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Published on April 7th, 2015 | by The Town Crier


Even better summer container planting

I am sure that you all had beautiful pots and containers full of colour last year, but since April is the moment when we can start to plant out summer bedding, it seems timely to encourage even greater displays for 2015.

The first decision for planting up a container is whether it will be one-season only or a permanent planting. One season pots are usually filled with soil-less multi-purpose potting compost – a light and free draining material containing 6-8 weeks of nutrients. Permanent planting is better with a soil-based compost – heavier with longer lasting nutrients and more sustainable structure.

Summer displays of half-hardy plants are an opportunity to try out colours and combinations without committing your garden to them for years to come. Maybe your garden is tastefully colour schemed and you just fancy a wild splash while the sun shines. Temporary summer container planting should be big and bold using tender plants that remind of us holidays in hotter climes until they succumb to the first frost in October (and are recycled onto the compost heap).

Choose 2 or 3 colours that contrast or go for all shades of a single colour: even a large container struggles to look coherent with the rainbow effect.

Foliage can provide as much colour and shape as the flowers and it lasts the whole summer.

Add height at the centre of the arrangement with a statement plant such as a Canna lily, tall Dahlia or summer flowering Asiatic or Oriental Lilies.

Extend the display with plants trailing over the pot: Petunias, Begonias & ivy-leaved Pelargonium for flowers, Glechoma & Helichrysum for foliage.

Go on, be brave this summer. I dare you!

Alison Marsden lives in Southborough and provides advice to gardeners as well as teaching for Kent Adult Education Services.
There is no long term commitment – just all the advice you need an hour at a time.
Find out more at www.gardeningbydesign.co.uk or call 07803 045327

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