Carol's Charming Container Garden

Carol's Charming Container Garden

Micki Howl
Aug 15, 2011

Name: Carol Gatewood
Location: Portland, Oregon

My Aunt Carol (or as we affectionately call her, Auntie Coco) sent me these pictures of her flourishing garden that she has put quite a bit of work into this summer. She nurtured small plants in the green space between some old fruit trees and a hill of rocks that were dumped after construction on her house. Rather than spending money on new pots and containers, she recycled items she already had around the house to use as containers and trellises, like this old logging boot (complete with cleats!) which now houses hens and chicks. Want to see what else she's growing?

While I write from 110 degree weather in Texas, Carol is enjoying the more temperate climate in Portland Oregon, the perfect place for her container garden, fruits and vegetables. Her motto: "you can make a lovely, lively space on your own using what you have. You don't need to spend tons of money on annuals to make a thriving, interesting garden. Your veggies, fruits, herbs, and perennials can be combined every summer with the use of pots and trellises to fit any space."

The obvious advantage of starting the plants in smaller containers is that they can be moved for watering or shade as needed. Many of the larger plants in her garden started small: "Fig trees can actually do really well in pots for the first couple of years." Other plants she recommends include lavender, used to fill larger spaces in her garden: "Just be sure to plant it where you don't mind the bumble and honey bees visiting!" She suggests tomatoes and cucumbers, two vegetables that have amazing foliage you can enjoy while waiting for them to grow.

Her savviest tip? Using old chair backs as trellises adds a whimsical element to her flourishing garden. Here, she's used a chair back from her great-grandma Rosina's house which helps keep the purple grape plant upright. Its leaves will become dark purple in autumn as it produces unpalatable purple grapes.

Plants from A-Z:
• Basil, Tour Image 10
• Camellias, Tour Image 15
• Cucumbers, Tour Image 1
• Fig Tree, Tour Image 2, 13
• Nasturtiums, Tour Image 8
• Pears, Tour Image 9
• Stargazer Lillies, Tour Image 10
• Strawberries, Tour Image 14
• Thunbergia, Tour Image 8
• Tomatoes, Tour Image 5
• Lambs Ear, Tour Image 2
• Lemon Mint, Tour Image 2
• Lavender, Tour Image 2, 6, 7

Resources of Note:
• Pink pots, Ikea
• Pink deck chair, True Value


Thanks for sharing Auntie Coco!

Images: Carol Gatewood

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