Category Archives: Container planting

Colourful containers

Now is the time to put together some plants for containers and hanging baskets. When you walk into a nursery or garden centre right now the choice can be so overwhelming. It really is a good idea to think about your scheme and plan what you want BEFORE you go shopping.
Where are the containers going to be? is it a sunny or shady area? What colour are the containers? Could you reflect the colour of the container in the colour of the bedding plants you are going to buy?
I recommend colours at the cold end of the spectrum – the Blues violets mauves lime greens and white that just sing out in shady areas and bright reds, orange, yellows vibrant pinks look fabulous in sunnier spots. (Be careful combining yellow and pink as only the right shades of each can work well together)
When you get to the shop always check the label to see if the plants will tolerate partial shade, as some just won’t flourish without sun.
Think about if you will be away for a couple of weeks in the summer. If you are, and your plants won’t get watered, stick with Pelargoniums and they will still be happy and flowering when you get home.
The front of my home faces North, so my palette of plants is limited. However that does mean I can enjoy the greens white and blues all the more! Here is my best combination for such a spot:
Lysimachia – for the trailing plant
Petunia – lime green (needs regular dead-heading)
Nicotiana – Green or white flowers, up standing but not too tall.
Lobelia – white and blue

Positive rewards from an impromptu Spring Clean

As I was clearing out some old paperwork this weekend, I stumbled upon an old folder of planting ideas that took my fancy several years ago.  Usually I find articles and ideas like this in August or November when nothing can be done about it, but as it happens it must have been my lucky weekend

I have no shame, this is my  borrowed inspiration for a summer pot display..  I stumbled across Jasminum officinale Fiona Sunrise at my local nursery and ordered the seeds of Rhodochiton atrosanguineus on-line.  If I can create a pot that looks as good as this by the end of summer I will be delighted:


Tulips – let’s end on a high

Queen of night.. stunning by the front door

Queen of night.. stunning by the front door

Tulipa Merlot with Cummins Forget-me-nots and grape hyacinths

Tulipa Merlot with Cummins, forget-me-nots and grape hyacinths

Bottom right a close-up of Tulipa Cummins - just gorgeous

Bottom right a close-up of Tulipa Cummins – just gorgeous

This is it in Monet's garden
This is it in Monet’s garden – you can’t go wrong!


The Perfect Pot for a Primrose

Viva Viola!



A dramatic hanging basket with the gorgeous orange viola taking centre stage.  The two grasses are Hakonechloa macra and Isolepsis.

Sadly it looked so good it was stolen



A black container with a contemporary feel.  Simply picking up the colour of the container in the dark purple viola flowers and Narcissi leaves as the complimentary colour.  Luckily I managed to hold onto these.

By the front Door



Gorgeous blue Muscari are being pushed up by the Tulip leaves growing from below to form a delightful dome shape, in this terracotta planter.

Although it is too late to plant up a container with bulbs like this for Spring, there are summer bulbs you can plant NOW which will flower this year.  I have just treated ourselves to some Lilies which I have completely fallen in love with in the last couple of years.  It is time to leaf through those plant catalogues or head up to a garden centre and treat yourselves too.

Lilium regale is the traditional English country garden variety. Tall, white, scented, trumpet flower with a purple hue to the bud. You won’t be disappointed by this stunning and statuesque plant which will just look better with more blooms every year.

As always there are many other varieties to choose. I have bought L. ‘Zambesi’, an Oriental x Trumpet scented lily and another tall  orange Species lily L. ‘Henryi’ – both flowering in July and I can’t wait.

Spring in a basket, a stunning combination of scent and colour

IMG_1557Why not plant up a hanging basket with

1 x Daphne odora ‘Aureomarginata’ – a young shrub with wonderfully scented pink flowers, 2 x White Anemone blanda – also romantically known as ‘Windflowers’, 3 x Fritillaria meleagris – a spring flowering bulb known as the ‘snakes head’  fritillary due to the scale-like patterns on the petals.

After they have gone over this year, plant them in a group in the garden and enjoy them  year after year after year….