Instant Landscape Makeover

If your yard is suffering from neglect, poor soil or is just ugly in general, find a way to distract the eye from the detracting areas of the yard and focus on something else.  The best way to do this is to add a distraction, an attractive distraction. 

Containers of overflowing flowers could be just the ticket to do this if your budget or time doesn’t allow for a landscaping makeover. Container gardening is not just for urban dwellings with no yard, it can enhance any old place it chooses.  A barren porch or a muddy front yard can be forgiven, or even over-looked with a strategically placed container or hanging basket.

Containers from a nursery or big box store can cost big – anywhere from $20 - $100.  For a budget solution to your landscaping challenges, make your own garden containers to save money for bigger landscaping projects – like sodding the offending area or seeding the lawn.

Containers to Use


Containers themselves can be expensive, you may want to look for alternatives if your budget is limited.  Look around your house to see if you have anything that might work.  Perhaps a huge copper pot from the kitchen?  A large crock that is cracked or chipped?  An old wooden bucket or wheelbarrow?

If you have nothing that fits the bill, purchase containers that are lightweight and movable.  I’m usually anti-faux materials, but newer, large containers come in a lightweight fiberglass that you literally can’t distinguish from its heavier lookalike.  Try to hit end of the season sales to prepare for next season. 

Make sure the container has a drainage method, standing water promotes root rot.   If your container does not have drainage,  make some, either by drilling small holes in the base or adding something in the base to absorb or hold excess water.  I’ve used mulch in the past, but it’s not the best option, but it sure does take up lower space in the container to help save on potting soil.


Potting soil is best for container gardening, it helps give needed nutrients and fertilizer to plants.  There are even soils that help hold moisture in the container and ‘water’ when necessary.  These specialty soils cost a little more than typical topsoil, but they really do yield better and larger blooms, so may worth the investment.


Consider the location of the pot, although it’s portable, will you be using it in sunny or shady areas?  Hanging baskets on the porch can be sunlight starved, so shade plants are best  if direct sunlight is lacking.  Combine plants that like the same amount sun – shade plants with shade plants and full sun plants with full sun plants.  You’ll also want to combine plants for interest, including trailing plants spilling over the side, an upright middle plant for balance. 

Using a strategically placed large container, a hanging basket  or a grouping of smaller containers for impact will become the new focal point for your yard to provide a distraction from problem areas.