Start planning your summer container garden

Mar 25, 2014
A container garden is a beautiful and easy way to enjoy many vegetables, flowers, herbs, shrubs and small trees, right at home in your Ottawa apartment. Follow these tips and tricks for your perfect summer container garden. We’ve also included some of our personal suggestions for plant types that do especially well in a container environment.

Helpful Tools to Have


Anything can be a pot, as long as it has a drainage hole in the bottom. It’s better to invest in slightly larger pots than you think you need, as a variety of small plants can be planted together if the pot is too big for just one plant. As a fun DIY project, try painting old existing pots for a fun and creative update.

Potting Soil
Potting soil is designed specifically for drainage, and is the best option for container gardening. You can however, add some compost (if you have a compost bin) for extra soil nutrients and moisture. Metro grocery store is located less than a 5-minute walk away from Timbercreek’s 135-145 York Street apartments, and when spring rolls around you’ll be able to find plenty of gardening essentials.

Gardening Tools
Most container gardening is relatively simple and hassle-free, and does not require fancy gardening equipment or tools. Tools you will need include a spoon (for digging), clippers (scissors will also work), watering cans (you can just reuse juice or milk jugs), and twine (for top-heavy plants placed on the balcony).

Plan Before Planting
Before choosing your container plants, think carefully about where you will be placing them. Some plants need more sun, water, and humidity than others. The great thing about container gardening is that you can easily move pots around to more favorable conditions if needed. If planting different flowers in one pot, make sure to group plants with similar growing conditions. Use your imagination and combine different varieties of plants for varied colour, effect, and style. Canadian Tire is located less than a five-minute drive away from Timbercreek’s 2870 Cedarwood Townhomes, and carries all of your planting supplies, accessories and needs.

Selecting Plants:
Vegetables and Herbs

Herbs and vegetables can be easily grown in individual containers, from large barrels to tiny planters. Dwarf or bush forms of vegetables such as pumpkins, squash, tomatoes, etc., are available for container culture and are easy to work with. Edible flowers that work well in containers include marigolds, pansies, and nasturtiums. One fun option is to plant a container salad garden with different colourful lettuces, along with a variety of fragrant and delicious herbs.

For container gardens that last throughout the year, look for warm-weather annuals that bloom throughout the summer and have foliage that still remains attractive. Plants such as geraniums, marigolds, begonias, and scarlet sage are all great choices that will last the entire year with proper care. Exquisite Blooms is located within close walking distance of our 222 Maclaren Street community, and has a diverse selection of flowers and plants for all occasions.

Perennials and Shrubs
Another great sustainable option for your summer container garden is planting hardy perennials and shrubs. Examples of perennials that work well in planters are daylilies and hostas, although most other varieties will also thrive in this environment. Shrub varieties that work well for container gardening include ferns such as European wild ginger, sedges, sedums, and lamiums. Ornamental grasses, smaller shrub varieties, and dwarf conifers are also great in containers.

Follow these tips, tricks, and plant suggestions for a beautiful container garden all year long. For more information on Timbercreek Communities, including our Ottawa communities, please click here.

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