Garden Planters – Fabulous For Showing Off Your Gardening Skills

You have done a little gardening in the backyard, but when you look out the back door you essentially see your deck, then a lot of green. Sure, you know there are 27 different exotic plants, among other things, in your well loved garden, including that imported flower that you have been babying for the past four months, yet from a distance, they are not discernible. It’s all just a jumble of foliage.

This is not the best way to showcase your green thumb. You need a backyard area that pops. When you look out the back door you need to see definition. You should immediately know this is a real gardener’s space and that the plants all have their place within it. You need garden planters.

Garden planters seem like such a simple solution, but they will do wonders for your backyard. Generally garden planters are wooden boxes or even hanging wire framed pots that will let you separate your plants, give them each their own space in the garden area, and let each one stand out for its uniqueness.

Garden planters are easy to maintain. In the same way you plan out your garden design, you will decide where to set the garden planters in your yard, just where you want your plants to be. You don’t have to worry about having perfect soil in the yard, or working the soil until it’s better for the plants, you can just toss a bag of potting soil in the garden planters and they are ready to take in your plants.

If you have grown tired of crawling on the ground to deal with your plants and would like a more comfortable alternative, garden planters may be about to become your best friend. Age takes a toll on everyone and sometimes it become more and more painful to get down with the plants that we so love to work with. Instead of letting them get out of hand, think of moving them up to a more comfortable level. Garden planters don’t have to be just at ground level, they can also be elevated to make it easier for you to work with your more finicky plants.

When you are sick of constantly tangling with that exotic plant that you love the look of, but wants to run all over the rest of your garden, garden planters are a great way to keep that plant a little more under control in it’s own area.

Showcase gardens are also very popular today, and for these we go to garden planters of another variety, dressy as well as practical. General garden planters are simple woods or terra cotta. They look nice, but are nothing too fancy. But for a showcase garden, there are garden planters that look like they were created by Michelangelo himself. Some are statues that have a place to put a special plant within the design. Other showcase garden planters are beautiful marble or ceramic pots that are designer pieces in themselves, which can be put on a pedestal with one of your prized blooms safely set inside.

Japanese Gardens – The Beauty and the Serenity

Japanese gardens are famous all over the world for their serenity and beauty. One of the main concepts in these gardens is to instill a feeling of beauty in the person viewing the garden. Another is to recreate nature in miniature. Historically, Japan adopted their formal gardening style from China and then embellished it with their own sensibilities.

There are a few elements to consider when viewing a Japanese garden. First, there are empty spaces in the garden. This is important in maintaining balance. The empty space defines the other elements surrounding it, just as the surrounding elements define the empty space. It is similar to yin and yang (or in and yo, in Japanese). The Japanese garden can be appreciated in all four seasons, unlike many Western gardens that is abandoned in the fall until spring rolls around. Japanese gardens also often use “borrowed scenery” or shakkei. This is when distant mountains, for instance, are taken into the overall view of the garden as part of the entire effect.

Basic Designs

There are a few basic designs you will see in Japanese gardens.

The Hill and Pond, or Chisen-Kaiyu-skiki, is the style that was originally borrowed from China. A pond is situated in front of a hill or two. This can be a real pond, or be symbolically represented using raked gravel. This style represents a mountain area and only used plants that are indigenous to the mountains. Gardens designed for strolling are always done in this style.

The Flat Garden, or Hiraniwa, uses flat open spaces, usually in front of ceremonial buildings like temples and palaces. These may be done in the dry garden, or karesansui style. You will see this style of garden typically in courtyards. Dry gardens, or karesansui, are made with a few large stones surrounded by sand or gravel. The sand is raked in patterns around the large stones. A very well-known dry garden is at Ryoan-ji, a temple in Kyoto. It was created in 1513.

The Tea Garden, or Rojiniwa, lets function take precedence. The Roji (dewy path) is the main focus in the garden. Besides the path, other focal points include the gates and the water basin, or chozubachi. Planting is usually minimal and rustic in a tea garden.


