Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Containers In The Back Garden

I resisted buying pre-made containers this year because they are so overgrown even at the beginning of the season.  I gave in on two Proven Winners designs from Home Depot because they had everything I wanted as far as plants and color and they were not on steroids.  I am still happy with these two choices.

This one I repotted into a nicer looking basket, a little tricky getting the whole basket out in one piece.

Obviously, when doing your own containers, the plants are smaller and you do not get that filled out look instantly.

Caladiums and Torenia

Magenta Supertunias and Bocapa

Moses In The Cradle with verbena, zinnias, Diamond Frost Euphorbia

A single New Guinea Impatiens will eventually fill up this planter.

The Rex Begonia on the patio has many pink flowers budding.

A copper Reggie dog with purple oxalis

I used a pink, yellow, purple, blue and bronze tones in the back containers.

Intensia Bueberry Hill and Tidal Wave Petunia (It will trail and also climb)

The hayracks on the shed look great this year.  I stayed with plants that I know will take the heat.

Hayracks on north side fence, very simple Bubblegum, Bordeaux and Tidal Wave Petunias

Emerald Isle Sweet Potato Vine, many times passed up because it doesn't look great when in the small pot at the nursery but it is beautiful when it fills out.  Use either with other plantings or as a spiller.

I have also been experimenting with a new soil by Miracle Gro that expands, feeds and retains water.  It is expensive (but you do get three times as much when water is added) so far I am thrilled with its water holding capicity in the hayracks, containers and baskets

I do not have it in all of my containers but enough of them that it has made my life much easier and more beautiful plantings.  I did find it at Home Depot, but they had it hidden away like they were afraid to market it because of the price.  It looks like a small bag for $15 plus dollars but when it expands it is a lot for the money.


Darla said...

You have the most beautiful container combinations and I love the variety of containers that you have used. Thanks for the tip on the soil.

Danielle said...

I love the caladium planter! I will have to try the potting soil. The one I bought this year is awful. The soil keeps compacting down and has dropped an inch or so since potting :(

Jennifer@threedogsinagarden said...

Hi Eileen, I have to start off by saying that the clematis in the header is stunning! Your containers are doing wonderfully. And I really like that orange rooster pot!

garden girl said...

Your containers look nice Eileen! I'm with you - I prefer planting my own, as the 'instant' ones are so often overgrown. They start out looking so nice, but don't always stay that way throughout the season. My husband likes the instant gratification of fullness and lots of bloom after our long, drab winters. So this year we have a combination of both too, but mostly the ones I did myself.

Larry said...

Hi Eileen ... your containers look great. I add "soil moist" to my potting mixes... the first time I tried it years ago, I hadn't read the directions and overdid... after awhile I went outside and all the plants had been forced out of the baskets because of the growth of the soil with the moisture holding polymers! Another life lesson I'm afraid!... Larry

Lona said...

Hi Eileen. I always love seeing your containers. They are always so pretty. The Hayrack is just beautiful with the purples and yellows.Your Rex Begonia is so big and pretty. Mine died. I am giving up on begonias. I saw them advertising the expandable soil and wondered about it. Sounds like just the thing for containers. Especially if one does not have to water them as much.

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Thanks Darla,

It's fun to do something different each year but when the heat hits only certain plants survive.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Danielle,

I have not done Caladiums in a while so I hope they will hold up. The soil seems very good so far for holding the moisture.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Jennifer,

The rooster pot came from Home Goods a few years ago. I try to find bargain pots because some can be so expensive.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi GG,

Sometimes it is less expensive to buy the pre potted plants but I decided to do most of them myself this year so I don't have to replace them halfway through the summer.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Larry,

I had used Soil Moist for years and had the same experience of using too much when I first started. The Expand N'Grow is much different, no crystals, so we will see if it is better. So far, it retains the water more evenly than the soil moist.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Thanks Lona,

I don't do well with Rex Begonia in the house so we'll see if I can keep it alive outside.


Shirley said...

Is this your first year using this soil product? If so, I hope you will post updates about how well it holds moisture through the heat of the summer.

Gatsbys Gardens said...


I will definitely do updates. I am really waiting to see how it performs with consistent hot weather.

