This post was originally published on DIY Network’s blog Made + Remade in April 2012.
A lush, luxurious garden is a dream, but as I sit on the deck on warm evenings, I know that it’s going to be years and years before I have the gardens that I’m envisioning in my mind. As a more immediate solution to backyard appeal, I dove into assembling a trio of outdoor planters to complement the deck on the back of the house.
You can do this for yourself easily too! Keep on reading to see how I customized the planters to accent my deck all summer long.
The planters themselves were inexpensive finds at our local Marshall’s; I always find that there are plenty of glazed ceramic options in stock this time of year, but rarely do I find outdoor planters with a matte textured cement finish at the highly discounted price point of these models, which is why I decided to buy my first ever deck planters for a total of $55. Oh, and the blue one with floral detailing came home with me for good measure; priced at just $15, I couldn’t say no to such a tempting pop of color. So, a total splurge of $70.
The only issue with these planters is that they didn’t come with built-in drainage, so I had to improvise by buying plastic planter inserts with built-in saucers for another $15 (a small price to pay for a healthier, well-drained potted arrangement). Note: While the pots will provide for a lot of drainage, we’ll also have to keep an eye on each planter retaining water after rainstorms.
Two of the three plastic pots had a lip around the edge which inconveniently made them too large to slide into the pots, but with a sharp utility knife, those edges are easy to remove and allow the pots to sit hidden within the cement and ceramic planters.
With the addition of simple potting soil, I was ready to buy up some new plants.
I’ve spent the last month or so doing research on what great plants to invest in for making a lush, overflowing potted garden, but most of those learnings flew out of my left ear as soon as I walked into the lavish nursery. I’m pretty easily overwhelmed when it comes to picking plants since it requires understanding what plants will work well in soil together, the lighting requirements, and the design and aesthetic decisions. My only real plan was to get a few options with yellow blossoms to coordinate with my new outdoor umbrella. So fancy.Shopping for plants quickly becomes more complicated than deciding to sprinkle simple zinnias and marigolds, since real plants have real price tags, and with a decided budget between $50-60 to get something a little more lush than a seedling, there was definite nervousness involved in my decision making.
I did decided to spend more of my budget on perennials than annuals, with hopes that they’ll flourish in pots during the summer and can be transplanted into the real garden during the fall, giving me both immediate happiness for the coming months, and long-term enjoyment for years to come. My thumb isn’t the greenest, but I’m hoping for the best.
I brought home:
- Two yellow Ranunculus Flowers
- One light yellow Columbine
- One Bellis
- A palette of yellow Pansies (which proved to be way, way too much)
- A Wormwood/Artemisia/Silver Mound
- One Creeping Phlox
- Ornamental strawberries
- And one Sedum/Stonecrop
As I mentioned in reference to the Pansies above, I certainly did purchase way too many; I guess plant overload at the nursery will do that to you. Fortunately, I was able to fit most of my loot in the pots and planned to put the balance of the plants (90% of the pansies and the Bellis) directly into the yard.
With the plants that would fit, I organized the pots to determine how the colors and aesthetics of each plant would work together.
Happy with the layout, I potted each plant directly into the moist soil, loosening the roots and doing my best not to overcrowd. As they grow and develop, pruning will be expected, but I expect they’ll stay similar in proportion to what you see now.
Anyone else tackling backyard garden planters this spring?