planters

Perennial Planters—The Bachelor’s Best Friend

Perennial Planters—The Bachelor’s Best Friend

By Earl J. Woods

As I approach my mid-30s, it occurs to me that one of these days I’m going to have to make the terrifying leap into the world of home ownership. But what if I should buy a new house, one without any landscaping? I’ll need a quick and easy way to add some colour and life to the yard.

Fortunately, Hole’s perennial expert Jan Goodall has come to my rescue with some expert advice on simple landscaping solutions. Her suggestion? Perennial planters. When you think of planters, it’s usually bedding plants or vegetables that come to mind. But Jan showed me that with a little imagination and planning, I could create colourful and creative perennial pots.

A Landscaping Solution

My lesson began with a short lecture from Jan. “Perennial planters are ideal when used as an interim landscaping solution,” she said. “Often, people move into newly constructed homes without any landscaping—no lawn, no plants of any kind, and it just looks terrible. Who wants to wait for seeded grass and small trees to reach their mature sizes? Perennial pots can instantly add some colour to that dusty brown emptiness during the summer.”

When you have completed the landscaping around your new home, you can remove the perennials from their pots and install them in traditional perennial beds. The empty pots can then be used for late-season annuals or indoor plants.
 

Starting Out

When creating perennial planters, you need a few essential ingredients

  • A sturdy, aesthetically pleasing pot

  • High quality potting soil

  • Several perennials of mature, blooming size

Care and Nurture

Perennial planters require little maintenance. Consistent watering is vital—irrigate only when the top 3 cm or so of soil has dried out. For fertilizer, add 20-20-20 once every two weeks or once a month until the first week of August.

Overwintering

In colder zones, perennials will not overwinter in pots outdoors. Wait for the first hard
frost of the fall then cut the foliage to about 5-8 cm tall. Leave the pots outside until the
weather remains consistently cool, but before the soil freezes solid. Then, you have a
choice—you can remove the plants from their pots and plant them in the garden or bring
the pots indoors. A heated garage is ideal, but any indoor location with a temperature
that hovers close to the zero degree mark and receives some light (as from a window)
will do.

“Overall, though, I’d recommend taking the plants out of the pots and planting them in your garden,” Jan notes. “They’ll always have a better chance of overwintering successfully in the ground than they ever will in a pot. Also, if you plan to overwinter perennials in their pots, then you must make sure that the pots you choose are large enough to contain the mature roots.”

Jan had one other caution for me—if you love the look of your perennial planters so much that you move them from your garden back into the pots each year, you should choose varieties that don’t mind having their roots disturbed on a regular basis. Hostas, variegated sage (Artemesia ‘Oriental Limelight’), daylilies, bluebells (Campanula), stonecrop (Sedum), Hens & Chicks (Sempervivum) and ornamental grasses such as moot grass (Molinia), lime grass (Elymus) or blue oat grass (Helletotrichon) are good choices. But astilbe or bugbane (Cimicifuga) will probably deteriorate if you move them around too much.

The Black Thumb’s Dilemma

Jan makes a convincing case for perennial planters. In fact, she was so enthusiastic that I may actually discard my arrested adolescence and start looking for a real home, rather than a teeny apartment crammed full of comic books and DVDs of old science fiction movies. And if the Black Thumb can enjoy and appreciate perennial planters, it’s a cinch that you will, too.

Uses for Perennial Planters

Condo or apartment balconies
Housewarming, wedding and graduation gifts
Temporary landscaping
 

Win $500 Worth Of Patio Planters from Hole's Greenhouses!

patio-planter-flowers-holes-edmonton-stalbert

Help us spread the word and win! Refer a friend to sign up for our newsletter, and each of you will be entered into our four weekly drawings to win $500 worth of patio planters from Hole's Greenhouses! 

Entering is easy:

1. Enter your email, and a friend's email into our contest form HERE.

2. A confirmation email will be sent your friend. Have them click the link inside to confirm.

And that's it! You're both entered!

The more referrals you make, the more entrees you get! 

Crescent Garden Planters

Mother’s Day is a great time to treat Mom to brunch, along with a pretty bouquet of her favourite flowers.

For those Moms who love to garden, but who have also become a little weary of the constant bending, there is another great gift that I’m sure she’ll love

It’s called the “Crescent Garden Planter” and it elevates gardening to a new level—literally—by raising the garden to a comfortable height. It really ups the pleasure of growing flowers and vegetables while minimizing the pain. The Crescent Garden Planter has four legs and comes in a range of colours from lime-green, blue, red and black.

I know that after years of working in our family’s vegetable fields and her personal garden, my Mom embraced the idea of growing more of her ornamental plants—and vegetables like tomatoes—in raised containers. She discovered, like we all do, that the ground has a nasty habit of “getting just a bit farther away” with each passing year! 

Plus, there are Moms, who are not just simply tired of bending, but have some mobility issues and cannot bend over.  The Crescent Planter is a great way for them to continue gardening when “in-the-ground” gardening is difficult or impossible.

Besides, whether one has mobility problems or not, bringing fragrant herbs and beautiful flowers closer to nose and eye level is always a good thing—no matter who you are.

~Jim Hole