Home & Garden

Pots of paradise

By: Jo Calvert

Author: Canadian Living

Home & Garden

Pots of paradise

By: Jo Calvert
This story was originally titled "Pots of Paradise" in the April 2006 issue. Subscribe to Canadian Living today and never miss an issue!

Combine old, odd-ball containers with potted spring plants – mixed, matched or solo – and create something surprisingly beautiful.

• Find freebies in your attic or basement, or search flea markets and garage sales for containers that cost almost nothing.

• Remember that chips, dents and flaky paints lend a welcome, well worn look.

• Clean watertight containers with a 1:10 solution of bleach:water.

• Line leaky containers with heavy gauge plastic.

• Add a layer of terra-cotta pot shards to absorb excess water.

• Run a knife around each plant pot to loosen the root-ball. Turn the pot over, then gently tap and squeeze it to release the plant.

Adding a layer of potting soil to the container, if necessary, so the plant(s) sit at the proper height (the soil surface of the root-ball should sit about 1 cm below the rim), arrange your plant(s) in the container as desired, filling any holes with more potting soil and gently tamping it down.

• Alternatively – and even easier – if the pot fits neatly inside your container, simply slip it in, then hide the pot rim and soil with a layer of moss (available at floral supply shops).

• Many spring plants can be enjoyed indoors, then planted in the garden for a comeback next year. Let all the leaves of bulbs (such as daffodils) die back naturally, and harden off other plants (such as primulas), before planting them outside when the weather warms up.

• Pick up New Container Style: Simple and Innovative Ideas for Planting Recycled Pots (Ryland, Peters and Small, 2006) by Adam Caplin and find great ideas for recycled, outdoor containers.

Read more:
How to grow lavender
Tips for garden centre shopping
How to start your own compost pile

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Pots of paradise