Japanese gardens are often enclosed away from the rest of the world. This makes the garden into a miniature of nature, or a microcosm. In Japan, the fences and gates are symbolic. The fence is the insulation from the outside world. The gate is the threshold over which we pass from one world to another, leaving behind our worldly concerns upon entering the garden, and where we shoulder them once again upon leaving. Fences also hide part of what we can see, encouraging us to travel a bit further in the garden to discover the next surprise. It is not uncommon to have only a partial fence, or one with a window in it that reveals part of what lies ahead.


Stones form the backbone of the garden. Large stones may represent mountains in some gardens. There are some basics applied to stones in the Japanese garden. There should be a tall vertical stone, an arched stone, a reclining stone and a horizontal stone. Stones are normally set out in groupings of 3, 5 or 7, but not always. Sometimes two similar stones are set together to represent male and female. In this grouping, one is usually slightly larger than the other.


Like the stones, a small pool or stream can represent a lake or river. Water also represents the passage of time. There may be a bridge spanning the water. A bridge, or hashi, usually represents a journey. Bridges often symbolize the act of moving from one world to another.


The plantings, or shokobutsu, in the Japanese garden are the canvas upon which the seasons play. The Japanese garden actually uses a very limited list of plants. Native plants are preferred, with many evergreens, flowering trees and shrubs to show the seasonal changes.


Ornaments, or tenkebutsu, include the very familiar stone lanterns we often associate with Japanese gardens. Other ornamental items may include water basins, a statue or other decorative item.

The Japanese gardens are a treat for all of the senses. Full of beauty and serenity, you won’t be the same when you leave.

Top 10 Tips For Using Garden Pots As a Container Garden

Container gardening has been around for centuries and is actually gaining in popularity. In some instances there is no other option BUT to use garden pots for a garden such as high-rise or apartment living. The following is a list of considerations if you are thinking of using garden pots in your own garden:

1. Choose the Proper Material

Garden pots are made from a large variety of materials, like clay, plastic and stone. Some of these materials are more durable than others and some more stylish. How you will use the pots will help you narrow down the options.

2. Size Does Matter

If you have your plants picked out (or at least an idea of what you are looking for), you will be able to determine how big your garden pots will have to be. As an example, small trees or tomato plants will require a larger pot simply because their root systems are bigger.

3. Vary the Pot Sizes

If you vary the sizes of the plants and the pots, you will create a garden with a more eye-catching appearance. Place small pots up close and scale them up as you go back.

4. Place Your Pots in Groups

If you place your pots in groups with smaller and mid-sized pots around a single large pot, you will add a lot of interest and a great focal point at the same time.

5. Group Plants Requiring Similar Watering In Each Pot

I know it seems obvious, but you shouldn’t put a fern that requires a fair amount of water in with a group of cactus.

6. Group Plants Requiring Similar Sunlight In Each Pot

Pots left in direct sunlight dry up very quickly because of their small size. Try to place them where they get some shade at least part of the day.

7. Choose Plants That Require Less Water

Small pots tend to dry up fast since they can’t hold much water. Picking out plants that don’t need much water in the first place will make your container garden easier to maintain.

8. Good Drainage Is Key

Most garden pots already have a hole in the bottom for drainage. If the ones you have don’t, you will have to drill them yourself. Place either a screen, a couple layers of newspaper or a shard from another broken pot over the hole. This will allow water to drain out the bottom but keep the soil from falling out.

9. Add a Water Sealant to Terracotta Pots

Left unsealed, terracotta pots soak up the water that is intended for your plants. Making sure the inside of the pot is clean, brush on a good water sealant (on the inside only).

10. Potting Soil

For pots, its best to use a good potting soil as they are specially blended for this purpose. Potting soils are lighter in weight than normal soil and they hold water much better.