Are any of you embarrassed by number of containers?

greyandamyApril 16, 2011

I had a lot of plants overwintered in basement. Or house. A few (more than a few) I started from seed. Then I had to move some to protect from deer. Now I have over 90 containers of various sizes (some quite small, like 16oz cups) scattered through yard (some in house)...

Some neighbors stop and stare. Some ask if I'm having a plant sale. I try to keep my containers hidden. The grounds been too wet to be workable, and I haven't decided yet what goes where.

But are any of you embarraseed by how many containers you have? Maybe if all my containers matched... But I hate to draw attention... Maybe I'm a plant hoarder, I thought...

But trying to keep containers somewhat hidden until I find spots in ground. Hard when there's so many that walk by. They aren't UGLY containers, some are just leftovers from recycling, old pots, etc... plastic...

I hate being asked if I'm selling, or being noticed.. like this.. any of you like this??

I see others with lots of containers out (not full of plants yet) but the containers are matching, nice, expensive)...

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kemistry(8 - Oregon)

Nothing to be embarrassed about. Your neighbors can stare, but you are the one that's having all the fun. Keep growing! ;)

    Bookmark   April 16, 2011 at 3:12PM
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albert_135(Sunset 2 or 3)

Each year I become increasing embarrassed by the number of containers I have. This year I am down to five (5).

    Bookmark   April 16, 2011 at 4:00PM
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It's nothing to be embarrassed about. If I saw someone with over a hundred containers in their garden I don't think I would look judge them - in fact I would be impressed more than anything.

90 isn't that bad. Sounds like the number I have (actually no, I'm sure there are in fact more than 90 now that I think about it).

    Bookmark   April 16, 2011 at 5:04PM
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Nope... not in the least. I'd be embarrassed if it were not containers, but beer cans strewn everywhere, instead... or something equally as trashy. But containers? Embarrassing? Not at all.

I gain a lot of enjoyment and relaxation from my gardening hobby. I don't tell the neighbors what they can collect and keep on their lawns, so to be blunt, it's none of their business what I collect and keep on mine. And to be honest, I'm pleased that the view offered is one of beautiful blooms that slows traffic as people ooh and ahh... much preferable to a tsk, tsk, tsk if the yard were filled with empty liquor bottles or something equally disgusting.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2011 at 6:46PM
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Maybe these folks are gawking b/c they're interested in horticulture/gardening too. Just looking over to see what you're growing. Maybe get some tips. Buy some of the plants if you're selling. Just checking it all out.

My husband and I are the gawkers. When a neighbor is planting just about anything, we tend to check it out. We're new homeowners with limited landscaping/gardening knowledge. We've learned from reading books and watching t.v. shows, but nothing beats having a front row seat of how it's done.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2011 at 8:46PM
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Yeah I feel a little awkward about it, too. Once I got started it was easy to just keep going; next thing you know your neighbors are looking at you funny.

There are many legit reasons we start using them, but it can go overboard quickly.

Seedlings though, nothing to be ashamed about that.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2011 at 9:11PM
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newgen(9 Central California)

I'd be very embarrassed IF the containers were empty and in stacks! I'd be proud and happy if each of them had a plant growing inside.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2011 at 12:44AM
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I try and and not leave any empty containers in view for my own satisfaction. It distracts from the beauty of my yard and flower beds.

Who cares what the neighbors think? Then of course, we do care when we want to show our plants off!

    Bookmark   April 17, 2011 at 12:25PM
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edweather(Zone 5a/b Central NY)

They might smile at some of my weird looking containers, but they won't be laughing a the tomatoes!

    Bookmark   April 17, 2011 at 1:07PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

At any given time in June - I have at least 100 containers visible from the road in front of my house, and at least another 200 in the back that AREN'T visible. None in front are in nursery cans or makeshift containers, but many are in old terra cotta pots. I've really never had anything but positive comments about the flowery and woody menagerie I maintain, but I guess you need to take a holistic view of what others are seeing. I suppose it's like food - the presentation aspect can be very important.

