You have created the most amazing patio area and adorned it with your teak bench, newly purchased, highly crafted and looking beautiful! Now, you are on a mission to create pots that will offer all-year interest, after all, you want to make the most of your bench. The good news: containers are highly versatile – offering you so much choice.
The choice of plant is going to be impacted by your selection of pot. Take a look at your house and the rest of the garden and think: how you can enhance this with your pots? Terracotta pots could be perfect for a terrace house garden, while a large wooden planter could be precisely what you need for a cottage garden. Depending on the pot, whether the size or material, you will need to make plant choices to fit.
Let’s take some time to explore the sort of plants you should choose for your pots. We want to help you fulfil your ambitions, so we offer advice on the best plants for pots all year round.
Any daisy-like flower, such as the cosmos, will be perfect for pots. The great thing about plants like this is that the stems grow in a higgled pattern, which is excellent for the informality of cottage-style gardens. You could complement the delicate flowers with some fern planting, particularly ferns with a silvery leaf. The cosmos will add the height, and the ferns will add the width. The best thing about these plants is that they flower for long periods, indeed for much of the year.
Maybe a little less well known, but an even better addition to an all-year-round-pot, Euonymus Fortunei gives an impressive display throughout the year. No flowers, but the most beautiful foliage, you will find it adds texture and depth to a pot. If you plant this with primroses, you will get the blast of colour from the flower and the sensory depth from this leafy foliage.
You may desire a more structural plant – one that grows tall and proud in a container. This is excellent in a contemporary space, full of clean lines and striking features. The leaves of the hosta are a strong shape, lined in white with a deep green heart. We always find they are a talking point in our gardens. If you choose a hosta, you may wish to select other foliage such as heucheras, which will add layers on interest in your container.
An obvious choice for a container, ivy is attractive because it curls over the edges of the pot and offers natural decoration. Ivy is clearly going to be more active from hanging pots, and it will be sure to add greenery to your space no matter the time of year. Ivalice is a particularly beautiful ivy, with its dark-green leaves that are curled at the edges. If you plant these with low flowering shrubs, you get the perfect mix of colour and foliage.
Busy Lizzies are the queen of the container. They are easy to grow, vibrant and scream life. They are great if your patio is shady, and perfect for a feature long into the autumn – especially if you are careful to keep deadheading. As a lover of this little plant, we find we can just fill up a container with different colours of this plant, and we are perfectly contented for most of the year.
Keeping your containers happy and healthy all-year round is easy – if you get the fundamentals right. Make sure you choose the right soil for the planting, choose healthy plants to go into your pot, match the light conditions to the plants, remember layering – height and width will add interest, water frequently, feed often and remember to keep deadheading to ensure a lasting bloom.
If you want all-year round happiness from your pots, you are going to have to be brutal. There will times when you need to renew and replace your planting – when it is looking tired, or it is failing to thrive. Some pots will need to be started afresh – always be ready to clean out any planting that has died – especially before the winter months kick in. Your pots, like with anything in your garden, need regular attention.
Anna is the marketing and office manager for Garden Benches – a premium supplier of high-quality wooden benches and other outdoor furniture.