith) Denver, CO(Zone 5b)

Good ideas Joanna. I do plan to start over with pots and will get matching ones, maybe a rust color to mirror the rust under the windows, then maybe yellow and blue or something, yellow and orange. Lots to think about. Maybe different sized pots, all big enough to hold lots of flowers. There are garden beds around here too.

Port Charlotte, FL(Zone 10a)

Hey Rev?

How about a container like this? I bought one of these off of the Marketplace and it can hold so much and I think would be classified as 1!

Kat

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zone 6a, KY

Now that is an excellent idea! Nice plantings in them, too.

(Judith) Denver, CO(Zone 5b)

That's an idea! How big is each individual pot? My concern is watering. I live in high desert, almost non-existent humidity and high summer temps. That's why I've always chosen bigger pots. But with this one I could at least have a big variety of things if I wanted to.

Port Charlotte, FL(Zone 10a)

Rev:

These are sold as self-watering. I think they work as I've had one for about 3 years now and they do take less water than any of my other containters. They have a reservoir system and I have to say that anything I put in them does quite well. Right now, I'm growing herbs/flowers, but in the past I've done different combo's. You can stack them about 4 high. The ones I have are 24" wide, but you can get them in different sizes.

Here's the website with all the information and it looks like they've got a nice sale on...

http://www.gardentogrow.com/naja24insttu.html

Here's one of my past combinations...

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Port Charlotte, FL(Zone 10a)

Another look...

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Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

KatG,

Those are beautiful

zone 6a, KY

Beautiful plantings and what a great growing system. If you put that in your courtyard, padlock it or it could roll off to someone else's door!!!!!

(Judith) Denver, CO(Zone 5b)

Good thing we don't have any crime around here! I'm probably the most able bodied person in the community - lol

How wide is each individual pot, Kat? I've seen these, I think at Gardener's Supply. I'd want something that cascades and covers the pots. That would be awesome!

Port Charlotte, FL(Zone 10a)

Each Individual layer is 24" wide, so there's lots of room! Check out that link I posted Dec 07 - they're on sale! Also, BobaBob sells them on the Marketplace...I bet you he would give you a deal!

Talk about cascading - the Vinca in this one got a little out of hand...It was pretty though and I didn't have the heart to yank it!

Kat

Thumbnail by KatG
Pittsford, NY(Zone 6a)

these are mostly coleus.
Use any combo you want
http://picasaweb.google.com/jgentle4/DECKGARDEN2009

(Judith) Denver, CO(Zone 5b)

Kat, I'm still confused. How wide is each inidividual POT, in other words, how much planting space do I have in just one pot. I'll need to know that to know what size root system I need to plan for. Thanks! The vinca is stunning. Why would you want to yank it??

Ge1836, are those sun coleus? I planted tons of coleus in my former garden, but I had mostly shade there. Now I have full sun. I don't know how the sun coleus would do in our very hot, dry climate, but I'd love to try them. I LOVE coleus!

Judith

Pittsford, NY(Zone 6a)

Those are in most sun.The pale greens turn yellow but are great.

Port Charlotte, FL(Zone 10a)

Rev: Each planting pocket is about 10" deep by about 8" wide - 3 to a layer. You can put a dowel down the center to keep them together, if you really want to stack them higher than 3 layers. Hope this helps.

Kat

(Judith) Denver, CO(Zone 5b)

Yes, that's what I needed. The root debth is pretty good. And as long as they're self-watering the width doesn't make a lot of difference. I can see a whole container with supertunias and bacopa or baby's breath, something simple. Thanks!

Port Charlotte, FL(Zone 10a)

Rev: You can also build these with a 12" sitting on top of a 24" - Sounds kind of interesting...

http://www.gardentogrow.com/plantersubuild.html

Edmonton, AB(Zone 3a)

Rev I think only one person has said a climbing thing , you have that wonderful post or two! I would take advantage of the post and go up and down with it. If you plant a clematis and then a pot in front to shade the roots you could do a an up and down thing.
If you pick a hardy one it just may overwinter with some help. I like your go big idea as you will have a good chance of making a room out of your space with a bit of a block/privacy fence idea for your patio.
Let us know how you do, you've got time to dream about it till it needs to get started.
Ann

Calgary, AB(Zone 3a)

Rev, are you limited to pots on the ground only? Are you aloud to have a hanging basket off the post or the roof in the pic?

(Judith) Denver, CO(Zone 5b)

Good ideas. I've thought about a clematis. I've grown them here for years and had to give them away when I moved. Wish I hadn't given away my big crock that held my jackmanii! I'll have to inquire about using the posts area, and about using a hanging basket. That'a great idea. Thanks for all your help, everybody! Maybe it's not as bleak as I thought it might be...

