Amazon Iron – Crazy about Containers

So it’s March and I’ve been checking out posts on Pinterest. Now I’m getting eager to plant my containers. Oh I love spring when the first day to play in the soil arrives. Sunshine, soil and new growth warm my soul.

At this time of year I alway go back over the arrangements I have done in the past. Taking photos of all arrangements is so very important. I have seen more mistakes and masterful creations in photos than in the real versions. It’s also important to go back and remember which arrangements make me smile.

Soft and calm

I plan over 200 container arrangements in a season for the Calgary area and have great success with all types of combinations.The best part is I also do maintenance on these arrangements throughout the summer. This allows me the opportunity to monitor what works well and what fails. I always like to try new plants from the industry as well.

Small containers can be a challenge as a 12″ liner does not have a lot of space for a height element. This extra small obelisk works fabulous as it takes no root space and will last forever. It will also challenge the designer to come up with more creative arrangements every season.

HotI personally like combinations that are vibrant and hot. This arrangement happened by chance as the geraniums were marked red in the green house and turned out pink. The Dahlia was not labelled and so I had no idea what the color would be. I have since come to love orange, red, pink and chartreuse together in arrangements.

Mother nature really hasn’t created any color combinations that don’t work well together so step outside the box and play. I have found over the years that some of my best arrangements are the ones that had less of a plan.

When I plan a container I always start with the height element as these are theĀ biggest item and can make or break a design. Dahlias and cannas are my favorite height elements in this area. I do use grasses as well but I always smile when I see the dahlia and canna blooms. When using dahlias always be prepared to support them as they grow. This one is being supported by three corkscrews.

Stepping down the height grade is the next choice. Marguerites are a great second height for both dahlias and cannas but really do require maintenance. Some of the medium grasses work as well.

Then comes the body of the container and I love geraniums. There are so many varieties out there in the geranium world and once geraniums start to bloom they are constant for the season. Today we have so many geraniums that have fabulous foliage as well and this can be used as a statement in an arrangement.

Now the trailers. I love the drape over containers and tend to be heavy-handed with the amount of trailers I use. The best part of having too many plants is when the first frost hits only the top layer dies the plants underneath are protected. I would say petunias, german ivy and trailing alyssum are my most favorite trailers. Oh but what about lobelia, lotus vine, verbena and creeping bamboo. See that is why I love planting so many containers I don’t have to set limits I just go ahead and use all the wonderful annuals I like!


Amazon Iron – Calgary based iron artisan!

I’ve been out in the shop a lot over the past weeks creating obelisks, flat spirals, corkscrews and flop bars for the Calgary Horticultural Society Garden Show April 14 and 15th. As I was grinding away it dawned on me that I have become an artisan. It made me smile and wonder at the way life turns out.

Having spent the first part of my life in offices I made a leap and became a Horticulturalist thirteen years ago. What an amazing journey that has been. I quickly turned my passion for gardening into an amazing career in Garden Essentials.

Two years ago, due to a change of life in two Calgary women, I purchased Amazon Iron. I have used this product for about ten years in my garden and my client’s gardens. I love the durability, year round appeal and functionality of these essential garden supports. I never thought one day I would actually be creating these beautiful garden decorations. The best part is I actually enjoy chopping and grinding the iron not so much the bending although I’m getting better all the time.

I am now becoming more familiar with the way the iron I use bends and the possible ways to use it in different projects. With this knowledge, I have had a lot of fun playing with new ideas. What a fabulous way for a gardener to keep the creative juices flowing in the winter!

Container gardening

Globe topiary in small container

I would love to see how you have used Amazon Iron in your own gardens and so I invite you to submit photos to the contest currently running on our Facebook page. I know that there are a lot of faithful customers to Amazon Iron and I would love to open a dialogue with you on your favorite product, most creative use of one of the plant supports and ideas for items that would make your garden even better.

Just booked into Calgary Seedy Saturday March 17 come on down and check it out.

Looking forward to hearing from all you hardy gardeners waiting for spring.