may 20 container workshop: win a ticket!

WE CALL IT ‘CONTAINED EXUBERANCE,’ the container-garden workshop that garden designer Bob Hyland and I do in May each year at my garden in the Hudson Valley of New York. You can buy a ticket for one of the two sessions on Sunday May 20 – or enter to win one ($45 value) by commenting on this story about the event, which always sells out….so hurry.

We’ll cover everything from what makes a good potting medium and how to read the labels of those bags at the garden centers, to why not just annuals but also perennials and even trees and shrubs belong in outdoors pots (a philosophy I call, “Hosta pot? Why not?”). Also on the agenda: overwintering tactics for “investment plants” so you can learn to extend your palette without breaking your budget. (Those are some examples in the photo shot by Bob, below, of Phormium and succulent pots in his garden. Want more pot ideas? All my container-garden stories can be browsed at this link.)

And, of course, design and staging of pots in the landscape—speaking of which, the workshop includes a garden walk-through at my place. Featured plants–really special things from Landcraft Environments–will be available for purchase as well, so that registrants can get the raw materials for their own home creations.

‘Contained Exuberance’ Details

SUNDAY, MAY 20, two sessions (9:30-12 noon, and 1:30-4 PM): Contained Exuberance: container-gardening workshop at my garden (Copake Falls, New York–about an hour from Albany, two and a half from Boston and two from the New York City metro area) in collaboration with Bob Hyland of Loomis Creek Gardens design firm. $45 includes beverages and snack. Registration and class details.

How to Enter the Ticket Drawing

WIN ONE OF TWO TICKETS we’re holding back from sale by simply commenting below and telling us one thing you’re planning to put in pots at your place this year. Note: If you want to guarantee a spot at the workshop, go ahead and purchase a ticket and we’ll refund your cost after the drawing, which will be held after entries close at midnight Friday, May 4. Winners will be chosen art random, using the tool from random [dot] org.

  1. It’s my first spring in my new home. I moved in with a hydrangea potted in a large terracotta pot, but I’m dreaming of adding lots more containers, some with rosemary and maybe a few with dwarf apple trees. I also have window boxes to refinish, mount, and plant…. so much potential! I love combining edibles and flowers, and the idea of window boxes overflowing with nasturtium is perfectly delicious. Can’t wait to get started!

  2. Tina Knezevic says:

    This year in my fabulous Shangri-La garden I am planning to put tomatoes, stela d’oro day lily, impatiens, petunias and begonias!

  3. Ellen Zerkin says:

    Except for an extraordinary pale purple clematis and a big pot of lavender, the containers on my deck usually end up being a combination of morning glories from the seeds that fell in the soil the year before and a random assortment of annuals that I my daughter has the florist send on Mother’s Day – begonias, impatiens, marigolds, etc. This year I’d love to be a little more organized and some more planning so that we end up with a beautifully designed container garden that reflects the beauty of my Brooklyn backyard.

  4. Susan says:

    I desperately need container planting ideas for the 2nd floor porch at the back of my studio and the tiny garden area below. It needs to be a visually interesting and welcoming spot for breaks and lunch during summer and fall workshops (and I’ll get to enjoy it on workdays!).

  5. Phyllis says:

    I have just started using herbs in my containers for the past few seasons; so I would love to learn more about using herbs combined with vegetables in containers.
    Thank you, Margaret!

  6. Cynthia A. says:

    I plan to pick up some cathedral bells to run up a trellis and provide a green screen for a bathroom window that is adjacent to our deck. Perhaps your class will have other ideas…
    You always have such great contests-thanks!

  7. Avis M. says:

    Hi Margaret,
    I’m revitalizing plantings that are 19 years old and rather than replace plants I’m going to try groups of containers. I’m also brightening up the color scheme with hot pinks and oranges. Some of the daylillies which are being displaced will go into pots also. I could certainly use some inspiration!

  8. Kelli Page says:

    I am planning on putting into a container a rosemary plant for year round use. I use to have a big beautiful plant, but then the addition occurred and I lost my rosemary. I hope I win.

  9. Vicki says:

    We put our rosemary into containers a couple of years ago so we could try to winter them over indoors. I use rosemary in cooking year-round, and could not imagine a winter without rosemary plants available. After one experience with mold the first winter, in the past couple of years, with careful watering, we have been trouble free and now have 5 very large rosemary pots that go outside in late May and come in before the first hard frost in the fall. On annuals, we like to intermix dusty miller with things like geraniums and impatiens to give them more interest. This year we will be putting gigantic red coleus in pots by our front steps. The possibilities are endless!

  10. Judith Shay says:

    I love using PV winners in my pots on my deck. I gave away my big ficus and hibiscus plants this past fall and will need some great fillers for my deck this year!

  11. Gerri says:

    Decades ago, I was inspired by Christopher Lloyd’s massed containers at the front entrance of Great Dixter. I continue to find container gardening the most satisfying part of my garden.

  12. Judy says:

    last fall I made up a mini half barrel with heuchera, sedum, a mum and a curly annual grass. All but the grass are up and thriving and I really like that I don’t have to redo the entire thing. Still, wouldn’t my ceramic pots crack with the frost if I left them full to overwinter? I can’t be dragging them into the garage because it’s already being used for overwintering my figs!

  13. jennsquared says:

    I’m thinking of putting potatoes in a pot this year. I saw a friend tried it few years back and i thought it was so neat. Plus I think my daughter get a kick out of it and have so much fun when it is time to dig out those potatoes!

  14. Cathy says:

    I work on a few volunteer gardens and have containers in some..it.would be very helpful to learn some different ideas for planting them and keeping them looking good all year round…

  15. Jessica (aka Bellacake) says:

    I would really love to win this! :-)

    I have greatly expanded my garden this year, both in container space and the actual garden bed. I really would like to learn more so I can utilize the container space I have to it’s full potential!

  16. nancy says:

    Neirembergia. If flowers profusely, has an airy yet strong presence and beats the heat. Love those soldier plants!

  17. Julie Neutzman says:

    I replanted all of hosta from freshly planted beds to pots when the deer started eatting them like salad. I found that I really loved them in pots.

  18. Katherine says:

    I planted mini hostas in pots last year after reading your blog. They were magnificent! Now they are coming out again and looking great. This year I added topiary roses and a gardenia tree. I love container gardening since the last owner of my house cemented the backyard, they are necessary to create the tropical look I am after. My banana trees are leafing out as I write- yippee!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.