How to Plant Flowers in a Wheelbarrow & Other Whimsical Items in Your Garden

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Flowers don't just have to be planted directly in the ground. Plant flowers in a wheelbarrow and other whimsical items with help from a certified horticulturist in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Garden Tips
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Video Transcript

Hi. I'm Donna Emery from Glover Nursery in West Jordan, Utah. Today we're going to talk about planting flowers in unusual containers, like a wheelbarrow. Almost any container can be used to plant flowers in. There are a couple of very important requirements, and the most important one is it must have a drainage hole. You can drill a hole in the bottom of something like this old wheelbarrow, or you can find a container that already has a hole, but you must provide drainage for the plants. The layer of gravel in the bottom of the container is really not enough. Make sure you drill holes. And with the right drill bit and a little patience, you can drill a hole in just about anything: metal, plastic, ceramic, even glass will take a drill bit if you go slowly. So establish some good drainage by drilling several holes and then begin to plant your planter. Before I put things in the dirt, I like to lay it out first, and I'll start with my largest plants: these tall purple majesty millet. And I'll decide to either put them in the middle if I want this to be seen from all sides, or towards the back if it's only going to be seen from one direction. I've chosen a sedum that also has some beautiful dark colors, as well as a potato vine, blacky--I think this one is actually black heart... yeah, that one is black heart--that will spill down the side and distribute that dark color around. Then I'm going to add some contrasting colors and sizes. We've got some Gaillardia, and some Rudbeckia. I chose this one because it has that dark burgundy color as well as the orange, so it's going to help tie everything together. You can mix annuals with perennials and have the arrangement last for a few years. It's not going to be permanent, though; most plants can't live in a container forever. I'm going to further distribute the color around so it balances. I don't have too much yellow in one place, too much maroon in one place. One interesting note for color harmony: blue and purple go with almost anything, so if it doesn't look right to you, add a little bit of blue or purple to it... almost always works. Because this is a rustic farm implement kind of container, I've chosen very casual, country flowers, like the Rudbeckias, day lilies, Coreopsis, yarrow... these are not formal, fussy flowers, so they're just perfect for this rustic container. Not all whimsical containers have to be rustic. Here's a 60s still wastebasket made of plastic that I've used as a planter. Drilled holes in the bottom so the water can drain out. When I have a fussy-patterned container, I like to keep the planting simple, so I just used two packs of annual vinca, and that gives it a nice clean, modern look. Put this in full sun and water daily, and it'll be beautiful all summer long. I'm Donna Emery from Glover Nursery in West Jordan, Utah, and we've been planting flowers in unusual containers.

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