Planting a Container Garden

Container gardening is the perfect solution if you are limited for space but want to add native and flowering plants to your outdoor space. Pollinator gardens do not need to be on large plots of land. Pots on a patio or deck will bring the pollinators to your back door. Follow the guidelines below to make a small oasis for yourself and pollinators.

Choose Your Container

Choose a container that is aesthetically pleasing, but also one that will offer good drainage and evaporation. Make sure it has a drainage hole and is big enough to give your plants room to grow. Your container can also be a window box. Your pot’s location in a sunny or shady spot will determine the plants you will plant. Group pots together for effect.

Use the Right Kind of Soil

Fill your pot or barrel with soil specifically designed for containers. Dirt from your yard is usually too dense for potted plants. Choose organic soil that is free of pesticides and neonics.

Plant an Herb Garden

Herbs are the perfect plants for small containers. They need very little space to grow. You can snip herbs all summer long and when they flower, the bees will come. Lavender, chives, oregano, thyme, basil, bee balm and rosemary are all native to the Pacific Northwest and will attract lots of pollinators.

Parsley, chives and thyme in a burlap planting bag

Plant a Variety of Plants

Create a stunning container by mixing different types of plants. Use the concept of planting a thriller, some spillers and some fillers. Your thriller will be a tall perennial plant that will be the centerpiece of your container. Spillers are plants that spill over the side of the pot and trail down. Fillers can be annuals that add continuous color to the pot and fill in the gaps.
Pacific Northwest native plants that make great thrillers include Fringe Cup, Oregon Grape, Goatsbeard, Huckleberry, Penstemen and Maidenhair Fern.  
Fillers can include Aster, Wild Ginger, Yarrow, Fleabane, and Nodding Onion (Allium).
Plants that make good spillers are Verbena, Kinnikinnick and Nemesia.

Sources for Container Gardening

Wine Barrel Planters in Woodinville

The Woodinville Partners in Pollination Initiative has placed sixteen wine barrel planters at local businesses around Woodinville. The half barrel planters are made from reclaimed wine barrels. Each barrel is fitted with a watering system that allows the plants to be watered from a water reserve at the bottom of the barrel. This makes for more efficient use of water and less evaporation. Each barrel planter contains a variety of plants, so that there are blooms all summer long to attract pollinators.