Strawberry Jars

Strawberry jars are clay or ceramic containers available in numerous sizes with varying numbers of planting pockets in their sides. They can bring a garden anywhere--an herb garden to the front porch, fragrance to the deck, foliage to a dinner party. Strawberry jars are not just for strawberry plants, impatiens or begonias as we so often see.

Strawberry jars filled with herbs are quite attractive. Plant the jar with a variety of herbs such as parsley, chives, sage, and thyme. Basils, marjoram, and oregano can be used as well. Place the jar in a sunny location right off the kitchen and you can have fresh herbs for use in many cooking creations.

Strawberry Jar Do you have a hot sunny deck or pool area? Try a strawberry jar filled with different varieties of sedum. Many sedums are creeping plants with green, bicolored, or tricolored foliage. Plants bloom with yellow, red, or white flowers. They thrive in hot dry places so this jar will prosper even with infrequent watering and neglect.

For a table in the shade, try a small strawberry jar filled with a variety of ivies as a centerpiece. Ivies grow vigorously with trailing branches creating an interesting centerpiece. Other plants for a shaded strawberry jars include browallia, lobelia, and impatiens. Choose bright colors or white to lighten up shady areas.

How about a jar for fragrance? Heliotrope, sweet alyssum, lemon verbena, creeping thyme and miniature carnations are some of the most fragrant flowers in the garden. A sunny spot intensifies the fragrance. Trim plants in mid-summer to encourage a second flush of bloom in late summer.

When planting your strawberry jars, start with small, young plants. They are easier to fit into the plant pockets and their root systems will quickly spread inside the container. Use a well drained potting soil for the planting medium. For easy care, mix a time-release fertilizer into the soil when planting. One dose will probably last the entire summer. As with many plants in containers, be sure to keep spent flowers removed as well as unattractive leaves. Pinch plants back to produce a bushier plant. Water regularly (probably daily) for best results.

Strawberry jars have been popular for many years. With a little imagination, they can take on a whole new look in the landscape.

This article originally appeared in the April 28, 1995 issue, p. 51.


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