Summer is upon us and our gardens are bursting with colour. A great way to add interest and depth to patios and smaller spaces, now is a great time to plant up containers to flower throughout the summer months. Hanging baskets, wall mounted containers, patio pots and showstoppers...container planting takes a range of forms and doesn't need to mean high maintenance! Read on for our tips on creating a beautiful container to bring vibrance and colour to your summer garden.
When it comes to choosing a container for your summer plant display, a number of factors come into play. Perhaps most important is simply personal preference: how you want your container to look is a big part of picking one out! Think about colours to complement your home, as well as to work with the plants you plan to include.
As always, practicality is also a consideration. You'll want to consider size: are you planning a large, flamboyant display or a collection or smaller containers – or perhaps both? Larger containers are generally lower maintenance, as their ability to hold more soil means they require less watering. Smaller containers will lose moisture quicker, so ensure these are regularly watered – twice a day should do the trick.
Containers will need to have a sufficient number of holes to allow proper drainage. It is possible to drill holes into your container yourself, however opting for one which is pre-prepared is a much easier option.
Using the right compost to begin with will make taking care of your container plants a breeze. Pick a compost with a water lock system or add water crystals to ensure good levels of moisture, and you'll need to worry less about watering your container plants. When planting up your container it's a good idea to consider the types of plants you'll be using, and try to use those which all require the same growing conditions and soil type.
Tip: We have a multi-purpose compost with a water lock system in the Garden Centre which would work well for a variety of container types.
When choosing plants to fill your container, there's a common formula which many gardeners abide by. Opt for a combination of Thriller, Spiller and Filler for an eye catching and effective display to make an impact in your garden this summer. A large, striking plant constitutes the 'thriller'; your 'spiller' is a plant which will cascade down the sides of your container; and the 'filler' is a smaller plant to fill any space left in your container and boost the appearance of the thriller.
Pre-planted containers can be a brilliant option for those of us short on time, or simply looking for an easy way to brighten up outdoor spaces! We have a good selection in the Garden Centre for anyone looking for a ready-to-go summer container.
Making your own? Containers look stunning in a range of colour schemes and which you choose is down to you. A mixed range of colours can look particularly striking in larger containers, while a few smaller containers filled with just one colour and placed together can also make an impact.
11 Plants For Containers
1. Succulents (including Sempervivums) - a low maintenance option option, succulents and sempervivums require little watering and attention throughout the summer months and make for a lovely display.
2. Dwarf Hydrangeas - with their large, colourful blooms, Hydrangeas are a showstopping container plant. Opt for smaller dwarf varieties to avoid plants which are too large for your containers.
3. Marguerite Daisies - this lovely herbaceous perennial is very attractive to bees and butterflies, and lends a cottage garden feel to summer containers.
4. Geraniums - an easy-to-grow plant, geraniums come in a range of colours and look lovely in hanging baskets.
5. Begonias - this popular summer staple is known for its long flowering season; with the correct care, you can enjoy their colourful blooms until the first frosts.
6. Ferns - great for shady areas, ferns are a brilliant addition to summer containers and make an impression as part of a mixed container or simply planted up alone
7. Patio Roses - Roses are a much loved summer flower and we think they look particularly lovely as a stand alone container plant. Opt for patio roses, and read our guide to roses at Beetham Nurseries for an idea of what we have here in the Garden Centre.
8. Herbs - thyme to sage, mint to rosemary...herbs are the perfect container plants (and make for a delicious addition to summer meals!).
9. Dwarf Dahlias - as with hydrangeas, opt for smaller varieties of Dahlias to avoid plants which are too big.
10. Lavender - perfect for achieving that cottage garden feel, the abundance of purple flowers produced by lavender are known not only for their lovely appearance, but also their strong scent.
11. Strawberries - nothing says summer quite like a freshly picked strawberry, and there's nothing quite like those you've grown yourself!