Throughout the day in our home we listen to work crews, builders, sirens, engines, airplanes, cars honking, and leaf blowers. The wind blows hard enough to throw our door wide open and remind us that our apartment is high up in our building. At least the view through the glass door is always peaceful.
Plants are important to make your apartment feel like home.
What should you consider when choosing plants for your container garden?
The mandevilla (pictured above) is one of our favorite climbing vines, and it’s nicer to look at than my neighbor’s satellite dish.
Fragrance & Beauty
I always grow mint for how it smells when I crumple it in my fingers, and the jasmine flowers (pictured here) make me wish this blog could be a scratch ‘n sniff.
I love blooms, and who can resist the green of bright new leaves?
Many plants need at least partial sun to produce flowers, but they can still grow even if the conditions are less than ideal. Even our camellia could push out a few blossoms under the shaded cover of our last apartment.
Everyone should grow some food in containers at least once, if only to understand just how much time, water, and care growing food takes.
We harvested golden peppers and cherry tomatoes last year and baked them on our pizzas. There were only a few, but they were special. We thought about how many plants and efforts would be required to produce a bigger harvest.
It was like Barbara Kingsolver said in Animal, Vegetable, Miracle,“Labors like this help a person appreciate why good food costs what it does. It ought to cost more.”
Herbs are a sure, easy thing. Italian parsley is one I reach for often, and the basil made enough pesto to last all winter.
In the comments Monday about designing a container garden, reader Mab mentioned how she grows lettuce in a hanging basket.
Although it’s still on my list of things to try, I think it would be neat to grow mushrooms.
As much as I would like to give advice like, “Got shade? Try ferns, begonias, hosta, and bleeding hearts…” it depends on where you live and where your plants go. You’ll always have new ones to try and some old favorites.
There is a lot to learn about gardening, but it starts with putting a seed or a small plant in a pot with some dirt, and then water it and give it some light. Everything else you learn by experimenting with your particular location and the plants you like the best.
Containers give you a greater chance to experiment. You don’t have to plant a whole row of something, you can plant just one and see if you like it. I wouldn’t be able to grow an orange tree where I live, but since it’s in a big pot I can bring it inside and keep it next to my bathtub over the winter.
Find out what zone you live in so you’re not working against nature.
Check your plants often for pests, especially the ones you might not recognize. Container gardens are often sheltered, and pests can thrive on plants that are not washed off regularly from rain.
Almost any plant can live in a container, as long as the container is big enough.
And if your plants always die after two months, try annuals. They’re supposed to die when the season is over, so they’re just right for people whose gardening interest wanes over the summer. They might even convince you to give gardening another try.