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Every Saturday and Sunday morning from 6 to 10, GardenLine's Randy Lemmon answers listeners' questions on everything from aphids to zoysias. He's Houston's absolute expert on lawns and gardens, offering help to listeners both with and without "green thumbs."
Randy's a Texas Aggie who truly KNOWS plants and flowers. He explains them with ease and candor, and is as competent a "plant person" as there is. He studies, and he practices. He embraces "new methods" as well as the "old" ways of dealing with problems. Call for Randy's solution for your question ... 713-212-KTRH (5874).
Since I knew I wasn't going to be near a computer this week, I asked the good folks at Maas Nursery to help you learn how easy and impactful container gardening can be. So, here are some great tips from Maas. ~ Randy
Isn't that what we all want to hear when neighbors come over to talk landscapes and lawns? Creative landscape design is not everyone's second nature, but it doesn't have to be too difficult.
One way to easily create visual interest in your home garden is by adding planted pots that compliment the exterior of your home and fit well into the landscape design.
So, how do you get started? First, consider where the pot or pots will go. Good locations include a patio, on a stairway, by the front door, in the middle of your garden, or as end-caps to flower beds. Once you have decided where a pot will go, pick out its plants. You definitely want to select the plants before you choose your pot. A plant's mature size will help you determine the size and shape of the pot needed. Also important to consider are the light requirements and water needs of the plants you choose. All the plants in your pot need to have similar light and water needs.
The first plant to select for your pot is the "thriller" or superstar. It's the tallest and most exciting plant in the pot. Something that has an incredible bloom color or striking leaves will really draw the eye. Sometimes, a vine can make a great thriller, with three bamboo poles wrapped together at the top for support. Be sure to pick a thriller with a good height for the location you have picked for the pot.
After the thriller, you need some fillers ... bedding plants that will grow to fill the pot's empty spaces. Fillers should add contrast, texture and depth to the pot. So, selections like coleus, ornamental kale, dusty miller or even some pansies or petunias (depending on the time of year) work well. It's great fun to use seasonal bedding plants for your fillers, so you can change the pot's look as the seasons change.
Lastly, you will need some "spillers." These are plants that grow over the edge of the pot. Ivy, ipomoea, verbena, Australian violets, moneywort or lantanas are great choices.
It's also fun to add something unexpected to your container. A small eucalyptus, patio cherry tomato, or even some Romanesco cauliflower can add to your container, plus you can eat the tomatoes or cauliflower at the end of their season.
So, now that you know how to put a pot together, let's talk about the pot itself.
Unglazed clay pots make great planters for lavender, bougainvilleas, succulents and other plants that should completely dry out between waterings. They are also great for an herb garden that you want control a bit. A simple clay pot with a variety of herbs makes a beautiful planting that can also be useful for the cook of the house.
Glazed pottery is great for plantings that may require more water. The glaze helps retain moisture a little longer. You'll find glazed pots in just about every color, shape, size and pattern you can imagine. Patterned glazed pots can really add a sophisticated look to your landscape. They can even be beautiful left unplanted in your flower beds, providing color and interest all by themselves.
For smaller plantings, you might consider glass containers and globes for terrariums, orchid pots, African violet pots, bonsai pots and pots for water gardens.
To get ideas for your home landscape, visit a good nursery like Maas Nursery on Galveston Bay between Houston and Galveston in Seabrook. Walking the grounds of Maas is like taking a very easy, rambling hike through nature.
Maas Nursery can fill nearly any gardening need, but it's a great source for pots and containers. You'll find planted pots throughout its eight acres, and the beautiful designs may help you with ideas for one or more at your home.
They have a wide selection of unglazed clay pots from Mexico, Italy, Thailand and the Northeast Texas town of Marshall. Their incredible variety of glazed pots from the U.S., Italy, Vietnam, China and Mexico includes multiple sizes of the same pattern, making it easy to create groupings. There are small pots, big pots, giant pots and every size in between. You'll also find unusual planting containers like seashells, tins and carved rock from Terlingua.
As for plants, Maas Nursery stocks small citrus trees, ornamental grasses, bird of paradise, jatropha, hibiscus, and banana trees — all of which make excellent thrillers. Take a walk down the center aisle at Maas for a great selection of seasonal and perennial color. And you can't beat the selection of both sun or shade spiller plants.
You'll find Maas Nursery at 5511 Toddville Road in Seabrook. For more info, see www.maasnursery.com or call 281-474-2488.