There’s nothing I relish more than saving time and energy. My friend Heidi feels exactly the same way. She loves to have blooming flowers year-round (we’re lucky that our mild climate allows this) in certain places and especially in front of the fountain she sculpted years ago. She came up with an idea I think is brilliant that allows her to swap out color from one season to the next.
She dug a trough deep enough to hold several one-gallon pots and inserted them empty. Then she surrounded the pots with bark and ran a drip irrigation line across them all. When she is ready for a change she removes the old plants from the pots in the ground, inserts new gallon-sized plants, and voila! She has a new look without any digging.
This method works in window boxes too. It saves you digging up old roots and schlepping bags of soil to replace them—instead, the planting is permanently set up. Heidi prefers using annuals because they have the longest blooming season, but this could work just as easily with perennials. The pots, with drip irrigation set up, stay in place as you swap the annuals out.
Photo: Heidi Hornberger