The small terra cotta pots of geraniums, marigolds and pansies that my parents placed annually on our deck are etched in my memory of summers spent in the yard as a girl. However, now that I have my own business centered on small space design and container gardening, I find I have some pretty firm opinions about what I recommend for clients and those small pots are not often on my list. Oddly, garden containers are like cars and houses. If you are into them – you can spend your wallet. If you just need a vessel to hold some dirt then the plastic pot that came with your plant from the large hardware garden center will fit the bill just fine.

When I start seeds ingenuity and up-cycling counts. I have experimented with everything from Jiffy pots, coffee cans, glass mustard jars and even plastic strawberry clamshell containers (my preferred form). But for garden containers that you want to have longevity through seasons and years, you need to know what you are after.

Once again, size matters for more reasons than one. Larger containers (think an open mouth of 16″ or greater) enable more plants, thus providing the space for a varied composition of color and texture. The greater the volume the more room for roots to grow and less risk of root rot (often occurring when roots sit in accumulated water). Larger pots have less of a tendency to dry out quickly even with piped irrigation (preferred!). When I look at a space I tend to err on the side of large rather than multiple.

The beauty of a sizable container is that you can create a greater focus in your outdoor space when the rest of the garden may be in transition. Containers create garden spaces wherever you need it and they can pay dividends for years to come. Drop me a note and let’s chat about what I can do to help create a garden that you love.

Back to the garden,