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"Every child should have mud pies, grasshoppers, waterbugs, tadpoles, frogs & turtles, elderberries, wild strawberries, acorns, hickory nuts, trees to climb, animals to pet, hayfields, pine cones, rocks to roll, sand, snakes, huckleberries and hornets – and any child who has been deprived of these has been deprived of the best part of his education." -Luther Burbank 1849 - 1926
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Trees for Container Gardens

Trees add height to patio and balcony planting and lend interest to entry ways and courtyards.

Local nurseries stock many varieties of trees suitable for small areas and container growing. Caring for trees is simple. Your nursery professional can advise you on the correct size container and soil mix to use. Be sure the continer has adequate drainage.

Japanese Maples with their delicately cut lobe leaves are excellent accents for semi-shaded entryways. The naturally graceful structures of the Japenese maple and their slow growth habit make them ideal for container growing. There are several named varieties to choose from, with each displaying unique leaf shapes and foliage color.

Dwarf red leafed flowering plum trees do well in sunny locations. The semi-double pink to rose blossoms that cover trees late winter and early spring are followed by colorful reddish purple foliage. The leaves in summer turn a greenish bronze. The branches are slender which give the tree a delicate habit.

Many find it rewarding and a money saver to plant their living Christmas tree in a tub to lend a year round touch of green to the landscape. The tree is brought indoors during the hoidays each year. After the holidays, the tree is returned ot te outdoors.

  • Deodar Cedar "Descanso Dwarf" (compacta) with its silvery gray needels is a popular choice. It is slow growing to fifteen feet in about twenty years.
  • The brght green foliage of dwarf White Spruce makes it an attractive specimen for the patio, too.
  • The exotic Norfolk Island Pine, grown outdoors in mild climates, adds a formal look to courtyards and entries. When grown as a houseplant, it can be moved outdoors for the spring and summer months if given protection rom direct sun and wind.

Dwarf Citrus are always welcome on patios and balconies -- you can snack on oranges and savor tangy limes in refreshing cummertime drinks. Delectable dwarf peaches and nectarines can also be grown n containers.

For more articles about URBAN NATURE

Urban Agriculture for Outdoor Adventure
Earth's Most Successful Life Form
Kudzu Grows a Foot per Day
Meow How? Should I keep my cat indoors?
Habitat on Your Balcony and Garden Patio
Keeping ants in nature where they belong