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Our Front Porch Containers

May 22, 2013

Rita and I are always getting questions like:  “Your containers look better than mine… what is your secret?”  We tell them we have three secrets to growing great looking containers.

Our first secret is to combine plants with interesting texture, color and growth habit.  They can be annuals, perennials, small shrubs, grasses or most any plant you like.  Sometimes it is easier to work with odd numbers of plants for each plant you select (1, 3 or 5), however this is not a hard fast rule if you can achieve balance with an even number.  Here are a couple of photos of our container from several years along with a plant list.

One year we planted a single Mexican Feather Grass in the center.  We then surrounded it with 3 ‘Golden Ingot’ Ivy plants, 3 ‘Golden Globe’ Lysimachia (Creeping Jenny) and 3 ‘Charmed Wine’ Oxalis plants.

One year we planted a single Mexican Feather Grass in the center. We then surrounded it with 3 ‘Golden Ingot’ Ivy plants, 3 ‘Golden Globe’ Lysimachia (Creeping Jenny) and 3 ‘Charmed Wine’ Oxalis plants.

This year we planted a single Red Aglaonema (Chinese Evergreen) in the center.  We then surrounded it with 2 ‘Goldi’ Lysimachia (Creeping Jenny), 2 ‘Bonfire’ Begonia and 2 ‘Black Dragon’ Coleus.

This year we planted a single Red Aglaonema (Chinese Evergreen) in the center. We then surrounded it with 2 ‘Goldi’ Lysimachia (Creeping Jenny), 2 ‘Bonfire’ Begonia and 2 ‘Black Dragon’ Coleus.

Our second secret is to use great soil.  Miracle-Gro Moisture Control Potting Mix (click here to learn more) works well because moisture is supplied to the plants as they need it.  This soil is less likely to pull away from the inside of the container when it dries between watering, which means your water does not bypass the soil to drain out of the bottom holes like you can experience with other potting soils.  Rita and I are big believers in this soil!  And before I forget, we start with fresh soil each time we plant.  We learned this lesson one year when we took a short cut to save a little money by reusing our soil the second year.  The containers were not as good that year.  We now mix the old soil into our garden.

And our third secret is to not let our plants starve.  We fed these containers with Osmocote (click here to learn more) a few weeks after we planted. The Miracle-Gro plant food that came in the soil gets the new plants off to a great start.  The Osmocote then takes over and provides continuous feeding throughout the summer.

Now you have our secrets to have your very own great looking containers this year!

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7 Comments
  1. Those porch containers are quite nice! And thanks for sharing those great gardening tips!!

  2. Nice color combination! The first picture of grass seems messy looking, I will change it to maidenhair fern instead.

    • Hi myfoodandflowers
      You are right, by late summer the Mexican Feather Grass tends to flop. However, the big plus is the slightest breeze provides movement. Maidenhair Fern would be good for a spot that has some shade. Enjoy your garden this summer!

  3. So all these years I’ve been using old dirt and wondering what went wrong!! You are so smart!!

    Rebecca

    • Hi Rebecca
      I like you tried to stretch the already used potting mix by using it again or mixing it with new. I found the results were not as good. I don’t let the old go to waste as I mix it in with my native clay soil as I garden.

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