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Container Gardening

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CONTAINER GARDENING allows you to grow plants and herbs on your cottage dock and decks! It’s like making your garden MOBILE!

Container gardening at the cottage is one of my favourite seasonal hobbies. It all started a few years back during a Victoria Day weekend. I was rooting around in the shed and found a cache of terracotta pots stashed there. I immediately thought, “Geez Nik! You should plant stuff in these pots!”. It was a true “ah-ha-wha-duh” moment.

Container gardening is a fun, easy and rewarding hobby. It will allow you to add colour and interest to an area that might normally seem drab or boring. You’ll also be able to create visual vignettes that entice guests to stop and notice an interesting grouping of flowers or plants.

I hope the following tried-and-true tips and suggestions inspire you to try your green thumb at container gardening.

assorted containers


I’ve found that terracotta and ceramic containers work best. I picked up two of these ” target=”_blank” aria-label=”undefined (opens in a new tab)” rel=”noreferrer noopener”>TERRACOTTA TROUGHS and love the way they look on the deck – stunning! I also like galvanized tin pots, vintage buckets, and even window boxes. Just make sure your containers are durable and sturdy and if you can, try to avoid plastic containers as they don’t age well.


Make sure your vessels have drainage holes on the bottom to prevent root rot. When searching for pots, try to find matching pot saucers. Pot saucers help gather rainwater and also allow for water overflow that the plants can enjoy later.

Rows of pots with saucers


Determine or at least consider where the containers will end up once planted. This is an important consideration because you’ll be potting plants based on the amount of sunlight in the intended spot. Also consider the number of pots in each area, remembering that odd number groupings always seem more interesting.

various annuls ready to be planted


Purchase your plants AFTER the last spring frost date. Speak to a local grower or the folks at your plant nursery for advice on when the best time is to plant.


Follow the planting instructions detailed on plant tags. Doing so will give your plants ample room to “grow-in” without overcrowding the container.

Container Gardening


This is often the most difficult thing to control, especially if you’re container gardening at a cottage. Water your containers regularly and consider moving them to either a shady spot if they’re getting too much sun or, somewhere in the open if they’re getting too little rain.


Purchase organic garden soil and use it to plant your containers. This will ensure your plants are growing in a nutrient-rich environment where they’ll thrive and flourish.

I’ve posted an UPDATE on the plants I used this year, how they’re doing and where I placed them!

Container gardening is a rewarding way to bring the joy of gardening closer to home!

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