We're all different. Some of us are growing food for the table & don't care much about presentation or what anyone thinks. Others are striving to present something of beauty that we can both enjoy ourselves and share with passersby for their appreciation. There really isn't any clear right or wrong approach, just different ways of ordering our priorities.

I thought about this for a moment & decided that I would use guilt as my own personal standard. If I felt at all guilty about how my yard looked, then I suppose I would feel personally obligated to eliminate that feeling by sprucing up until that feeling was eliminated. That's just me - I'm not suggesting that my standards should be universally applied, but I can't help but think that what I said would prolly resonate well w/a good % of readers. Just me musing on a windy, snowy, philosophical, and hobbled-foot Sunday. ;-)


    Bookmark   April 17, 2011 at 2:01PM
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I personally wouldn't be embarrassed at all unless the pots were all empty. Then I'd hide them.

In my opinion it does this earth good to have the plants you grow, so who cares what the neighbours think? They should be growing things, too. Their yards probably aren't nearly as beautiful as yours.

My biggest worry would be someone coming along and stealing all your beautiful plants =:(

BTW I once had a neighbour who hated trees. Said they were a nuisance. That just made me plant more of them, LOL!

    Bookmark   April 17, 2011 at 2:16PM
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You questioning the look is sufficient to think you might not like what you are doing and want confirmation that others are like you.....and make your property look too busy.

Contaienrs can do that....with so many, where to put them and if that causes them to be part of the property that otherwise would be grass lawn, garden beds and such, then yes....containers where they take over the landscape, are too many and should be either disregarded, made prsents of to neighbors or otherwise just not planted.

Containers can be arranged so that they assume the look of a tree....I myself, do a pyramid of pots beside a support on the driveway. The colorful display of begonia and pelargonium does strike a nice touch. But, where numbers matter, my pyramid has about a dozen pots...I think far less than what you put out.

Looking back from the street, would you think, if you were just passing, that your property looks too, too much...and might a corner look better with less.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2011 at 5:44PM
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I think my neighbors are a little weirded out by the time I spend sitting with a cup of coffee checking the bottoms of all my pepper leaves every morning. They must think I am so neurotic.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2011 at 11:02PM
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delaware(Z7 DE)

I container garden in my back yard that is behind a stockade fence and I ony have the containers on a 30' X 11' concrete patio since I don' t want to have to weedshack around them in the grass. The fun thing has been to maximize the number of containers by going vertical with varyinging heights of cinderblock "tables." I also took apart several 5 tier plastic sheves to make 1 tier, 2 tier, 3 tier and 4 tier tables. I was afraid it would look a little hillbilly but even just sitting there with just the potting mix and seedlings it looks great.

EEKSI have at least 75 containers for the patio but it easily could be more since I'm afraid to count them and besides that it's only March.

Without realizing it I made an accessible garden for the 66 year old that I am who has too much arthritis to bend over constantly or walk very far.

As soon as I get the patio swing/hammock put together I'll post some photos.

Container gardens rock!

    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 7:29PM
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I have a 4 acre property. House is near the back. From the road, people can only see vegetable gardens and fruit trees as well as native trees. I keep pots near the house. The interesting part is, when we have guests over, the potted plants which are mostly vegetables such as peppers are the ones creating conversation. They don't care about the fruit trees, vegetable garden in ground, raised beds or any of that. They are always attracted to my ugly black pots and asking how the heck I got ripe peppers in July. I do have interesting ways of keeping them such as the free standing staircase I built just for pots to sit on.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 8:28AM
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JessicaBe(5-6 Central Ohio)

I am going to do container roses and and set some on the porch and the back yard but the hubby said no that he doesn't want roses everywhere but to bad he collects stuff all the time like a huge wooden gun crate that can hold 20 mosin nagants is sitting in the kitchen that a friend gave him... I mean really what in the world are you going to do with that!!! and not to mention all the computer stuff and RC parts thats downstairs..... sooo I am going to have a nice small yard.... and he doesn't know it yet hehehe

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 9:08AM
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just plant some roses in that crate LOL...

