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Notes from the Container Garden Workshop


Although spring this year has been mostly rainy and dreary, there was a bright cheerful, spot on May 15, at the Container Garden Workshop.  Ten workshop attendees were led by Joyce B., Power of Flowers Project founder and gifted flower designer who was ably assisted by POFP Volunteers Lisa S. and Linda O.  The Workshop, which was held at the Chelmsford Weston Nursery, was filled with colorful containers and plant material and the lively chatter of people being creative and having fun.

Jack W., a Weston Nursery employee, gave the group some information on the different types of plants they were going to use, some good tips on watering and soil, and different types of fertilizer to use.  He was also very helpful answering attendees’ questions.

While guiding the group in planting, Joyce imparted some tips and tricks for container gardening:

  • Choose a container that you like – make sure it has drainage holes in the bottom.
  • Use only soil made for containers, which can be found at most Garden Centers. Do not use topsoil or regular garden soil. It’s too dense and does not allow for young annual plant roots to grow freely.
  • Base your plant selection on the sun exposure of the location of your pot. For example, put shade loving plants together or put sun loving plants together — Don’t mix the two in the same pot.
  • When choosing the type of plant, think about these three elements: thriller, filler and spiller.
    1. A thriller is something tall and has a punch of color or texture.
    2. A filler will grow into the body of the container and fill a lot of space.
    3. A spiller will trail over the edge of the container.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Any good garden center, such as Weston Nurseries, will have people who will be happy to help you select plants.
  • Fertilize your container garden weekly. Follow the directions on the fertilizer bottle or box. Do not over fertilize.
  • Water when needed. In the heat of summer planted containers may need to be watered several times a week.
  • Enjoy!

A big thank you to Weston Nurseries for allowing the POFP to use the space for our workshop and particularly to Jack W. for being so helpful.  And a special thank you to our two volunteers, Lisa S. and Linda O. for assisting Joyce. And thanks to all who attended this fun event.