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Why Are We Going Crazy Over Containers?

Avent PatioContainer gardening is all the rage now. They’re featured in many gardening magazines, blogs and gardening television programs. There are several reasons for this big interest in container gardening. Nationally, there is a migration back to city living. This means smaller yards and, for some, no yard at all. Those who live in apartments or condos may have nothing more than a balcony on which to garden. These factors limit one’s options and containers fill the bill rather well.

What about here in the suburbs? Does container gardening have a place? The answer is yes. We often design containers into customer landscapes. Containers supplement in-ground beds and provide added color to patios and decks. The photo shows nationally recognized nurseryman Tony Avent’s patio at his home in North Carolina. Tony’s in-ground landscape is large, extensive and diversified. However, his patio garden has a southwest theme and, even though he is in the Raleigh, North Carolina area, some desert plants are just too tender to overwinter in the ground. Potted plants can be taken indoors or into a greenhouse.

Decorative containers can add even more color to your landscape than the plants do. Garden centers have a wide variety of containers in every shape, size, material and decorative theme imaginable. You can go eclectic or you can follow a theme as Tony Avent did in the photo.

Another very real consideration when discussing the container craze is the graying of America. Locally, we are following the national trend and, as gardeners age, they may hire a landscape company to tend their in-ground planting. However, they still want to garden and turn to container gardening. The result is often a spectacular landscape of meticulous, professionally-maintained lawn, trees and planting beds punctuated by beautiful, colorful containers. This also applies to others who don’t have time to maintain their properties but still want to garden.

With the increased interest in container gardening, we are also experiencing a renewed interest in food and food preparation, Many foodies who also enjoy gardening are planting herbs in containers and either raising them on a kitchen window sill or in containers just outside the kitchen, placing herbs close at hand.

If the reason for the container craze could be summed up in a few words, they would be versatile, transportable, colorful, as well as easy and fun to work with.

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