Military members move so often, gardening can be a dilemma. It’s one of the elements that can make a new house feel like home… but what do you do when your orders may take you somewhere new?
Raised veggie beds are great if you have the space, but for all that investment, you’ll need to leave them. Fruit trees and berry bushes can cost a pretty penny and you’re likely to be on to new horizons before they produce.
Whether you have a big yard, an apartment patio or just a few sunny windowsills, container gardening is a great solution! There are so many creative ways to beautify any space and fill your life with flowers, fruit, veggies, shrubs or shade trees. And the best part? If you like, you can take them with you when you go.
What grows well in pots does depend on the hardiness zone you’re in. Often the best thing is just to ask a local gardening store who can advise you. If you’re in a foreign country or somewhere isolated, you can always research it on Google or Wikipedia.
Containers come in all shapes, sizes and materials. You can use pretty much anything your imagination cooks up. Just remember to factor in weight and portability.
Urns and Pots: There are plenty of ceramic pots in gorgeous colors but they are heavy, and can break in transit. If you are needing big ones for trees or shrubs, the best thing to get are the lightweight mock terra cotta urns found at any Home Depot, Lowes, Walmart or larger gardening store. Collections of these, with larger and shorter plants can make a very lush look even if a yard is large, as shown. Click on any picture to see it larger.
Palettes: These can be gotten free, and with a little paint and a few screws they can be hung, stacked, or double as fencing. Perfect for cheerful flowers, veggies or herbs. Read about this easy how-to HERE.
Logs: Carefully carve them out with a chainsaw or axe and have a really unique, natural look. The possibilities are endless, but again, consider size and weight if you intend to take them when you go.
Window Boxes: You can get traditional ones for the house or ones that hook onto a patio railing; for maximum flexibility seek out ones that come with their own stands. A twist on this theme is shelving-style along the side of the house or garage, as pictured. Be sure to affix them in a way that’s minimally invasive. Tip: It’s best to consult with your the landlord before you do a project like this. If they like it they may reimburse you to keep it!
Unique Containers: Almost anything can be used from galvanized pots and copper tubs to ceramic toilets or old tires, to teapots and ball jars. Search through Pinterest, magazines or Google Images for ideas, and have fun finding what to use at local thrift stores, garage sales and flea markets to make those ideas come to life.
Indoors: Bay windows can be like a mini-greenhouse, and are excellent for growing herbs, flowers and vines, but any sunny sill or floor space will do. Some plants like orchids, cactus and ferns can grow in something lovely on a tabletop without much light. If you have kids and/or pets, you’ll need to consider them when planning what goes indoors and where.
TIP: Because planters can’t hold much soil, they will tend to go dry faster. You will have to water them regularly unless you live in a place with sufficient rain – and you may need to ask a friend or neighbor to minimally tend to them if you’re on vacation.
Container gardening allows for great creativity as well as flexibility if you’re on the move – and it can cost you less in the long run. Yet you can still enjoy digging in the dirt, watering as a way to relax, watching the progress of plants as they thrive, take pride in beautifying your environment and enjoy – literally or figuratively – the fruits of your labor!
We want to know:
Have you tried container gardening? What would you like to grow?
Meet Your Contributor:
Rochelle Joseph is a Writer and Image Consultant who has had experience marketing, renting and buying/selling her properties for over 20 years. She has written and edited for several publications, including the Boston Book Review,The Emerson Review, ZooBorns.com, WildLife Magazine, the Houston Zoo, The Wildlife Center of Texas, One Spirit Interfaith Seminary as well as AHRN.com. She currently writes at her great gifts blog at https://lookyhereu.blogspot.com and her animal blog at https://naturegirrrl.blogspot.com.