(HOST) Thinking ahead to this year’s planting season, commentator Charlie Nardozzi has been taking a look at new trends in “container gardening”.
(NARDOZZI) There’s no doubt about it container gardening is hot. In the last five years the number of people container gardening has increased more than twenty per cent. Everyone’s growing in a pot. But what kind of pot they’re using and what they’re growing is a matter of personal taste.
The hottest trends in gardening revolve around the container. For years containers meant clay pots with scraggly geraniums in them. Now pots are chic. There are containers made from metal, wood, ceramic, concrete, stone and oh yes, still clay. There are light-weight fiberglass resin containers that are attractive and self-watering. There are hypertufa pots made from concrete that are perfect for alpine plants and succulents.
What you plant in the pot has changed too. No longer are we limited to a few petunias, herbs, geraniums or a dwarf tomato plant. We can grow perennial flowers, vines, groundcovers and even dwarf shrubs safely. This year instead of the riotous mixed planting of multiple flowers in one pot, simpler themes are emerging. It’s the year of one plant per one container. Especially if that plant has interesting foliage and flowers such as coleus, coral bells and oxalis. Dwarf versions of shrubs such as butterfly bush and caryopteris flower all summer and provide a striking statement. Ornamental grasses look great in tall containers extending a vertical line. And tropical plants such as angel’s trumpets, bananas, and canna lilies give your garden a taste of warmer climes.
So with all these pots and all these plant choices, what are the “in the know” gardeners doing?
Well, from a gardening trade show in Germany comes the latest trends in container gardening. Here are some things to look for in your garden center this spring and summer. Non-traditional container shapes are popular. Containers aren’t just round anymore. Square and rectangles are all the rage. Thin, tall containers providing vertical stature are hot, while short and squat pots are not. Fresh bold container colors such as citrus, bright green and blue, orange, hot pink and turquoise continue to be popular. Hippy themes are back. You remember the daisies painted on your VW bus? Well, they’re back as decorative elements on containers.
Pot colors that match the foliage and flowers you’re growing are very popular. But instead of buying multiple pots to match all the flower colors you have, you can buy Italian pot covers made from colorful fabrics that stretch over and fit snugly around your pots. They’re available in a variety of colors including fuchsia, turquoise, lilac, and beige. The synthetic fabric is machine washable and mold resistant. Covers come in small, medium, and large sizes, and fit on four-, six-, eight and ten-inch-diameter pots.
So if you want to be on the cutting edge this summer in your garden, get some tall, square brightly colored, decorative pots filled with exotic tropical plants with the container colors matching the flower colors. You’ll be one cool gardener in your neighborhood!
This is Charlie Nardozzi in Shelburne.
Charlie Nardozzi is an all-around gardening expert with a special fondness for tomatoes and roses.