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Gardening Articles: Landscaping :: Container Gardening & Ponds

Patio Gardens (page 2 of 2)

by National Gardening Association Editors


You can arrange containers close to an outdoor seating area to create an intimate ambience for a small dinner party, then move them further away to make room for a larger gathering. You can arrange tall plants to provide shade during the heat of summer, then move them so you can soak up the sun's warmth as the weather cools. You can also move containers to a protected spot if the weather turns threatening.

Before you dive into patio gardening, begin by defining what your needs are, what you are trying to accomplish, and what degree of versatility you'd like to have. Then choose containers and plants that best meet your needs.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  • Do I want edibles, ornamentals, or a mix?
  • How much sun does the area receive?
  • Will I need to be able to move the plants around?
  • Do I want to grow perennials or annuals?
  • If you plan to grow perennials, trees, or shrubs, determine your hardiness zone. Also, consider whether you want deciduous or evergreen plants.

Note that if you add plants to a balcony or deck, you'll need to take into consideration how the added weight of the plants will affect the structure, especially if you are considering large containers with trees or shrubs. You may want to get the help of a professional contractor to determine the structure's load-bearing capacity. Also, be sure any overhanging containers are properly secured to the structure.

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