For dinosaur gardens, a colorful container adds an element of fun. There are many size options when it comes to dinosaurs, but I used very small dinosaurs tucked in among the plants and bits of glittery holiday decor. With children in mind, I thought it would be more fun for them to slowly discover the creatures in the landscape.
Take time to wrap shrubs and small trees with a winter coat of burlap for protection against cold temps. Plants at risk include those with borderline hardiness and evergreens prone to winter burn. Spray evergreens with an anti-transpirant before wrapping in burlap. Before adding the burlap, protect trunks against chewing rodents by tossing mouse bait that’s enclosed in a protective container near the base of the plant.
When early season snow starts to fly, some plants in fall container gardens won’t survive. Ornamental or flowering kale and viola sail through even a dusting of snow. As snow melts, wilted violas bounce right back, while the ornamental kale just keeps looking good. In pots, garden mums and nandina don’t recover from snowfall like this.
This hen-and-chick turns deep red when the temperatures drop, and then it stays red year-round. It’s known as a cobweb sempervivum because of the white growth on its leaves that looks like a spider web. Rosettes grow two inches tall and 12 inches wide, spreading by sending stalks of baby rosettes out from the mother plant. Plant them in a rock garden or a container. Zones 3 to 8.
Your idea of an indoor garden might be a few houseplants scattered throughout your home or a room that’s dedicated to your greenthumb pursuits. Whatever your interest or skill level, streamline plant care by investing in the right equipment. Check out a few of these items, like these indoor round trays that earn their keep as a humidity tray, drainage saucer or planting container for a miniature garden.
Perfectly fit for small hedges when planted in multiples, Winter Gem Boxwood also works well potted in vessels and planters. During the winter months, this evergreen will take on a golden bronze coloring, then change back to bright green in the spring. Winter Gem Boxwood thrives in both partial and full sun settings.
Take your yard to the dark side by adding a drift of ‘Purple Knight’ alternanthera (Alternanthera dentata). This easy growing annual thrives in whatever weather summer throws at it—heat, humidity, thunderstorms or drought. Use ‘Purple Knight’ to deliver color to planting beds, or tuck it into a container design where it happily plays a thriller or filler role. If you like to gather garden bouquets, include this dark-leafed beauty in your plant palette. Stems make a pretty addition to a vase. Pinch plants when young to increase branching. Leaf color is darkest in full sun, but plants adapt well to part sun or part shade conditions. Plants grow 18 to 36 inches tall and 24 to 36 inches wide.
Pack a tall container full of cold-hardy succulents that will give you foliage ranging from chartreuse to ruby red to black during the winter and blooms that open in the fall and last through the winter. Use fast-draining soil and place in full sun. RECIPE: ‘Wildfire’ Sedum (Sedum SunSparkler ‘Wildfire’, Zones 4-8), 2 plants; Job’s Beard (Sempervivum heuffelii ‘Jade’, Zones 4-8); ‘Boromir’ Hens-and-Chicks (Sempervivum ‘Boromir’, Zones 4-8), 3 plants; ‘Elsie’s Gold’ Sedum (Sedum spectabile 'Elsie's Gold', Zones 3-8), 2 plants; ‘Dream Dazzler’ Sedum (Sedum SunSparkler ‘Dream Dazzler’, Zones 3-9); ‘Touchdown Teak’ Sedum (Terra Nova TOUCHDOWN Series Sedum ‘Touchdown Teak’, Zones 4-9)
For chic fall flair, tuck pansies into pumpkin pots. You can either plant directly into a pumpkin that you’ve hollowed out, or slip a potted pansy into a pumpkin, which may help the pumpkin to last a little longer. Remember to choose pumpkins that stand up straight if you plan to draft them as pansy pots.
Native to the mountains of Asia, this plant will thrive in your winter garden. It’s an evergreen groundcover with roundish leaves that start out medium green with red-tinged edges and turn deep burgundy in cool weather. It produces tiny flowers in the spring that attract butterflies, and its deep red foliage brings color to your landscape in deepest winter. Plant in masses on a slope or in a container in full sun. Zones 4 to 8.
As summer wears on and container gardens grow large, watering can occupy large chunks of time.
Easy Solution: Enhance soil’s ability to retain water by mixing in water crystals. These small crystals blend into soil and absorb water, turning into a jelly-type material that’s packed with water for plant roots to absorb. Follow package directions for application rates by pot size.
With small spaces, sometimes the sky is the limit. "Add verticality. Small spaces need an element to draw your eye up," says Derrick Lepard, founder of Cultivators Design and Landscape. When you add height, such as bamboo in a container in this Atlanta courtyard, you don't need to spend money on plants to fill every space across the fence or wall.
Potted evergreens are excellent for year-round use and can be especially effective during winter months for adding a touch of classic holiday charm. Keep the overall look simple by planting the evergreens in pots covered in interesting, organic textural materials such as burlap, linen or birch bark. For a more finished look, cover the top of the potting soil with moss.
The best sprays to use on dandelions are ones that kill the leaf and the root (it should say that on the bottle). If you’re spraying dandelions that are located in other planting beds, create a spray collar by removing the top and bottom of a can or plastic bottle. Slip the container over the dandelion, and spray the weed inside the can.
A shell white dresser offers stylish storage for folded sweaters and other bedroom essentials, with satin brass hardware, self-closing drawer guides and cedar-lined bottom drawers. A beautiful and tough fiddle-leaf fig plant adds a touch of nature to the bedroom corner. A potted fern on an attractive faux shagreen tray on the dresser brings more greenery to the space.
Container-grown plantings are your friend when adding greenery to a terrace or balcony. “When you use typical landscape plants in pots or containers you’ll see them very differently than when they are planted in the ground,” says landscape designer Jeffery Erb. “You’ll see all the details up close and notice textures, vein patterns, the colors on the undersides of the leaves and more. So I like to use a minimal selection of plants in a small terrace or patio because it creates a more calm and serene environment — just what we need in the chaos of a city.” Erb advises choosing slow-growing cultivars that won’t outgrow their pots too quickly.
These arrangements can be created by cutting succulents or planting living plants. If you choose the live option, fill the bottom of the container with a layer of rock. Fill with cactus potting mix and then add barrel cactus and hawthoria. White aquarium pebbles complete the look. "Purple agate, amethyst and porcupine quills add the sparkle and height," says Sara Fried. And don't forget to water: every two weeks about one tablespoon and keep your arrangement in a bright indoor spot.
Combination planters let you add color to even the smallest space, and succulents grow slowly enough that they won’t overtake the tight quarters. An eye-catching mix of succulents grows well together, needing the same care regime: little water, high light and a coarse, cactus-type soil mix. When you create an indoor container garden, make sure plants have similar light and water needs.