I have lots of pots just like most of you, probably 200, maybe few more. Can't help but rescue any seedling, and try out cutting from anything I can get my hands on.

Many of the people who ask about the pots are really interested to get some plants - some offer to buy, some expect free since you have so many.
They also think that I know a lot about plants & ask for advice (I wish I knew a lot-but always share whatever my experience is and always ask about their). I have a neighbour who came to ask for some of my & offered to exchange with some of his - that was great.

I try to arrange ones in the front into nicer-looking groupings, keep it to fewer, and also use nice pots/urns. Also build some wooden planters - I usually arrange few plants in their own pots inside. You can change the "display" easily as the seasons change and the wooden planter lasts much longer. You can never satisfy everybodys taste, so I try to keep it as neat as I can (not always successful...) I do get lots of compliments (but who knows what they are really thinking?).
The backyard is full of mostly plastic pots, I still try to arrange them as nice as I can, using shelves, hanging them, but moving them around often. And repotting as they grow bigger, and dividing, and getting more. So it is always work in progress...

Would love to have larger property, but here in the city they don't come like that (at reasonable price, that is! - typical lot in my residential area is only 50x125', and even that you have to pay over 600k for).
So moving out of city is the only solution here...small house, big garden.


    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 9:41AM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

I am thankful that my growing yard is only visible from the air, as I would not want to always be concerned about the looks. I have between 3 and 5 hundred one gallon up to 15 gallon nursery containers visible. My only concern is they must be available, each one separately. Al

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 9:43AM
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Between 3 and 5 HUNDRED? You must be retired or a business person. I can't imagine taking care of that many with it being a full time job.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 10:36AM
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I think collecting different containers can be an obsession or a bit of a habit!

I find myself always on the prowl at every garden center at every corner, and even yard sales for a pot that is unique looking, one that I do not have, preferrably a cool looking clay one, one hard to find..Lol

That means every time I see one that catches my eye, I buy it, and I always say to myself.."there must be a plant that will look great in that one".

Well, after cleaning the garage out over the past week, I ended up counting well over 100, and still I have yet to stick one of my plants in them. You should see how beautiful there are, all lined up against my driveway
A bunch of 'emmpty' clay pots in differnt designs, many made in Italy and Korea, all empty.
My garage was so messy and everything scattered about hidden, that I never realized that I bought double and triple of the same

Time to do some serious repotting...
One upside to all of this? Those same pots have tripled in price since I bought them.


    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 3:16PM
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rina_ of your pots Mike? please?

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 4:00PM
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Oh goodness, how Maybe soon...:-)


    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 4:02PM
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I have 40+ black nursery pots but they are all the same size so they look ok due to uniformity.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 6:54PM
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Interesting discussion, but I'd love to see some pictures!

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 7:28PM
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lindasewandsew(So Cal 9)

Here's a link to my friend, Edna's yard. It's just an average size tract home yard, but chock full of pots, succulents and rusty stuff. I took them over a long time, so you'll see the same ones in some photos. I also have loads of pots. Never occured to me to be embarrassed about having them, lol. We're building a potting bench to hold some of them and will post photos when it's finished, likely in a month or two. Linda

Here is a link that might be useful: Edna's Garden

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 2:50AM
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JessicaBe(5-6 Central Ohio)

Rina... hahaha!!! Thats and idea at least we can put it to good use :)

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 7:22AM
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Now, Edna's yard is nothing to be embarrassed about! It's beautiful!

Now I am talking a bunch of containers hanging around doing nothing but occupying
I shall have to show you some of my mess soon.


    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 8:13AM
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They have embarrassed my boyfriend in the past even though they are all in the back yard. I was using sterilite bins full of potting soil at the time to grow stuff. He thought they were "ghetto" looking.

No, I did not get rid of the boyfriend, but did make him build me some huge, beautiful redwood containers to garden in :)


    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 4:39PM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hi Everyone,

Love this thread!!!

