One of the easiest ways to enhance an outdoor space is using containers for seasonal planting. There are many clever and creative vessels that can be repurposed, turning small spaces into a calm respite or an oasis of color.


It’s not too late to start a container garden with herbs, flowering shrubs or vines, small trees or seasonal flowers. The fun part is hunting for unique items in which to show off your lovely plantings. There are endless sources of ideas: Pinterest, of course, or in the attic, basement, garage, flea markets, grocery stores, free piles—just about anywhere.


Look no further than landscapes here in Benicia—many offer inspiration with plants growing in repurposed items such as vintage furniture, old bathtubs, bicycles, wooden pallets, teacups, urns, watering cans, old shoes—anything goes as long as it has an appealing charm, a level of elegance or a touch of whimsy. Wheelbarrows, old or new, can offer a spectacular display, with the opportunity to give the arrangement height as well as plants that spill over the edge.  


The beauty of container gardening is that it’s a fun and easy project, easier than planting in the ground with no shovels needed. Ace Hardware and local plant nurseries stock potting soil and organic fertilizers. Just make sure you have the right environment for the plant in terms of sun, shade and the right amount of water for it to thrive. As mid-summer approaches, deadhead flowers and pinch back scraggly branches.


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Any area can be updated with the addition of a potted plant. Add charm and cheer with just one variety or several plants to make a grouping. For the most successful arrangements, vary the heights of vessels. Groupings are attractive with a limited color scheme or a riot of brightly hued flowers. Go all green with ferns and non-flowering shrubs or stick with classic white—the sky’s the limit. Plants in containers play well with their in-ground cousins, too.


Aside from yard enhancement, the real point of planting in containers is that it’s fun and creative, limited only to one’s imagination. They can be easily updated with changing seasons, providing an opportunity to be outside and communing, no matter how small, with nature.