How to grow bulbs and perennials in containers

Q: How do I grow bulbs and perennials in containers? They are on a deck that receives sun 3/4 of the day. My problem is I live in the Edmonton, Alberta, area. What do I do about the winters to stop the freezing and unfreezing that occurs?

My bulbs all became mushy and rotted, and the perennials did not come back. I live in a mobile park and am not allowed to put in a garden so the deck is all I can use.

I would suggest any containers should generally be as large as possible, as long as the container can still be moved or be able to accommodate the space in question. Make sure containers going into the winter period are somewhat moist but not bone dry or soaking wet.

Choose a location close the building but at ground level. Try not to do this on the deck since cold air could still penetrate from below the container.

Get a piece of chicken wire to create a cylinder to accommodate the container size. Fill the cylinder with dry leaves completely surrounding the container the thicker the better insulation. At the top of the cylinder cap off with a plastic tarp to keep leaves from blowing away and to keep them dry.

All these suggestions should increase the insulation factor for the planter against cold weather.