Creative Spring Container Gardens

April is a time to look forward to every year.  I enjoy preparing for outside planting, bringing out my flower boxes and pots, and thinking about what look I want to achieve this season.  The local garden centers will begin to set out their early shipments of spring plants. This is a great time to freshen up your patio space, front door, or flower beds with spring flower-filled containers.

This year I want to get creative and have some fun in my garden. Start by taking a look around your house for different containers for your plants.  Maybe an old teapot, wooden advertising boxes, metal tins, baskets, and crocks can make unusual containers.  Check out your local antique shops for unique containers. Or maybe this year give your old containers a fresh coat of paint.   DIY information is readily available in magazines, gardening books, and online to give your old containers new life. After having a cold and snowy winter this year, I am so excited to get started with planting my containers. 

The first step is to check and make sure there are no cracks from cold weather and that any containers are in good shape. Because I stored mine in a reasonably warm garage, they are in good condition.  Some of my containers are large, so I leave them half full of soil, which I will loosen and turn.  Many gardeners prefer to use all fresh soil every year.  I like to cut down on expenses, so I leave my containers half full of potting soil, then fill them with new potting soil. 

The second step is the best part, picking out your plants for your spring pots. For early spring, you can usually find some beautiful Pansys, and I love the petite blooms of the Viola, or some people call them Johnny Jump Up. I will mix these in with different Ivy varieties for greenery and some Primulas, which come in a variety of colors.  If you would like to add some height to your container, think about a small evergreen. Start with just a few plants, add as the season progresses and more plants become available.

Snapdragons and Sweet Alyssum, which also come in various colors, mix well with Ivy or Creeping Jenny.  Dianthus is another excellent spring plant to put in a container.  As the weather turns too warm for these early spring plants, try relocating them to a shady spot in your yard, and they may continue to perform a little longer into the summer.

With spring annuals, fill your containers full to get the instant beauty of the spring plantings.  As the heat can be too much for these early spring plants gradually replace with various summer annuals. Often I leave the green plants like the Ivy and Creeping Jenny in all summer as I begin to fill in with the summer annuals. This process keeps my containers looking great from early spring thru summer.

Remember to keep your early spring plants protected.  A covered porch can be a perfect place for containers with spring plants. A garage or shed is another option for maintaining container plants and keeping them safe from unexpected cold spells. Locate where you can easily take them outside during those sunny days, and bring them inside at night to protect from hard freezes or extra cold nights.

Once your containers are all set, take a few photos of them. They make a useful reference and reminder from year to year.  Write down the names of the plants and attach the picture for reference. One idea is to create a journal of your gardening from season to season with notes,  creating a  photo album, or even start a Pinterest page.  

Whatever you do this year with your spring plantings, enjoy the process, be imaginative!  It is always fun to see the different combinations of textures, colors and how they look mixed in a container together. You cannot go wrong!  Sometimes the most unexpected variety of colors and textures can make your container the envy of your neighborhood.

Using Format