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Spring Project 101

April 2014      

Thoughts from the Cottage…

Tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths are signs of spring. In this pale blue bucket, a skirt of light pink Diascia surrounds a clump of magenta tulips. Prolong the life of your plantings by purchasing plants with tightly closed buds. The buds will open in a few days and color your container for a few weeks.

When selecting plant material for my early-spring containers, I am more discriminating than I am at other times of the year. Likely candidates include the obvious pansies and spring-flowering bulbs, but annuals, perennials, and even small shrubs and trees can be used effectively as well.

 When it comes to planting containers, there are no strict rules to follow,except drainage.  Remember that spring plantings will not withstand the withering heat of mid- to late-summer. Most of these pot-grown bulbs can be replanted in the garden where they will continue to bloom in subsequent years. I recommend keeping the bulbs in their pots until the foliage dies back naturally, then planting the bulbs at their proper depth in the ground, adding bulb fertilizer or bone meal to each hole. So let’s get started with Spring!

Tools and Materials




Varieties of spring annuals, bulbs and ivies

Soil mix


Watering can

Spring Container How-To:

1. Cover bottom drain hole of urn with screening, and top with 2 to 3 inches of gravel for fast drainage.  Partial fill urn with soil mix, mound up soil slightly in center.

2. Arrange your selection of plantings in the soil, leaving enough room between each for growth. Water as you plant, and add additional soil as needed. After all plants are in place, gently water entire plant. Keep plants well watered throughout the season.

Spring doesn’t suddenly burst into bloom just because the calendar says it’s April. In the North, winter can linger for weeks, while in the warmer regions of the country the jump from winter into spring can be as quick as a few weeks in late January or February. No matter where you garden, planting up containers that herald the new season is fun and easy.

Have an old metal container? Give it new life when filled with a pretty planting of spring daffodils.

When repotting sprouted bulbs, such as white grape hyacinth, tightly arrange them for the best effect.

Recycle a fruit box, fill it with pansies, simple yet colorful not to mention fun eating the Clementines!

This spring containers has vibrant blooms to decorate your outdoor spaces. Plant with forsythia, primroses, ivies, and violas in rich shades of blue and purple and yellow. What a great first impression!

Cheer up your front porch when you reuse an old tin breadbox as a container with pots of pink bergenia and white Japanese andromeda. The basket in back is filled with a pot of purple tulips. Complete the look  with clay pot of pansies. Decorative sphagnum moss hides the pots..

Daffodils explode from the top of an old blue coffee pot. Behind it sits a large basket holding pots of grape hyacinths and a clay pot of Johnny-jump-ups.

An old wooden box is filled with ranunculus and ivy. It sits next to a rustic basket filled with pansies. A cheerful and colorful way to welcome guests.