Gardening Etcetera: Neglect the Beds, Strive Container Gardeners | Home and backyard
Now we come to ornamental plants and options for pots or containers. If you plan to leave your pots outside during our cold winters, I recommend and have always used Vietnamese ceramic pots. Stone containers are also frost tolerant and come in many shapes and sizes, but are quite cumbersome. Plastic parts could break in the cold, and the same goes for terracotta. Whichever container you choose, make sure there is a drain hole at the bottom.
Be creative – many garden and household items can be turned into planters. A kid’s old, red cart looks bright and whimsical when overflowing with annuals like petunias and oregano – yes, you can mix herbs with flowers. Or find an old clothes rack, set it up on your terrace and hang baskets or old purses full of flowers and herbs on your arms. Colorful vegetables like ruby chard and purple kohlrabi are delicious and edible.
Don’t worry if the plant label says “full sun”. In northern Arizona, we get a higher intensity of light rays than people in other parts of the country, so five hours of sunlight can be enough.
As spring turns into summer, you can easily replace your cool-season annual potted flowers, like pansies, with heat-tolerant varieties like lantanas and zinnias. And vice versa, switch off your warmth-loving cosmos with delicious nasturtiums and colorful thyme or parsley when summer gives way to autumn. Anytime a pot seems to be struggling with too much sun, heat, cold, or shade, just move it to a more desirable location. In addition, frost cloths protect the plants very well on particularly cool nights.