Creating beautiful container gardens

Garden Crossings
Dawn Holub, left, garden center manager, and Heidi Grasman, owner, Garden Crossings, Zeeland
Photo: Urban St. magazine/David Hoekman

By David Hoekman

Growing flowers and vegetables in containers — as opposed to planting them in the ground — has come into its own.

“Container gardening is simple, easy and beautiful,” said Robin Renee Baker, owner of Robin’s Flower Gardens in Holland.

Heidi Grasman, owner of Garden Crossings in Zeeland, pointed out many people who live in apartments or condos cannot plant in-ground gardens.

“Container gardening is manageable,” Grasman said. “Some people can’t wrap their mind around a whole garden. But they can plant and take care of a container or two.”

Container gardeners need to consider the size of their area, how many containers they would like, how much time they have to spend on their container garden each day and if the garden area is in the shade or the sun.

Next, choose a container and get a potting soil that is a loose and porous mixture. Containers can range from a teacup or teapot to vintage washtubs or a crock.

As far as plants are concerned, Baker and Grasman recommend planting a thriller (tall plant), a filler (shrubby plant) and a spiller (trailing plant).

They encouraged container garden newbies to talk with garden center experts about their flower choices so they select flowers that can thrive together.

“Find a garden center with experienced employees and let them help,” Baker said. “Finding a trusted garden center with good, healthy plants is important.”

Baker noted containers can be moved.

“If they are not doing well in a certain area, you can try moving them to another area,” she said. “You can turn them so the sun gets every side.” n

Robin’s Flower Gardens
6032 144th Ave.

Garden Crossings
4902 96th Ave.

Robins Flowers wheelbarrow
Wheelbarrow planter, Robin’s Flower Gardens, Holland
Photo: Courtesy of Robin’s Flower Gardens