6 Container Garden Ideas

So you’re late to the party this summer with gardening. That’s OK. A container garden can be an anytime garden. Here are 6 container garden ideas to try:

wooden-pallet-herb-garden

Image source: curbly.com

Effortless Herbs

Herbs are relatively easy to grow in containers – whether you want to go small with a window box or you want a big display with a wood pallet herb garden. Herbs are great for small containers because their roots aren’t extensive – which also makes them great for creating big, full containers. They do require a lot of watering. The soil should always be moist, but not wet – drainage holes in the container help with this. If you love having fresh herbs in the kitchen and lovely plants on the patio, a cute herb container garden will satisfy both of those needs.

Image source: myhanginggarden.com

Image source: myhanginggarden.com

Tomato Temptation

Tomatoes are excellent for container gardens. They’re beautiful in a hanging planter or they can dress up an old bucket. Large containers are best for tomatoes – they need lots of food from nutrient-rich soil (fertilized soil is best), so if you can fit a lot of soil in a container, your tomatoes will grow to be plump and juicy. Tomatoes need about eight hours of sunlight per day for a great harvest – so making a mobile tomato container garden allows you to move your plant to where the sun is shining.

Image Source: casasugar.com

Image Source: casasugar.com

Sucker for Succulents

Succulents are great for people who love plants but aren’t good gardeners – they don’t require watering more than about once a week. They’re usually found in arid climates and do well in the desert because they retain a lot of water (think: cactus). They come in all shapes, sizes and colors, so finding a container a cute succulent will work well in shouldn’t be a problem – even a wine bottle cork would do.

Image source: pinterest.com

Image source: pinterest.com

Flowing Flowers

A well curated garden can make any container look beautiful – even an old suitcase. Marigolds, violas and pansies are all colorful and work well in container gardens. Petunia and its miniature cousin, Calibrachoa, are also great for creating container gardens with character. The calibrachoa tend to sprawl with its tiny flowers and make overgrowth elegant.

Hanging Happiness

Like paintings on an interior wall, hanging container gardens raise your outdoor décor to eye level. A hanging plant adds color, texture and personality to any porch, deck or window. The cascading geranium is a classic choice for hanging plants. The delicate blossoms of lobelia and the droopy but dainty fuchsia add color while draping from high up. However, hanging container gardens require a bit more maintenance – they lose more water to air and gravity than a container on solid ground so hanging containers need vigilant watering.

Image source: http://namujaukumas.lt

Image source: http://namujaukumas.lt

Terrarium for the Timid

If you’re not ready to commit to a full container garden, a terrarium in a jar is a great introduction to the world of

gardening. They can be big or small, indoor or outdoor, winter or summer. They’re easy to build – it’s just a matter of layering charcoal and potting soil – and upkeep is minimal. Regular watering and trimming maintain their contained charm.

Getting a container garden together doesn’t require too much thought or work; if motivation is keeping you from gathering the supplies, think of the delight a new garden will bring you and you’ll be building your gardening this afternoon.

Happy gardening!

Five Healthiest Herbs to Grow Indoors

HerbsSo you’ve decided to grow herbs indoors and have fresh herbs at your disposal—that’s fantastic! Fresh herbs are aromatic, flavorful, and healthy additions to any recipe. But your kitchen space is valuable and should be maximized; you may only have a windowsill or small strip of counter space to work with, and it’s unlikely you have an entire greenhouse at your disposal.

So, now that you’ve bought your pots, soil, and LED grow lights, it’s time to pick out what you’ll be growing. Here are the five healthiest herbs for your growing space—and they’re so tasty too!

Basil
It’s delicious and fragrant, so rejoice, all ye Italian-food-lovers! Basil also has a surprisingly high number of health benefits. It’s full of beta-carotene, which is a highly potent form of vitamin A, and it helps cholesterol to not build up on blood vessel walls by not allowing it to oxidize.

It also is full of Vitamin K, which can prevent nerve cell death, which in turn decreases your chances of Alzheimer’s disease. It also contains a chemical called eugenol, which works as an anti-inflammatory and comes with all the benefits of anti-inflammatories (good for asthma, heart problems, pain, rheumatoid arthritis, and inflammatory bowel conditions).

It also happens to boost the health of your hair, skin, and immune system. Between that, how nice it smells, and how delicious it is in practically anything, there’s no reason for you not to have fresh basil on hand all the time.

Peppermint
This herb has been used for thousands of years—dried mint leaves have been found in Egyptian tombs alongside mummies! And why not? Mint leaves help with congestion and inflammation that asthma and allergy sufferers deal with every day. Besides that, they ease stomachaches, nausea, and even headaches.

Peppermint leaves, picked up and dropped into boiling water as tea, alleviate a variety of ills and are very soothing in any instance. This is partially due to the fact that mint is soothing to your stomach, but it also effectively helps your muscles release tension that would otherwise prevent you from relaxing and falling asleep.

Oregano
The “pizza herb” rose to mass popularity in America after WWII G.I.’s carried it back in their hearts after tasting it in Italy. It’s been used in Italian cooking for centuries, and may be one of the healthiest things about pizza! Oregano has amazingly high antioxidant activity and antimicrobial properties—think of it as Scrubbing Bubbles for your bloodstream.

It is also high in fiber, vitamin K, and minerals. There’s no going wrong there.

Rosemary
Like so many of the other herbs, it prevents cancer; recent research shows that a compound called carnasol, found in rosemary, may be an effective anti-cancer compound. Researchers have had promising results in studies of its efficacy against breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer, leukemia, and skin cancer.

But it also improves both mood and memory, relieves pain (including stubborn migraine pain!), and improves the health of your stomach and digestive system.

Thyme
Another natural anti-inflammatory, this delectable herb aids in heart and respiratory health and is another antibacterial herb. Besides that, it is high in antioxidants and iron and improves bone and skin health through its nutritional content and antimicrobial properties.

Now, if you happen to have a little more room left over, there are many herbs and spices that will be healthy additions to your diet. However, these five are a nutritious and delicious place to start.

Nina Hiatt currently lives with her husband, Bill, and she enjoys blogging about her many interests, which include gardening, ice hockey, and baking.

Image Credit: Useofherbs.com