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Container Gardening - Gardening for nomads

Container Gardening - Gardening for nomads

Many of us move home on a regular basis so growing plants might seem a waste of time, why create a beautiful garden when next month you could be leaving it all behind?

I felt the same in my student days and early adult life as a renter but I always loved plants so I started container gardening using pots that were small and light enough to carry.  You can do it too if you move house a lot, have a balcony garden, hate digging, have mobility difficulties or want to test out a few plants as a beginner. Outdoor plants grow in the same way as houseplants in that so long as they have soil, light, and water they will thrive – it’s not difficult to grow flowers in a container.

Container gardening has plenty of other benefits aside from portability. You’ll use fresh compost so the plants will get plenty of nutrients and look healthy, there will be barely any weeds and you can move pots around the garden or balcony to fill a bare spot. The only downside is frequent watering is necessary, but that’s a small price to pay for beauty.


What container should I use?

Shop bought containers look lovely and terracotta is my favourite but that comes at a price. Stone and wood are popular too but you can also use plastic toy storage boxes, buckets, or anything that will hold soil and deal with holes drilled in the bottom for drainage. Choose a size you can lift and one that comfortably covers the plant’s roots. Generally, plants will take up the available room so if you want your plants to grow big chose bigger containers.

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And what plants?

I have carted many flowers around with me over the course of a decade, my favourite gardenia would sit in the removals van with a seatbelt on for safety, but here are some of the other flowers I’ve found that thrive in containers:

    • Agapanthus loves having contained roots so they often grow better in containers than the soil.

    • Camellia and azaleas prefer acid soils so container growing is perfect; simply choose an acid based ericaceous compost.
    • Chrysanthemums with Erigeron cascading down the sides of a container are a work of art but simple to create.
    • Geraniums are tough gorgeous plants that grow in any container.

    • Bees love lavender and it enjoys the container life plus you can dry the flowers and make potpourri to scent your home.
    • Jasmine is a delicate but sturdy container-loving climber so put your container against a wall or fence so it can scramble up.

    • Buxus, often called Japanese box, can be trimmed into any topiary shape you please to add evergreen structure and shape amid the flowers.
    • The Crassula is a toughie often pruned as bonsai, used as and Indoor plant and balcony gardens in a container. Flowers appear from time to time if conditions are favorable.



Caring for Container Plants

You won’t need to worry about weeding so concentrate on a regular watering regime especially in hot months. Containers dry out faster than soil in warm weather and wind can dry them out even if it’s not that hot. You’ll need to feed your flowers after the first year too because compost won’t provide all the nutrients forever. We strongly recommend a good quality organic potting mix with slow release fertilizer.

So if you don’t fancy digging up the grass, you’re new to gardening or you’re a nomad, It’s virtually impossible to go wrong with container gardening and you’ll be so glad you gave it a go.




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