Container Gardens and the Back Deck

Well, it has been a frightfully dry and hot summer this year in the Northeast making it especially hard to keep gardens thriving and growing well.  Add to that, a week away on vacation and the fact that I have every pesky critter known to a gardener in my yard, such as deer, woodchucks, squirrels, chipmunks and rabbits, and you will see why I am so thankful for my container gardens.  They have saved my butt, garden-wise, this summer, as they have often done in years past.  I am a real proponent of the container garden and truly enjoy creating new container designs every year.

If you haven't figured it out before now, I like the non-structured look of gardens most of the time.  I like the mix of colors, textures and form.  However, even at this late stage of the summer I am toying with the idea of creating one more container that is more conventional and uniform in style.  We'll see if I have time to get to that or not but, it's always fun to think about new ideas.
There are two identical flower boxes on my deck to create continuity of design.  
Portulaca is a great drought-resistance plant. Perfect for my hot, hot back deck.
I found these plants at a local farm stand and just loved the colors and textures.

Using container gardens is a great way to create a pretty landscape on your deck.
I believe the tall plant in this flower box is called gaura.  I have also added variegated verbena to the mix.  I just recently put this container garden together.  Hopefully, the flowers will fill in soon.
 This is my little herb garden.  I love having basil available to make caprese salad, a favorite of my husband.  I like to mix in flowers to the herb garden, as well, to add a little color.
 In the background you can see sweet pea vines.  I am hoping against all hope that they might actually blossom.  At the very least, I am hoping the vines grow up the little trellis :).

 So far, the petunias are staying healthy.  Yay! They often get eaten by some kind of bug.  Another pest in my garden!  

 This is another feeble attempt of mine.  I am trying to grow morning glories on the lattice under the deck.  It's been a bit challenging with the chipmunks or squirrels, not sure which, digging in the dirt  but, the morning glories are finally attaching themselves to the lattice which is what I wanted.
 Back to the containers--I planted nasturtium seeds in this flower pot.  I like doing that because by the end of the summer I have beautiful orange blossoms all over the place!
 Finally, I have a few other container gardens in other areas of my yard.  This one is on my side deck and consists of red begonias and an orange/yellow mini cosmos.  I just threw some extra plants I had leftover from my May/June plantings in a pot because I didn't know what to do with them.  As it turns out this container has actually become one of my favorites this summer.
 These two large pots flank each side of my front door.  

Here are some examples of flower boxes and containers from seasons past.  They seemed to turn out especially well so, I thought I would share them with you.

 These were more of the conventional style.

As the summer moves forward I will continue to battle on with my garden in spite of the heat, dought and pesky animals.  What can I say?  Once a gardener, always a gardener, in spite of everything!

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