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If your garden is anything like mine, it starts to look a little haggard come August. It’s not that I’ve given up on keeping it in tip top condition. I’m watering it regularly, I swear! But all that was once lush and bright has faded, and my spindly petunias and wilting gladiolas are making me sad. That’s why I’m ready to take on another garden project. August and September are the perfect time to refresh your outdoor space with some hardy, colorful plants that will thrive through cooler fall temps. While you’re at your local garden center, swing by the hardware store for some metal trashcans and the limited additional supplies you’ll need for featured blogger Brian Patrick Flynn’s fast and easy mobile container garden how-to. The combination of glossy metal containers and fresh plants is the perfect decoration to wow guests at your up-coming labor day party!

Late Summer Garden FixesClockwise from left: Galvanized mobile container garden :: “Killer Klown” coleus :: “Purple Knight” alternanthera

This project is so easy and involves so few steps that there’s no excuse for an ugly summer or fall patio. My favorite thing about this project is the price — metal trash cans are a fraction of the cost of new containers. I also think the wheels are a major selling point. Do you know how much a container weighs when it’s filled with soil and plants? Being able to push them around to accommodate extra guest seating or a dessert table is absolutely priceless.

What are your best tips for lifting your garden out of the dismal days of late summer?

Share them with us in the comments below.

13 Responses

  1. MaryPA says:

    Starting to repot the herbs in cute pots for winter use.
    Will bring them inside as soon as the north wind blow.
    This way they get a good root system. :D
    P.S. Love your idea!

  2. Briana@HGTV says:

    I do believe those are the prettiest trash cans I've ever seen. BPF strikes again!

  3. Carol Seldin says:

    Recycle, save $ and eliminate unnecessary weight by using soda cans, packing peanuts plastic beverage bottles in bottom of large containers instead of filling entire container with potting soil. The root system doesn't require that much depth. Also, be sure you have provided drainage holes in bottom of can and cover with garden fabric, coffee filters or newspaper to prevent dirt from running out. Those galvanized cans are funky and innovative!

  4. The Vintage Nest says:

    Excellent ideas from Carol. I recycle packing peanuts this way……in the bottom of large potting containers. Works like a charm

  5. Ealgrows says:

    Love the idea of recycling those darn peanuts. Never occurred to me. Thanks for the brilliant idea.

  6. foofie says:

    where is all the color u mention 3 plants-sounds like you're pushing for trash barrels

  7. Mika Webb says:

    What a great idea & I love that they are on wheels, makes them easy to move around the deck for clean up when the leaves begin to fall!

  8. Eleanor S. says:

    Two more colorful Fall perrenials are : Black Eyed Susans (bloom in early August, and are still going strong); the other is Sedum, the tall variety. It has lots of big & tall white heads, which will turn pink very shortly, and can remain like that well into Fall and early Winter.

  9. [...] HGTV How-To: Add Color to Your Late-Summer Garden [...]

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