As you know, I may not be an official green thumb–I’m more of a “green gambler” in that I plant a bunch of stuff and hope that something sticks. It’s a risk, but every year I take it and somehow I have a number of plants that have survived my plant collecting addiction. Every year that is, except for last year, when I had a 3 month old. I just didn’t have it in me. But this year….this year folks, we’re going BIG! We went crazy this weekend in creating a container garden in our little patio.

Jasper has relatively early mornings so I thought it would be fun to head out into the garden before work each morning and do some watering (aka: run around in the sprinklers) and get it back into full gear. This spring I’m teaming up with Fiskars to showcase their range of garden tools in my attempt at perhaps one day becoming a successful green thumb. I can’t wait to show you–here we go!

 

How to plant a container garden

Though your space may be small, I’ve found that you can still create botanical magic. Here are my tips!

  1. Go vertical. You may not have the floor space to build the “optimal” garden, so you have to think outside the box. There are a ton of products that help you go up, whether it’s hanging baskets or planters for a wall. STay tuned for an upcoming post where I round up some of my favorites!
  2. Use what you’ve got. Use the architecture you’ve got to create a space. If you have a wall, go with a stacking ladder or trellis. If you’ve got a rail, add some chicken wire to create vine or a planter box. It’s all about gettin creative!
  3. Join forces. Team up with a neighbor to join forces to create a larger container garden. If you share a wall or a backyard or courtyard, go in on it together. Try out planter boxes or basic containers. The more space you have, the more likely it will be to stun.

Fiskars gardening toolsFiskars Gardening Tools

I’ve been collecting Fiskars gardening products for a few years now and I was thrilled to add some to my arsenal. Here’s what I got to try out:

  • Curved Micro-Tip® Pruning Snips
    • Perfect for precision snipping, curved handles for ease, and a take-apart design for easy cleaning!
  • Fiskars Multi-Purpose Garden Snips
    • Great tool for cutting soil bags, wire, netting, and other garden essentials!  Classic snips with a serrated side for every job
  • PowerGear2™ Softgrip® Pruner
    • Special Fiskars technology gives you three times the power when cutting!  Perfect for pruning branches and stems! The fully hardened steel blade stays sharp, even through heavy use! 
  • Fiskars Big Grip Garden Knife
    • Multi function tool that scoops, cuts, and removes.  Durable with an extra-large handle that provides comfort! I have a lot of lemon mint, which grows like a CRAZY weed so I do have to rein them in. This knife helped it to go quickly.
  • Fiskars Fiber Composite Soil Scoop
    • Big scooper for easy soil transport.  Holds about 1 cup of dirt which is great for our container garden. I found this to be the most helpful in taking out old soil from my pots and putting in the new soil. Plus, Jasper loved it!
  • Fiskars Ergo Trowel
    • This trowel won’t break, rust, or let you down.  It’s the perfect staple for any gardener.
  • Fiskars Ergo Scratch Tool Garden Cultivator
    • The best tool for hand tilling and breaking up your flower beds.  The steel head won’t break and has a full lifetime warranty!

My garden recipe

Every year I like to try something a little different. Here’s what we did this year:

Hanging baskets

This year I went with 4 hanging baskets for the balcony. Our house is situated against a rather busy street and I like the idea that we have some sort of separation. I decided to turn our patio into a little “room” of sorts where we can have a bit of privacy without blocking out the sun. The hanging baskets add pretty punches of color and I love seeing how they spill over the basket.

Various sizes of containers

Our house came with that large washboard planter right next to the door. It’s not my favorite, but I do like the size so I go with it. I’ve added various planters in many sizes to keep it varied. I found that pot stand with the 8 different pots at a vintage shop years ago and this year I stayed true to what I’ve done in the past and gone with geraniums. The geraniums do super well here and I love them turning into a rainbow of spillers.

Various sizes of flowers

As you can see, I went with a variety of sized flowers too like the ginormous foxgloves. Remember the rule of a perfect container:

Thriller, spiller, filler.

Here’s how it went down:

  1. the thriller is the fox glove
  2. the spiller is the potato vines
  3. and the filler are the daisies.

Makeshift shelving units

A couple of years ago I “built” a shelving unit for the patio “Room” out of a 12’ board from Home Depot that I cut in half. I placed them on 12” pots to act as the stands and they’ve been great. They aren’t the fanciest thing alive, but I’ve loved the height they create and the ability to hold more plants. This year I went with a variety of plants and flowers, even some herbs.

Try something new

I still feel like I’m a garden experimenter. I try out new stuff all the time. This year, it’s hydrangeas. I’ve never tried them before and I LOVE them so much, but I’m very nervous. I’d love to hear your tips!

Listen guys, if I can make a little oasis in my small space, anyone can. It’s really in how you approach the space and think of a creative solution for what you already have. I mean, look at how serene I look! 😉

I’d love to hear the plans that you have for your gardens this year. Tell me everything!

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