May 18, 2011

{Flower Pots and Staking}

The best things in life are nearest: Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you. 
 – Robert Louis Stevenson

Spring has sprung, and I am always excited to plant my outdoor flower pots at this time of year. The inspiration for my flower pots came from when we lived in Chicago and all of the street side restaurants.  The coffee shops, bistros, and pubs would have fabulous flower pots on the sidewalks for spring, summer, and fall. I always thought they looked great, so I wanted to mimic the look at my own home. Not only do they remind me of the time when we lived in Chicago (and summers were always the best in the city), but I think the burst of color livens up our home!

So, here is what I do to make my flower pots (it’s pretty simple, and I know most of you probably already know how to do this, but I thought I would share):

-a pot
-potting soil
-small annual plants (Annuals do not come back every year and are usually cheaper at a big box hardware store. They are pretty, but they will die every year in the cold weather, so I make my pots every year around Memorial Day. Your plant date will vary depending on where you live.)
-rock or gravel if needed

First, clean out the pot that you will be using (remove old debris/dead plants if you are reusing a pot) and add more soil. I usually use Miracle Grow potting mix (you do want a potting mix made specifically for pots). If you are starting with a new pot, I usually add a big rock, or gravel to the bottom of my pot for drainage. You want the water to go in and drain out so you do not drown your plants. I have also heard of people adding packing peanuts to the bottom of their pots for drainage and to lighten a heavy pot. This is a great idea for real ceramic or glazed pots that can get kind of heavy. My pots aren’t very big, or heavy, so I used a big rock on the bottom of each to take up space (so I wouldn't need as much dirt) and to stabilize the pot.

Plan your color scheme...I chose pink this year.

You will also want to plan the layout of your plants before you plant. I usually do this by taking the plants out of their containers, and laying them on the soil in the location where I want them. I start in the center with a “spike” and then surround the spike with the flowers. I put vinca vines on each side of the pot, so they will grow and spill out onto the steps of our porch. The petunias go in a group in front, with begonias on the sides, and pink vincas in the back (they grow taller). I usually group the same flowers together, but I have also alternated my flowers, which looked great as well. I pack my pot full of plants (usually 5-6 of each), that way when the young plants grow throughout the summer, they overflow. Water well when planted and enjoy the beauty all summer! I usually water my pots once a day, or every other day, depending on how hot it’s been! Just feel the soil, and if it feels dry, then water.

Center of Pot: a spike (sold at any hardware store for about $2.50)
On the Sides: two variegated vinca vines (sold at hardware stores as well $2.50)
Flowers: petunias, vincas, and begonias (I got a six pack of each for .99 at my local hardware store)

Recycling a Garden Hose:
An old tip if you just planted a tree and need to stake it...use an old garden hose.  Cut it into sections, and string it onto the rope that you are going to use to tie to the stake.  It will protect your tree, it's free, and you saved a hose from going to a landfill!

Happy planting and growing!


  1. Love the pink color scheme.

  2. That looks really pretty. Great tips. I found you over at Centsational Girl's party. I am your latest follower. I would love for you to come and check out my blog and follow me back at Thanks so much.


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