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I don’t exactly have a green thumb. Really, it is not my fault. Over the past ten years our family has moved in and out of base housing, never giving me the opportunity to establish a garden. I always envied the beautiful flowers some people would plant, but I never desired to spend the money on gardening when I knew we would not stay long. Recently, I have learned of a creative way to use containers to create a cozy garden-like atmosphere that is easily transported.

Any type of container that will hold soil and can be drained well could serve as an eye-catching, decorative planter. Think of the endless possibilities: watering cans, wooden crates, hollow logs, metal coffee pots, flower baskets, picnic baskets, decorative wall baskets, bird cages, wishing wells, your husband’s old combat boots, American flag decorated popcorn tins, or even a water trough. There are no limitations!

Here is what you will need to start your own planter:

1. Various containers (baskets/pots)
2. Potting mix
3. Slow-release fertilizer
4. Variety of flowering plants

Spruce up your containers: Use bright colored paints or age containers by smearing moist sold around the service, letting it dry, and rubbing it gently off. Give a distressed country look to newly painted containers by gently sanding edges. Use your own creativity and let your personality show through!

Prepare your containers: If your container is still watertight, punch some holes in the bottom, add a plastic liner and put a layer of gravel to allow for drainage. If desired, attach twine or rope to the container so that you can hang it.

Fill the containers: Use your potting mix and add some slow-release fertilizer pellets to fill the pot. Plant a variety of colorful flowers, plants, or vegetables. Water frequently and allow your plants the required amount of sunlight.

Display your containers: You should arrange your containers like you would arrange pictures or furniture. Most base housing is the same; small yard with a sidewalk that leads to the front door. Hang containers on the porch, line your sidewalk with hallowed log containers (for a country look), or place a picnic basket container with beautiful colorful flowers on a table next to your front door.

Container planting has proven to be fun and rewarding. You can easily create a beautiful butterfly or vegetable garden that not only makes your base house your home, but is also portable for our ever changing lives! Even if you are moving overseas and not able to bring your flowers, think about what a wonderful good bye gift your well established, one-of-a-kind containers will make for the friends you leave behind!