I will admit that i also am embarrassed at my number of containers only when i bring them outside for the summer. They are usually placed around the deck and around the backyard and seem to fit in nicely when arranged. However, when they are brought outside for the start of the season and just placed on the deck to enjoy the sunshine...i realize that i do have to many trees in containers (Plumeria) OMG..did i just say that? No..i didn't. Once i get them in place, they will look all neat and in line. But looking outside where my DH and other family members look, they give me the "look" like its enough.. : )


Ok, some of you talk about the neighbors watching you. My neighbors probably love to see me come home at night (all hours) and the first thing i do when i get home is to go and check on my trees and plants. Yes..i will admit that i do go outside and use the flashlight and "inspect" my trees! Most plant people know what i mean and completly understand this nighttime routine! : ) When you are away for a few days at a time, things can change in the plant world. I can notice all sorts of things when i do my i dont worry about containers..neighbors or anything that will make me embarrassed about my plants and containers. I am addicted ....

My empty containers are on the side of my house so they cannot be seen from the street or even from the neighbors behind me. The neighbors that see my potted containers really enjoy the view and would miss the activity that they see during the summer. They know when im home!!

Enjoy the wonderful world of container growing!!!

Take care,


    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 7:19PM
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How embarrassing is this? lol And they keep on coming.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 9:03AM
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Oh Laura! You are way too funny!lolol

Yup! The first thing I do when I get home and get up is go and check the plants! My neighbors laugh at me when I am going to the greenhouse with my flashlight on walking about the yard, and when I am moving around plants at 430 a..m. before I head off to work.

Now, that I have finally completing organizing most pots, now it's time to play Russian roulette with the cold temps about to pounce upon us. 25 tomorrow night! Now I am going to loose all my flowers, fresh growth, and buds on all my in-ground plants."-(


    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 9:09AM
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Maggie M.(z7 Sunset7 CA Sierra Foothills)

You mean, before they met you the neighbors all referred to you as "the crazy plant lady" because you dug up, potted and moved with you as many plants as you possibly could? Of course, after getting to know you, they then decide that going forward they must introduce you to everyone around town as their "crazy plant lady" neighbor. A moniker I'm considering emblazoning across a tshirt surrounded by some of my better specimens.

Mike - watch out, we're coming by to nab some of those gorgeous clay specimens (ok, maybe not, but wow).

I keep meaning to drop the unplanted black nursery pots to a local nursery that will take them so I won't be tempted to plant up into them (they were free extras at Diablo Valley College when I was moving - absolutely necessary for the plant migration of the household move).

One neighbor up the hill from me has the "ugly" view on her drive down her hillside - she can see all the refilled bags from potting soil, peat or bark I've kept from old soil of repotting plants to mix into the beds I must built on my "unlandscaped" plot of rocky land. For everyone else, it and the "ugly" pots are hidden behind a shed.

I had my winter sowing milk jugs at the end of the driveway one year but have since relegated them to the invisible to everyone but same neighbor (she knows my secrets :-) back deck.

Here is a link that might be useful: My Blog

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 7:45PM
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How can I be embarrassed by the containers in my backyard when I have corn in the front yard of my rowhome?

Actually, this year it will be on the side...but there will still be veggies out front. Not as much as I would like though, I haven't committed to digging up all the grass just yet.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 8:05PM
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Mike, that looks like my garage! Pots and tools and accessories stacked everywhere! I've got the poor garages stuffed with dormant plants over winter. Now is when I start hauling everything out.

We're really rural, so there isn't much traffic... but it's kind of cool when everything is in bloom, and the local school bus driver stops to show the kids our rose gardens!

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 10:13AM
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Right? Now that is a garage in disarry! That is what happens after months of neglect and a crappy foot!lol

I think the animals got inside and toppled everything over. Oh the work I have cut out before me!

Come on Sub, dig it That's what I did. My green patch is getting smaller and smaller. So small, that my Father laughed when he saw I had a seated rider lawn mower in there too.

Faery...Way to funny. When I get some time later, I shall have to take a peek at your blog.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2012 at 1:15PM
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