We had a few days in the 90's where the containers were not even wilted but the regular potting soil ones were.


Jim Groble said...

Wow! Your pots look great. Deciding to rearrange hosta in pots has put us back a couple weeks. Thanks for the heads up on the miracle grow.

scottweberpdx said...

What lovely containers...that last sweet potatoe is amazing! I've never seen one with foliage quite that finely dissected!

greggo said...

Container gardening is fun, you have so many choices to choose from. Watering is always an issue.

dorothy said...

Wow! What beautiful combinations in your planters! I especially like the caladiums and torenia. And the clematis in the first picture is absolutely gorgeous!

Zoey said...

They are STUNNING! I just love the color combos and the containers you have used.

My containers have not ever started to fill out (too cold for the tropicals). Yesterday I brought out 4 hayracks and I don't even have soil in them yet. I wish you would come and plant them for me!! :)

Bernie said...

Fabulous contianers, Eileen. I see you've got some Torenias ... one of my favourite plants! Loved the combination in that hayrack!

I use water saving crystals in all my potted plants and that works so well for the dry conditions here. I'll have to look out for that Expand'nGro!

Balisha said...

Your blog is so colorful from the background to the header to the flowers themselves...I love to come here and see what you are putting together. I've learned a lot from you...whether you know it or not :)

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

Such beautiful combinations in great containers! What was I thinking in not getting a single sweet potato vine this year? The chartreuse looks so good with bright magenta.

Gatsbys Gardens said...


I am not always interested in buying the regular light green sweet potato vine, gets overwhelming! However, with all of the new varieties, not so wild and crazy, I am having fun using them again.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Balisha,

Thanks for your nice comments! The clematis is Comtesse de Bouchard.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Jim,

So far so good with the soil, will keep updating.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Scott,

I love the new varieties of sweet potato vine, so much more controlled than the original one that came out several years ago.


Gatsbys Gardens said...


I agree, containers are fun but you are right about the watering - never ending.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Thanks Dorothy,

The clematis never fails, Comtesse de BOuchard.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Thanks Zoey,

I am looking forward to seeing the tropicals. I have them on that hot south side of my house and so far they haven't really taken off.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Bernie,

I was thinking of you as I was buying the torenias. I have not had great luck with them in the past and yours are just beautiful. I am giving them a little more shade this time, so we will see.


Paul From Alabama said...

Your containers are amazing, the containers and what's in them. I sure enjoyed looking at them and look forward to sharing them with my wife, she's gonna love it. Thanks for inviting me into to your garden.

Grace said...

I LOVE your containers. They're beautiful and lush and you can see how much care and affection you've put in to them. Interesting potting soil. I haven't seen it yet out this way yet.

CanadianGardenJoy said...

Eileen girl I was going to ask you how you kept up with watering the containers since you have so many beautiful ones ! But wow ! yes, that soil would make life a lot easier in the summer with our planters !
I love all of your containers .. I have a soft spot for petunias and impatience and sweet potato vine .. they are gorgeous .. I am using a purple veined wave petunia with licorice vines .. very simple .. with a cool type colour on the deck .. when our heat hits it hits hard!
Thanks for the tip on the soil and the Purslane .. I am new to this plant and love the flowers ! I have one in hot pink which they call rose and another almost terra cotta but they call orange .. I love trying something new out !
PS ... I LOVE Reggie the copper dog contain LOL !! I wish I could find exact cat ones for my girls : )

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Thanks Paul,

I really do like putting together containers. They are so difficult to keep watered during the heat that each year I say I am not going to have so many, doesn't work!


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Thanks Grace,

I am counting on this new soil to see me through the heat of the summer. I love containers but they are a problem when we have temps in the 90's.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Hi Joy,

I kept most of my containers pretty simple this year and used this special soil in about half of them. We will see how it compares to regular potting soil!


The Tablescaper said...

You have some amazing container gardens. They are just amazing. Each one so unique and full of color.

I'd love to have you join in Seasonal Sundays.

- The Tablescaper

Sissy said...

As someone who handles thousands of the Proven Winners containers every day, I wonder why they insist on using those deep containers. Early in the season, the annuals are just drowning in them. I wish more folks were like you and could see their potential!