The planters get a little tired and overgrown by the end of the summer, when the ideal combination of colors, heights and textures or their original design gives in to the whims of nature. There is beauty in that disarray, the beauty of the natural hierarchy that establishes itself outside of human intervention.

The plant in the picture is a Canadian variety of tuberous begonia called “Illumination”. It put up a spectacular performance last summer but was a little shy this year, like all the other shade lovers.

A few things about container care.

If you refill your pots with fresh potting mix every spring you won’t need to feed them during the summer, but the peat moss tends to dry up so fast it almost doesn’t matter how often you water them. I prefer real garden soil, even though it is very heavy, and the plants always perform better in it. If you do have garden soil in your planters it will require fertilizer, just like the rest of the garden, after the first three months.

Bunch pots together to keep the medium inside them, and thus the plants’ roots, from getting too hot, especially if you use plastic containers; this helps reduce the water loss too.

Store clay pots in a place where the temperature doesn’t drop below freezing, they always crack when left outside over winter.

Author's Bio: 

Main Areas: Garden Writing; Sustainable Gardening; Homegrown Harvest
Published Books: “Terra Two”; “Generations”; "The Plant - A Steampunk Story"; "Letters to Lelia"; "Fair"; "Door Number Eight"; "A Year and A Day"; "Möbius' Code"; "Between Mirrors"; "The Blue Rose Manuscript"
Career Focus: Author; Consummate Gardener;
Affiliation: All Year Garden; The Weekly Gardener; Francis Rosenfeld's Blog

I started blogging in 2010, to share the joy of growing all things green and the beauty of the garden through the seasons. Two garden blogs were born: allyeargarden.com and theweeklygardener.com, a periodical that followed it one year later. I wanted to assemble an informal compendium of the things I learned from my grandfather, wonderful books, educational websites, and my own experience, in the hope that other people might use it in their own gardening practice.