Planting Low-Maintenance Containers -July 2017

by: Hilary Newell

There’s no getting around the fact that one has to have some time and be prepared to work in order to create beauty in and around the home. While I can’t help you find the time portion of that equation,I ca’t help you find the time portion of that equation,I can share some ideas on reducing the amount of work necessary.

We still have a large perennial border, but in order to decrease the number of hours spent doing maintenance, we have increased the number of flowering shrubs and decreased the quantity of perennials. We’ve also shifted quite a bit of the in-ground gardening, mostly flowering annuals, to container gardens. This has dramatically reduced the amount and the intensity of work required to have a beautiful garden. The biggest benefit here is no weeding. There’s also a lot less bending over when the flowering pots are placed on a raised deck that we can reach from ground level.

Variegated Red-twig Dogwood

There’s been so much written about how to choose containers, but there are three basic things that I take into consideration when choosing vessels for plants.

• Drainage is imperative.

• Bigger is better, to reducing watering.

• If you are growing food, use untreated wood, ceramic, terra cotta, plastic, fabric or metal, so no questionable chemicals can leach into the roots.

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