container gardens
Pots, Kettles, Planters, Baskets

   Plants thrive in tin cans because they hold moisture well. As in plastic pots, roots are distributed through the soil. One professional grower who experimented with geraniums in both tin and clay concluded that the cans gave superior results.

   To make drainage holes in tins, use a hammer and a large nail or spike, punching from the inside out. This will bring the rough edges outside and not interfere with the outward flow of water. The larger the tins, the larger the outlets; with oil drums, make them with a crow bar. Set large tins on bricks or blocks of wood to allow water to pass freely through the drainage holes.

Plastic and Fiberglass Containers

   Besides the smaller sizes, plastic pots are available in various shapes and forms, and in many colors. Indoor gardeners plant them with philodendrons, dracaenas, aloca-sias and other tropicals. In summer, the planters are taken out to shady terraces or porches where they perform double duty.

   Also procurable are containers of other synthetic materials. One, a combination of fiberglass and plastic, known as Fiberglas, is made into window boxes, room dividers, and liners for built-in plant boxes. If custom made, these cost more because they are hand moulded. They are obtainable in white, beige, slate gray, charcoal, turquoise, coral and other colors. Fiberglas containers are light, durable, and unaffected by cold. Nor do they corrode or conduct heat. The surface, which is soft and opaque, has a dull attractive luster that requires no refin-ishing. Non-porous and strong, a container weighing five pounds can hold 150 pounds of soil. In winter, plants suffer little damage from cold, but there is danger of flooding.

Rope and Basket Containers

   Containers made of sisal rope (also used for boat rigging) are fine for seaside gardens. They are a burnished brown due to several coats of liquid plastic. Artistic in appearance, they are not harmed if left out through the winter.

   In the garden, baskets give an Old World look and are effective near cedar or picket fences or on gates. Durable baskets hold soil for planting, but the lightweight types are only intended to cover unattractive tin cans or tar paper pots. Baskets also give weight to plastic pots and lessen the evaporation from clay containers.

Strawberry Barrels

   The strawberry barrel is a delightful novelty for terrace or doorway. If you have not seen a wooden barrel with strawberries growing from openings at the sides, you may know the glazed strawberry jar, with strawberries, sedums, or strawberry begonias planted in the protruding cups.