Choosing plants for your pots
Once you have found the perfect pot and prepared it for planting (see part 1), it is time to pick the plants you want to fill your garden with colour. Here you can create a variety of different sensations simply from choosing plants with different colour, height, texture and flavour (you can eat more than just vegetables!).
Containers have limitless potential when it comes to planting as there is almost no end to the kind of plant that you can grow and the combinations you can create. You have the ability to grow anything from bulbs to herbs, trees to perennials and anything in between. Obviously you can’t grow every single plant in one pot, so here are our five favourites to get your started:
Cosmos – This daisy like flower gives off a country cottage feel and adds a sense of informality to your container. Can be used with plants that have a silver foliage but also work well on their own.
Hosta – This beautiful architectural plant is the perfect combination with foliage but also work well by itself. Remember to keep an eye out for slug damage with this one, as it’s a known favourite with our slimy friends.
Skimmia Japonica – When found in its male form, it has a fantastic glossy leaves and small red buds through the winter. These buds open into beautiful pink white flowers in the spring.
Clematis – Normally sold in upright stakes, these fantastic flowers have a trailing habit that is perfect for pots and containers. Best partnered with bulbs to add colour.
Busy Lizzies – The perfect choice for a garden that benefits from a little bit of shade. With regular deadheading, these plants will flower all the way through summer and autumn.
Add A Splash of Colour
One of the joys of summer planting is the spectacular colour that fills up your garden and show you that your hard work has paid off. Every garden owner has their own preferences on the colour combinations, but if you’re finding it difficult to find your own flair here are some colour combinations for you to try:
Reds & Blues
This colour combination is not very widely used, and it really should. Red and blue are both primary colours which takes us back to our childhood art classes. Maybe add in some complimentary yellow to get the full scope of primary colours.
Plant combinations – red and yellow celosia’s, blue salvia
Pinks & Greys
Mixing pinks and greys is very eye catching because they are not your usual summer colour combination. It can have a sophisticated feel but can be used in pretty much any capacity.
Plant combinations – summer madness petunia’s, dusty miller’s, and white sweet alyssum
Sometimes less is more, and planting a pot of eye catching plants such as the Teddy Bear Sunflowers can be very cost effective and still get the desired colour effect that you want to achieve. This is especially effective if you are using potted plants to fill a gap in your bedding. If you are want to try using monotones, then it is better to use one large container instead of many smaller pots.
Your potted plants can either be shown by themselves or potted with other plants. Putting multiple plants in the same pot can sometimes be a challenge as plants grow to different sizes.
It is important to remember how tall your plants will grow, or whether they will hang over the sides of your pot. You should always place taller plants in the middle or back of the pot, and shorter plants or trailing plants that hang over the side at the front of your pot. This will ensure that your plants receive proper sunlight, and allow you to see the full display.
Your garden doesn’t have to simply comprise of pretty flours and bright colours. Why not think about growing some edibles in your summer garden pots too? Not only will it add to the aesthetic of your garden but will also give you a source of organic food.
Here are five of the best edibles for pots to try this summer:
Peas – Peas are the perfect edible plant because it has both a lovely flower and tender young shoots that you cannot buy at your local shop. When their season is through you are left with a large number of pods and seeds that you can use for next year’s crop.
Arugula – Part of the ‘Rocket’ variety of edible plants, this plant has a spicy kick and a beautiful flower to go with it.
Radish – Radishes are great for using in salads, and grow best in mid to warm soil. This favourite is one of the best for using in everyday salads if you can manage to get a decent harvest.
Cress – This fantastic green has a spicy flavouring and can be eaten pretty much as soon as they sprout from the ground. The longer they are left to grown, the tangier the flavouring.
Giant Red Mustard – This leafy green plant is fantastic for its repeat plant value. After allowing some plants to set seed, you should have a decent output until late summer. You can eat the leaves and the flowers, both of which have a bitter taste.
These have been some tips and tricks to get your super summer pots started. If you like any more information about how get your garden in shape for summer please call Thames Valley Landscapes