My watering can was a gift from my grandfather, who taught me the joys of gardening. The can has been around the country, worked a lot of gardens and saved me in a pinch on summer's sizzling-hot days. Unfortunately, time took its toll, and rust chewed through the bottom, turning the water-carrying vessel into a sieve.
I couldn't trash this keepsake, so I turned it into a blooming heirloom treasure. And that's the beauty of container gardening: If it holds soil, it can house plants! Just about any container will do, as long as there are drainage holes.
The success of a potted garden starts with soil. I always start with a new batch and prefer using a mix enhanced with water polymers (they retain water and help keep the plant hydrated) and timed-released fertilizer, which feeds the plants when I forget.
I selected a variety of white and purple plants: geraniums, Angelonia, ageratum and dusty miller. All of these plants are annuals, which mean they will bloom continuously all summer long. And they all need the same sun requirement - full sun.
Often, plants will have overgrown their pots. Roots are encircled at the base. When I see this, I always gently tear the root ball. This helps the plant spread its feet and get established. And because of our short growing season, I pack in as many plants as the pot can hold. Sure it's tight, but that way I get colorful drama quickly!?? Watering will be crucial here, since there isn't a lot of soil. So I will babysit it all summer long while thinking good thoughts of my grandfather, and the wonderful times we shared getting our hands dirty together.
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