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HomeHomes
Published: Thursday, 8/14/2008

Planting A Pretty Patio Garden

(NAPS) An increasing number of people, it seems, are discovering a great way to bring out the beauty of a home is with a container garden. According to the National Gardening Association, more than 21 million homes have discovered the joy of container gardening.

Getting the most beautiful results from potted flowers takes a little artistry and some simple gardening know-how. Bayer Advanced Garden Expert Lance Walheim offers these tips to create a beautiful patio garden:

1. Establish a color theme. This is good advice for any type of flower gardening. Try different flowers in shades of one color or blend complementary colors such as red and violet. For an even stronger impact, mix contrasting colors like yellow and blue or yellow and red.

2. Mix plant forms. Use taller, more upright plants snapdragons, salvia or geraniums in the middle of the pot, then step down in size as you move toward the edges. Plant cascading flowers such as sweet alyssum, violas and lobelia right near the outside of the pot so they ll spill over the sides.

3. Plant closely. You ll get the best show if you pack plants in closer than you would in the open ground.

4. Use a touch of white. White flowers can make everything else look better, so add a few if you need an extra punch.

5. Add bold foliage. Strong foliage plants, purple fountain grass, say, variegated English ivy or Dusty Miller, contribute texture and make your flowerpots even more striking.

6. Group different-sized pots. The varied heights add structure and organization to your display.

7. Make replacements as needed. If one plant or pot is finished blooming, replace it with something that looks better. Make the most of seasonal changes.

8. Remember to water once a day in hot weather. More frequent watering takes nutrients from the soil, so you also have to fertilize more often to keep plants blooming.

When plants are grouped closely in pots, insect problems can quickly get out of hand, so you have to be observant and be ready with control measures, advises Walheim.



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