It all began at Costco. This spring, L convinced me to give up my Costco virginity and life hasn’t been the same since. I’ve discovered Popchips! and Duggar-family sized pork chop packages… and, I fell in love with and had to have this fabulous, gigantic terra-cotta planter for the front steps:
As you’ll see in a future post (make that several future posts), the concrete steps at the front entrance cracked this winter and are a serious eye-sore (and likely safety hazard). I was in search of a large planter to make the cracked step less obvious, but I was not-so-thrilled with the sticker-shock I experienced when I looked at planters this size at most stores in town… This beautiful Costco planter, however, came in at just around $40 – literally half the price of the others I saw at other big-box stores and local nurseries.
With my planter purchased, I set out to find flowers to fill it up! My mom taught me years ago that every good planter needs Thriller, Filler, and Spiller — i.e., a tall plant for the center, some smaller scale flowers to fill the space, and something that spills down the sides. After spending quite a bit of time (and money) choosing my flowers, it was time to plant!
First, I filled the planter about 2/3 full of plastic flower pots (you know, the kind the flowers are in when you bring them home from the store). This takes up space in a sizeable planter like this one, aids in drainage and conserves soil:
Next, I added “old” dirt, left over from some planters I used last year, to further fill the base and mid-section of the planter. I followed this with lots of Miracle-Gro moisture control potting soil — another deal scored at Costco. I’m not always great at remembering to water my flowers, so the moisture control soil makes me look like a better gardener than I actually am!
Next up: planting! I set out my plants in the pot first, to make sure I have enough plants, and enough room in the planter. I’m a believer in the more is more philosophy of gardening – I know the plants will grow & fill-in, but there are only 3 real growing/summer months in Minnesota and I don’t want to spend one of them waiting for my flowers to grow! So, I over-fill my planter a bit…
Once I’m happy with the overall lay-out of the plants, I put them in the soil, taking care to break-up the roots a little at the bottom so they can focus on rooting in their new home. Then, I drench the soil with water, making sure to thoroughly soak everything so the flowers have a reserve for when I inevitably forget to water. Every couple of weeks, I add some Miracle-Gro flower food to my watering can, and I watch my flowers bloom and grow, bloom and grow forever. (Sound of Music reference, anyone?)