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Theme Container Gardens for the Deck and Patio


Creating your own container garden can be so much fun, especially if you think of using themes.  Consider showing off your style with a small kitchen garden, or create an outdoor pot designed to attract hummingbirds or to welcome butterflies.  Our beings are drawn to beautiful scents, what about a container giving off wonderful fragrances.


Culinary containers or kitchen gardens are especially handy as a source of herbs, leafy lettuce or parsley, or even edible flowers.  You may wish to combine many edibles to create your own miniature garden at the door.  Combining edibles with your flowering or ornamental plants can be so attractive – imagine Beefsteak Tomatoes surrounded by basil or oregano.  For foliage color, use green and purple leaved basils, leaf lettuce and Swiss chard.  Parsley is especially great, goes anywhere, and adds attractive texture and rich green color to any container combination. Nasturtiums are grown for their showy, spurred flowers and trailing ones are sensational in your planters – they are edible and give a finished look to the container.


Herbs that work wonderfully well in culinary containers are chives, lemon balm, rosemary, different sages and oregano.  Lemongrass is wonderful in soups and adds a nice vertical accent to any planter or outdoor pot. 


And then of course there are those peppers, both colorful and hot.  Cherry tomatoes should not be forgotten, they look pretty in your arrangements and the spectacular patio tomatoes are there for the picking.  Don’t forget arugula and of course golden thyme for another theme.


The best place to use your fragrant plants is in garden pots on your deck or patio.  This is where we can enjoy their lovely scents when relaxing in the evening.  Mix scented plants with foliage or flowers and see what you can come up with.  Some plants, such as heliotrope, can be enjoyed once they begin to bloom and for the rest of the summer.  Lilies that have been forced in your pots can be moved to the garden after they bloom.  Others such as tuberoses may have to be moved indoors before frost and then brought out again next year.  Dahlias and of course geraniums make a great show and a delightful addition to your container gardens.


Hummingbirds will arrive right on your deck or patio if you give them the proper encouragement.  Along with your hummingbird feeder, some of the best container plants to attract them are annual sages.  They come in so many colors from bright red to shades of mauve and purpose to creamy white and pink.  Try out one or more of them in your garden pots. You may also use Nicotiana plant, petunias and dwarf dahlias too.


To keep all of our container plants going all summer, deadhead regularly and of course water and feed on a timely basis.  When plants become scrawny or leggy, just cut them back hard in mid-summer and then they will produce more new flowers and foliage within a few weeks.  Your containers will be beautiful right into the cool Fall weather.


In summary, create theme container combinations.  They can be ones either for the kitchen, to give off wonderful fragrances and of course to attract hummingbirds and butterflies.


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