This past weekend many of you know that Mom and I went to Haven Blogging Conference. We took so many classes that were very informative and helpful! One of our favorite classes was taught by the amazingly talented Southern Living Magazine’s Plant and Flower Expert, Carmen Johnston. This is us at the Nashville Influencers launch party… (more on that later).
And guess who got to be Carmen’s assistant? That’s right… ME! She wanted someone with a black thumb to give her help in an easy planting demonstration. I fit that description perfectly since I manage to kill plants in pots . Carmen gave us some great tips on container gardening which is her specialty! Here are her top tips:
10 Tips For Container Gardening
- Have 3 T’s when planting a container garden (Tall, Trailing, and Thick)
- Add a bright green plant and a white flowering plant for an elegant look
- Proper drainage is essential ( no one likes being held under water.. not even plants)
- Use really good soil (see her recommendation below)
- Plant 3 inches below the rim of your container
- Plant in a triangle (more details below)
- Invest in big containers
- White roots are a sign of a healthy plant
- Plant fall containers in August
- Herbs add great texture to container gardens and can smell amazing too
Now it’s my turn. Carmen gave me the plant, but it had to be re-potted. The two plants we are working with here are shade plants, perfect for a shady front porch. The tall plant is Anygostar and the short fern looking plants are Soft Caress Mahonia.
Take a look again at the demonstration picture above. What I am doing there is taping the Anygostar to 3 bamboo stakes. You will want to do this to create the height. Use floral tape for the best adhesion.
I wanted to do this right. I’ve had enough dead plants. I asked Carmen lots of questions like, “What type of soil to use?” She suggested Miracle Gro potting mix. It’s very important to use a potting mix in pots and a top soil mix for planting in the ground.
I have prepared roots before when I planted my evergreen trees but I didn’t realize you needed to do this when you planted small plants. If you are unsure it’s very simple. You take the bottom of the root ball and rip it off. It’s just that simple.
Next cram all the plants in to your planter. Plant them in a triangle shape. Your tall plants in the back, your trailing on one side in the front and your thick plant on the opposite side in the front.
Fill the pot with soil. This is such a fun activity for kids…. and pets? Here are more tips for gardening with kids … not pets, just kids!
Carmen suggests this container garden for shady porches! She says it’s a great alternative for what most of us southern girls like to put on our porch…. FERNS. That made me laugh because guess what I finally planted on my porch… Yep, that’s right, I had finally given up and just went with ferns. And guess what they are dying… why… I don’t have proper drainage… Darn it! The poor things are drowning.
Lilly loves the shade of the front porch and so far our new container garden loves it as well! I feel like this time I got it right, but stay tuned to see if I can keep it alive. If it dies after I have had a personal lesson from Carmen then I just don’t know what I’ll do. Cry.. probably!
Thanks so much for stopping by and if you have any specific questions for Carmen please stop by her facebook page or ask in the comments below and I will be sure to get you that info.
Now…off to water my new plant but first…
What are your favorite plants to use in container gardens?
What tips do you have to share with us?
Or What questions do you have for Carmen?