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There’s nothing like eating food you’ve grown yourself, but not everyone has the space for rows of seedlings. Enter container gardening, a relatively easy way to grow veggies, fruits and herbs as well as enhance small spaces. west elm partnered with landscape designer Judy Kameon to come up with a few guidelines to follow when creating a pleasing container garden.

Source: west elm

Why use containers?

Containers are great to use when you don’t have dirt, like on a balcony or an interior, explains Kameon. Additionally:

  • Containers are easy to change out for a new fresh look.
  • They add an important decorative element.
  • They can be used to divide spaces.

Plan it out

Plan out your container garden before you go to buy seeds and plants. How much sun does your patio get and for how long? What kind of plants grow well in containers? Some varieties of plants are better suited for pots while others need bigger spaces.

Source: west elm

Good soil, good drainage

One of the worst things you can do with any plant is overwater it. Prevent soggy greens with a pot that has ample drainage, or drill holes in the pot yourself. If the holes are too big, you can always place screen or mesh as a barrier to keep soil in.

Soil should be professional potting soil; some specific plants, like succulents for example, may call for different types of soil. Your local gardening center will be able to assist you in choosing the right one.

And note that if you combine different plants, “make sure to pick species that have like needs — they should require the same amount of sunlight, water and nutrients,” Kameon said.

Source: west elm

Design your space

Container gardens can be a way to design your interior and exterior spaces. Here are a few tips from Kameon:

  • Mix plantings of different colors, textures and forms in the same bowl.
  • Create height and privacy with tall planters balanced with shrubs and leafy branches.
  • For pots in strong or bright colors, “think continuity, rather than contrast. Bluish tone succulents for a blue-stripe container or red tones in a red planter,” said Kameon.
  • Going with the succulent trend? Try a succulent with a vertical shape contrasting with a draping plant.
  • Plant herbs in trellis or hanging pots for easy access for summertime cooking or grilling.

About the Author

Erika Riggs, the Zillow Digs manager, covers home design and trends.

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