Spring has arrived and with it, warmth, extended daylight hours and the promise of new life. After a long winter, it can boost our mood to begin thinking about planting flowers and working in a garden.
If you live in a senior living community, you don’t need to miss out. No doubt your community will also begin its planting season as soon as the weather permits, but you can also claim the colors, textures and scents of spring on your own patio or balcony.
The Benefits of a Container Garden
If you haven’t gardened with containers before, here are a few reasons why this method can be wildly successful. Before long, you’ll be looking out at a beautiful spring day, surrounded by your very own creations.
- It’s simple
Without needing a large plot of land or space, you get the same results. And all you need is a container, plants, soil and water.
- Expands your options
You can take advantage of growing plants such as succulents or tropicals that might not be well suited in the region’s soil.
- Takes advantage of the sun
You can move containers around to capture the perfect amount of sun, or even to the part of your patio that supplies shade and relief from the heat of the day.
- Everyone can be a gardener
Digging in the soil and watching your creations grow is satisfying no matter where you live. Gardening is now available to everyone.
Top Tips for Creating a Container Garden
- Make a plan
Spend time deciding what type of plants or flowers you’d like to grow. Research sunlight needs and think about where your containers will go. Consider mixing heights, textures and shapes to create the most interesting focal point.
Look online or through magazines to get ideas on how to make your container garden pop. Pay attention to different plant combinations or colors, and ask for advice from your garden store.
- Purchase your pots
Mix up your containers but make sure they all have good drainage. Clay will breathe while plastic locks everything in, so confirm there are drainage holes or add them yourself. Remember, you can also use everyday objects like vases or decorative items as containers.
Before planting, play around with different design ideas to see what groupings might look best on your patio or balcony. Also consider what you’ll be able to see from the indoors looking out.
- Start with the right soil
No matter where you garden, you’ll want to make sure you have the right potting mix for the type of plants, flowers or vegetables you’ll be including.
Don’t use dirt from a yard or grounds. Potting mixes don’t compact but provide good drainage and air flow. Make sure you check your soil daily and water whenever the top inch has become dry.
- Consider your lifestyle
If you want the beauty of flowers but travel extensively in the summer or have little time to tend to your garden, choose plants that require little watering and don’t need to be moved during the day, such as from a sunny corner to shade in the afternoon. If you can, ask a neighbor to check in on your garden every few days if you’re going to be away.
One of the great things about a container garden is how easy it is to experiment, with both the containers and the plants. You’ll soon discover which plants are almost foolproof and which require more tender-loving care.
Consider buying plant caddies on wheels for plants that you may need to move in or out of the sun, making the task much easier. Have fun with your garden and take some chances - you’ll be amazed at how much you’ll learn for next year.
Things to Avoid When Creating Your Container Garden
- Don’t…forget the weight
If you have a large pot, move it to its final location before filling it with soil and plants.
- Don’t…ignore your plants’ requirements
Choose plants that generally require the same level of care, including sunlight and fertilizer.
- Don’t…underfeed your plants
Pay attention to the type of fertilizer your plants need. Remember, nutrients are quickly absorbed and more of them are lost each time you water.
- Don’t…overwater your plants
Container soil will dry out much quicker than in a backyard garden, but you can still overdo it. Stick your finger into the soil up to an inch. If the soil is dry at your fingertip, it’s time to water.
- Don’t…underwater your plants
Water your container garden at least once a day, generally until you see water seeping from the drainage holes. If your plant has completely dried out, don’t give up. A generous drink may still revive it.
- Don’t…forget to look ahead
Crowding your containers in the beginning won’t leave enough room for growth. Give them space to spread out.
- Don’t…refuse to cut your losses
If you have a plant that just won’t grow, always looks sickly or takes away from the others, pull it out and replace it with one that will provide an instant visual improvement.
Life at Eskaton Communities
Much like the spring is a time of new beginnings, so are the lifestyles provided at Eskaton communities. The word Eskaton means “dawn of a new day,” and we see each day as an opportunity to enhance the lives of our residents. We’ve been serving older adults in the Sacramento region and Northern California for over 50 years.
The Eskaton Difference starts with our life-enriching programs and collaborative partnerships. With a national reputation for innovation, we focus on creating communities that provide our residents everything they need for purposeful living. We invite you to visit one of our award-winning communities to discover some of the benefits we offer, such as:
- Private residences
- Delicious and nutritious meals
- Social opportunities to meet and make new friends
- Creative activities and therapies
- Fitness centers and exercise classes
- Housekeeping services
- Transportation services
- 24-hour staffing
- Free Wi-Fi
- And much, much more!
If you’re considering whether community living could be the right choice for you, we’re here to answer any questions you may have. We also invite you to download our complimentary information, A Family Guide to Funding Senior Care & Housing.
To schedule a personalized tour, call us at 1-866-ESKATON or (1-866-375-2866) or visit eskaton.org.