These play an important role in many London gardens, where all outdoor space is at a premium and for example steps, patios, awkward spaces and shady corners can all be dressed with plants suitable to those conditions.
Whether you choose one specimen or a selection of plants that complement each other, here are a few reliable tips:
- Make sure that your pots have enough drainage. You can often increase drainage, by drilling, punching or carving bigger holes;
- Don’t stick to bedding plants, mix them up with perennials that will, with a bit of annual compost rejuvenation, come back smiling broadly for several years, after which the best of them can be split and planted out in the ground. Heucheras and hostas are perfect candidates;
- Arrange your pots in groups of two or three; they will look more attractive than a row or unplanned clutter;
- Avoid mixing containers made of different materials; plants in plastic pots do not cope well with extremes in temperatures/conditions;
- Select one or more of the plants for each pot to provide height and structure, and select a variation of foliage to lift the planting – small grasses and ferns look wonderful placed around flowering plants and provide contrast in leaf and form;
- And if you are replanting a container, replace the compost- if supplementing existing planting, apply a layer of fresh container compost on the top and/or feed.
Anne Fraser and Caroline Streets
07729 835988 & 07930 876348