Not that I’m against gardens – I love plants. I just know my limitations and I’m starting to know hers. So, with that in mind, I told her we would make her a great container garden for her room instead.
So, how did we do this?
Step 1. What kind of light is her garden going to get? Her room had a window that was facing the east, but also had a neighbor that blocked some of the light. So, definitely a shade-plant environment.
Step 2. How high maintenance was she willing to go? Some plants can literally survive on nutrients from the air, while others require nearly daily check-ins. My daughter leaned heavily towards the former variety.
Step 3. How much space did she want to give her garden? We needed to think not just the container, but the plants. I have a ficus tree in a container that is older than my marriage (we will celebrate 25 years this summer). The pot is only about 18 inches in diameter and maybe 2 feet high, but the tree is almost 6 feet tall and about 4 feet in diameter. Did she want a tree or a tiny flower?
Step 4: What kind of container did she want to put her garden in? Her container needs room for soil and roots, plus a hole for the water to drain away in the bottom. Otherwise, it can be anything. I have seen people use ceramic or plastic pots, boxes, hats, vases, coffee mugs – just about anything. What is her style?
Step 5: Pick the plants. Remember they will get bigger, so give them room to grow. For my daughter we went with a couple of simple ceramic pots filled with succulents. These need very little care, do well in low light and can survive with very little water – a great choice for her. The ceramic pots also help prevent water evaporation. They brighten up her room and I don’t have to worry about going in and finding either a jungle run amok or murdered plants all over the place. It’s a win for everyone!
Send me some photos of your container gardens. I’d love to see them!