home for your
The versatile and
easy way to garden
By Kate Parham
WHETHER YOU LIVE in a small apartment
or an expansive farmhouse on dozens of acres,
container gardening is a great way to create
spots of color and add life to your home.
It’s also easier and less time consuming
than traditional gardening, says Fern
Richardson, Costco member and author of
Small-Space Container Gardens ( Timber Press,
2012). “And you avoid a multitude of problems: weeds, spreading disease, damage
from insects and maintain[ing] moisture,”
says Mary Moss-Sprague, certified Master
Gardener and author of Stand Up and Garden
(Countryman Press, 2012). Convinced yet?
The Costco Connection
Get your own containers growing with
pots, plants and potting mix, all available
“Any plant will do well in a container as
long as you know what kind of care that plant
requires,” says Barbara Wise, Costco member
and author of Container Gardening for All
Seasons (Cool Springs Press, 2012). There is a
short list of plants that don’t do well in containers: large trees. That’s it! Even plants that
do require more room, such as lemons, come
Inspired to create your own?
If so, consider entering a photo in our Best Container contest. Use your imagination to put
together a pot with primarily flowers, edibles, grasses or succulents, or a combination as
the theme of your arrangement. We’ll select one winner for each of these five themes.
Winners will be selected based on originality and
creativity by a panel of judges whose decisions will be
final. Each winner will receive one $250 Costco Cash
card. Winning entries may be featured in a future issue
of The Costco Connection.
household. Employees of Costco and their families are not eligible.
MULLALLY IN TERNATIONAL
All entries must be received by September 1, 2012.
Winners will be determined by January 2013. Email one
( 1) high-resolution photo and a short write-up along with
your Costco membership number to: Connection@costco.
com, with “Container Contest” in the subject line, or mail
to Container Contest, P.O. Box 34088, Seattle, WA 98124.
No purchase or payment of any kind is necessary to enter or win this
giveaway. Purchase will not improve an individual’s chances of winning. Void where prohibited. Open to legal residents of the U.S. (except
Puerto Rico) who are age 18 or older at the time of entry. One entry per
MARCH 2012 ;e Costco Connection 31
in dwarf varieties, perfect for small spaces.
As with any garden, you must consider
sunlight. “Black mondo grass is a great option
for balconies lacking sunlight,” says
Richardson. Wise suggests planting a ‘Crimson
Queen’ Japanese maple, with perennials, such
as heuchera, or annual flowers, such as impatiens, underneath. Low-maintenance plants
include succulents such as cacti and tropical
plants such as mandevilla, allamanda or crotons. Moss-Sprague encourages edible gardens. Cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, carrots,
beets, leeks, celery, salad greens, tomatoes,
potatoes and herbs all grow well in containers.
Fortunately, there’s no right or wrong
answer when it comes to choosing containers,
“it’s just a matter of matching the plant with a
pot that is large enough, but not too large, for
the plant’s root system,” says Richardson. Any
size or shape can work, as well as most materials, adds Moss-Sprague, as long as the proportions match. Fiberglass or plastic pots,
which are lighter and easier to maneuver, if
necessary, are good choices for balconies.
When it comes to combining multiple
plants in one pot, make sure all the plants
sharing a pot require similar sun and water-
ing requirements. Moss-Sprague agrees:
“It’ll be much easier to maintain them if
[plants] are grouped according to shared
characteristics and growing condition pref-
erences,” she says. “For example, basil, oreg-
ano, thyme, chives and rosemary happily
share space together.”
For an attractive appearance, try this uni-
versally accepted gardening formula: thriller,
filler, spiller. Combine a “thriller” plant with