April Showers and May Flowers

Author: Alecia Pirulis


As I stood on my back deck on Saturday and surveyed the carnage of empty pots and remnants of long-dead plants, the spring planting bug took hold. ‘Tis the season for tulips, daffodils, petunias, and lilies. It’s time to clear away the wreckage left behind by a bitterly cold winter and chase away the grey with plenty of reds, oranges, purples, yellows, and greens.

I’ll admit I am not known for having a green thumb. In fact, I often forget all about the pots of plants on my deck when the summer heat takes hold and it is just too hot to do anything more outdoors than float in the pool. But until then, I’ll hold the colors of the season in my hands, plant them in varying sizes of containers with giddy excitement, and stand back to marvel at how these beautiful plants make my deck a vibrant and welcoming place to be.

When putting together a container garden, choose plants with similar water and sunlight needs. If your deck or patio is a shady location, put together several shade-loving plants. Or, if sun shines on your space most of the day, a selection of sun-loving flowers are better. As long as the plants you choose all require similar care, you can mix taller plants or even an ornamental tree with smaller greenery, flowering vines, and even edible plants, such as thyme.

Feed and water your container plants often. I water mine daily and use a mix of plant food and water once a week. If you don’t have planters, find some less traditional containers such as a bucket, an urn, a birdbath, a barrel, a wheelbarrow, or even tea cups and tea pots. Unusual and unexpected containers will add a hint of whimsy to your garden and make it that much more interesting.

If you are putting your plants in your sun room or below a sunny window, go ahead and plant now. If you are arranging your pots on a back deck or patio, be sure to check your area’s best time to plant – wait until after the final threat of frost. Then, go out and play in the dirt! I like mixing bold colors together, such as bright red, purple, and yellow. Or, choose a more soothing palate of pinks, light greens, and cream. Let your creativity take hold and bring the colors of spring home to your apartment.