Richmond, TX(Zone 9a)

Hiya Judith. One thing worth exploring: They probably have the 4 pot rule b/c so many non-gardeners start w/ the best of intentions and over time neglect, weather, etc. makes for pretty sad pots. Four ignored pots per resident is probably all that property can handle, lol. Too depressing if more. Since you are an experienced and accomplished container gardener, you might be able to bend the rules by planting clematis trailing the poles and maybe even a couple of hanging baskets. By bending rules, I mean organizing a mini-gardening club to get your neighbors and management excited and willing to expand the limit. And of course, comitting to upkeep.

If easing your way into over 4 pots is not feasible, I envision 4 HUGE pots. the biggest "lite" pots you can find and then making combos suited for your area. KatG and others have posted so many inspiring photos, you will be able to do all kind of fun stuff.

As to contents of big pots, you'd have to have at least one evergreen, so that in your winter months, your big pots don't look desolate. Then again, they could be decorated w/ christmas stuff, so really, winter bareness can be reduced to a min.

This could be a fun challenge with the square inch gardening with which you're faced and also teaching others who might have thought it wasn't possible. You can do it!

Blackshear, GA

Or, how about this, if you have neighbors on both sides of you, ask them if you could use their space (4 more pots ea) and that would give you more gardening, and maybe help someone else enjoy the beauty of the plants that may not be able to tend to them.
Or they may be willing to buy the pots if you get the plants and tend to them.

Edmonton, AB(Zone 3a)

ooohhh Revclaus, you are at 12 pots now!
Yahoo!!
Ann

Port Charlotte, FL(Zone 10a)

Now GAgirl...that's a great idea!!!

(Oh Oh...got to stop somewhere though...I wonder how many units are in the complex...We'll have poor Rev tending 400 pots! haha)

Kat

Richmond, TX(Zone 9a)

GAgirl, ditto what katG said. I think it's a great idea. Judith used to post pics of her balcony garden and it was quite the collection. I bet she'd be up to the task, lol.

Blackshear, GA

May be a great way to 'spruce' up the place. If you have the time, maybe you could talk to the owner and they would be willing to buy the planters and plants for each apt. and you could take care of them. I don't know how big the place is or if that is something you would want to do. Me, I would probably try to talk them into letting me plant the whole courtyard.!! LOL

(Judith) Denver, CO(Zone 5b)

Here's the whole story. This place is owned and operated by my church. It has a bunch of row houses with 4 units in each one. Everybody can garden there, and some do. There's roses all over and other things too. The setting where I am is a fairly new buildm and the rules are different. I think they opened it in 2001. Altogether there are 171 units, so it's pretty big. The courtyard buildings house about 50. I'll post some pics so you can see. They do have pots around the couryard, they're about 20" to 24" wide. The administrator is very friendly and helpful, so I'll check with her about just what I can do. They have a lot of picnic tables around for everybody to us. There's one right out my front door. I'm right across from the administration building.

I can get big pots just like the ones that are in the courtyard and maintained by the administration. I'm pretty sure I could put a clematis in a big pot between the two pillars in front of my unit. Beyond that I can probably put some in front on either side. But I'll have to check. One of the units here in the courtyard has a large pot like the ones the administration has out there.

As for organizing a gardening club around here, forget it. I'm way too busy to take on another thing. Maybe when I can stop working for a living I'll have time to do that, and I will have been here long enough to see how things work and work something out.

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(Judith) Denver, CO(Zone 5b)

This is the view from my front door.

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(Judith) Denver, CO(Zone 5b)

Here's a view of the pots -- empty now because of winter. I had an Alberta spruce once in a pot. I got tired of it, but I can have another evergreen, maybe a globe blue spruce or something like that. I'm allergic to junipers, so none of that class of plants.

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(Judith) Denver, CO(Zone 5b)

This is where the two pots are. There are more around the courtyard.

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(Judith) Denver, CO(Zone 5b)

This is looking toward my front door. The deer are lit up at night. The whole place is beautifully decorated with garlands around the corner posts and big red bows around the old fashioned lights in the courtyard. The administration has two huge lit Christmas trees, a huge red flowering hibiscus and lots of plants, and I can see it all when I walk by.

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(Judith) Denver, CO(Zone 5b)

And here's a picture of one of my clematises that I had to give away. Sad...

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Richmond, TX(Zone 9a)

Judith, I hope are approved for up to 4 of the 20 -24" pots. It could be fun to mix one evergreen (no juniper, lol), with seasonal annuals and some trailers. It would look beautiful.

Forget about a garden club for now, but when your neighbors see what you can do, they'll all be coming to you asking for tips.

zone 6a, KY

Sorry for your loss of the pretty clematis. Really, it looks like you live in a wonderful place, and the planters will only make if more of a retreat :). Best of luck and I'd be interested in seeing what you come up with when you plant them.

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