Gone to Pots

BY BEV BENNETT ON SEPTEMBER 29TH, 2017

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Indulge your fantasy of a tropical garden, even if you live in a frost zone.

Add dazzling azure blue and Moroccan red to your garden, even if the colors don’t exist in nature. And, banish any annoying backyard blemish from sight.

Potscaping – landscaping using container plants – allows you to do all that and more. Originally an alternative for those whose balcony or patio couldn’t accommodate a full plot, this style is capturing gardeners’ imaginations. It offers flexibility and color within any budget.

Instead of being limited by your climate, potscaping allows you to escape the seasonal tyranny of gardening.

For example, you may regret that you can’t cultivate banana, bird of paradise or fiscus plants outdoors. You love the lush look, but know you’ll destroy your exotic plants in one chill breeze.

You can put anything in the pot during the summer and bring it in during the winter. “Include orchard and tropical plants in your pots. You don’t have to think like a cold-weather person,” says Shanley, owner of B. Gardening in Denver, Colo.

Although most gardeners are used to a little trial and effort when they introduce new plants, potscaping makes experimentation easier.

Perhaps the miniature conifer doesn’t look good next to the patio. There’s no need to dig it up, if you’re potscaping. Just put the pot on wheels and move it to a better location.

Like most gardeners, you turn to plantings for color. But you can also bring a riot of color into your garden by the pots you choose.

Although you can invest hundreds of dollars in imported pots and exotic plants, you can find beautiful arrangements on any budget. In fact, some gardeners prefer it for price savings.

And, if you’ve got an ugly tree stump or bald patch on the lawn that would be expensive to remedy, you can cover the eyesore with a grouping of pots.

But, as advantageous as potscaping can be, there’s more to it than rolling pots into the yard. Too much clutter and you’ll look as if you’re living in a garden center.

blog-image Bev Bennett, a veteran food writer and editor, is the author of "Dinner for Two: A Cookbook for Couples" and "30-Minute Meals for Dummies"

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