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Container Gardening – Flowers

The world would be a much different place, without the beauty of flowers. Children can contribute to the beauty of nature, while learning at the same time, by planting their own container garden of flowers.

There are many, many kinds of container gardens. They can be as unique as each child who creates them. Large planting areas are not necessary. In fact, a container garden can consist of just one container. They are not expensive to create.

There are several interesting variations of container gardens besides planting in an ordinary container, which sits on the ground. Allow children to use their imagination and come up with their own ideas. They can use hanging baskets, trellises or other types of vertical support (along with the actual container) and window boxes.

Vertical container gardening is a wonderful option for children living in urban areas or apartments. They can grow their gardens ‘up’ instead of ‘out’, in a very small space. This works best for vining flowers, such as passion flowers, morning glories and star jasmine.

There are many edible flowers, which are well suited for container gardens. They include: violas, pansies, carnations and nasturtium. Consult your library or local bookstore, for an extensive list of other edible flowers. There are many wonderful books, on the market, in regard to this subject. Most include colorful pictures, which makes edible flower identification very easy.

Flower petals are wonderful as part of a salad or when used as a cake decoration. . Obviously, no pesticides of any kind should be used on flowers, which will later be eaten.

Some children might enjoy planting a container garden, which includes their favorite color combinations. Whether they choose colors that complement each other or colors that are very different, it’s sure to be an eye pleasing display.

To make their gardening experience even more enjoyable children may want to plant a container garden, which attracts butterflies or hummingbirds. This way, not only will they learn about gardening they will learn about insects or birds, as well.

Hummingbirds are truly amazing to watch. Because they consume more food than their weight, each day, they must visit many gardens. Hanging baskets are an excellent container for this type of garden because they can be place near a window, making it much easier for these tiny birds to be observed.

Hummingbirds are attracted to bright flowers, especially reds, bright pinks and oranges. Other colors can be added in once the hummingbird has become accustomed to visiting its garden. It is recommended that flowers with an extended blooming period, be used.

The prefer tube shaped or trumpet like blossoms. Wonderful choices for a hummingbird garden include: day lilies, fuchsia, geraniums, honeysuckle and zinnias.

Almost any type of container can be used, for a container garden. Everything from ceramic pots, small barrels, old wagons, tire stacks, terrariums, baskets, wooden crates, old shoes and toy dump trucks have been used for this purpose.

Some creative gardeners have even gone as far as using an old bath tub or even the kitchen sink.

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Is a Raised Summer Garden Right for You?

Raised gardens are becoming quite popular as more and more people are renting property or find themselves in high rise apartment buildings with little to no lawn space and even less access to actual soil in which to plant the flowers and vegetables they desire to have with them. There are actually quite a few pros for using raised gardens as opposed to tilling the soil for those who wish to have smaller gardens and are limited on space in which to do so. At the same time, those who desire bigger yields are often dissatisfied with the limits of raised gardens. The choice is ultimately yours but I will try to point out some of the pros and cons of this type of garden so that you may decide for yourself.

Soil compaction. Pants love to breath and that is often difficult when placed in garden rows as we have quite a bit of difficulty avoiding all together the possibility of stepping onto the tilled rows in which we have planted our fruits, vegetables, or plants in a traditional garden situation. By using a raised garden, which is designed to be worked from without rather than within, there is little fear of compacting the soil around the plants. At the same time many lifelong gardeners feel the inability to walk around in their gardens is a disadvantage in itself and prefer to be able to do so. This is often a matter of preference rather than practicality but a valid opposition just the same.

Numbers. You can actually plant more plants in the same amount of square footage in a raised bed because there is no need for rows. You should also be aware that plants in raised beds often tend to grow larger than plants in traditional garden rows. That being said you should resist the urge to over plant within the raised garden bed, as this will eliminate that slight benefit. Many traditional gardeners have seen the results of overcrowding in these beds and feel that their way of doing this is much butter.

One huge benefit to raised beds for summer gardens in areas that are nearly saturated with excess moisture is that raised beds allow much better drainage than traditional row gardening. This is one thing that the average gardener will not argue with unless he lives in an area in which this isn’t much of a problem. Most gardeners in the south though, where there is a great deal of humidity and moisture will agree that proper drainage is a problem.

Raised beds are less back breaking. This is a huge benefit to those of us who are feeling the years creeping into our bones. By being above ground, raised gardens offer easier access for planting, weeding, planting, and investigating for signs of pests. Another great thing about raised gardens is that they are not as quick to cool as the earth, which renders them more productive and with longer growing seasons that most gardens that are placed in the ground.

For those who have unusually shaped yards or growing areas, raised gardens allow the opportunity to have a beautiful summer garden in almost any shape you can build the box for. This means you are not limited to rows, as many gardens tend to be and that you have a few more options for aesthetics when planning and growing your summer garden.

The downside to raised summer gardens is that they are difficult to dismantle and nearly impossible to till. This means you must do all the working of the soil by hand and many gardeners do not fully appreciate the beauty of that process. The most important thing however, is that you choose a summer garden system that works for you. You may find that combining the two provides the best results and is a great use of your time or that you prefer one over the other. There really is no wrong answer only the one that is wrong for you.