Plant Pots Rule - with Garden Landscaper in Dublin Eugene Higgins
Of Recent my garden has morphed into a container grown garden, almost all the pots have been salvaged and considerable amount of the plants have been either discarded or deemed unwanted by there day by there previous owners.
It even surprises me how quickly new life can be breathed into underachieving plants. A bit of love can go a big way in a plants life, a trim a feed and most importantly new growing medium i.e. suitable compost full of nutrients, and suddenly the plants are singing. The reason I have embraced container grown plants in such a big way as I moved to a city townhouse garden a few years ago. This means less flower beds and no grass but lots of patio an area ideal for pots , I have an exhibit garden where I find sufficient time, to indulge other plant passions on a bigger scale.
The car port faces north and is open plan , so consequently is ideal for shade loving plants , for example Spirea that did so badly in the full sun last year on the sunny side of the house is now about to burst into colour. The Hydrangeas which are always more content in shade are Flowering very nicely.
It is important to emphasise that the likes of a car port needs to be monitored 12 months of the year to ensure that the various plants have enough moisture as rain wont reach any of the plants, a plants life in ’a pot can be struggle at the best of times, but in a roofed car port, all can in end in tears even in the Winter.
Pieris is ambivalent about a life sentence in a pot but enjoys some descent shade and the opportunity to be grown in the correct type of peaty soil that it enjoys. The Olive Trees manage surprisingly well on the sunnier side of the north facing area, after that the usual suspects of Buxus and Libertias , make up the numbers off set by pastel shaded begonias.
The Sunny side is a tad predictable, bar some fine Japanese Maples that I should point out don’t enjoy drying out or any cold winds, I have endless English Lavenders, Perennial Salvias, Olives, Geraniums, Agapanthus, and Verbena Bonariensis off set by Diascias which die down in the Winter but manfully return each year they are available in endless shades. Gazanias and Gerberas make up the population of the various pots with a descent splash of daisies the star performer being the lemon shaded Argyranthemum Frutescens.
If Buxus does not excite you as it seems an all too predictable option, as the only solution to go outside ones front door, then its time to introduce” Pittosporum Agrophyllum” .An excellent evergreen container plant that will brighten up any area it has small purple fragrant flowers and this plant will keep improving with every trimming it also rivals Buxus for shaping into a formal plant it s leaves are a creamy white green foliage.
In regards to a grass for a pot Miscanthus sinensis 'Kleine Silberspinne' is a compact deciduous grass with narrow foliage and silky plumes of red flowers in late summer and is a great choice for pots in smaller gardens, it looks especially effective once the flowers have faded to silver and catch the evening sunlight and needs to be in the side of the garden that has full sun.
Shrubs including Hollies will thrive in containers with care and will be a focal point in your garden whatever the size of your garden.
Growing in Pots can be a great opportunity to try plants that you might not be able to grow elsewhere in your garden the likes of Azaleas and Rhododendrons need specific soil conditions and so they can be more easily managed in a pot.
There is a huge amount of containers available in all sorts of shapes, colours and sizes, and made from many materials including metal, stone, plastic and wood. As a general I only use Terracotta Pots if you go for terracotta, buy good quality, frost-proof pots.
Ensure the container is large enough for the roots of your plant to grow and heavy enough to hold the top-heavy growth.
Containers need regular watering, even after heavy rain, as shrubs have large root systems and the leaves tend to act as umbrellas to the rain shielding a lot of it away. In hot or dry weather they may need watering once or twice a week or more.
An important rule of Container Grown Plants is that it's easier to grow plants in large containers than small ones large pots hold more soil, which means it has greater capacity to moist longer and so is less subject to temperature fluctuations.
Container plants will add versatility to every garden whether large and small bringing instant impact and providing focal points in the garden. A pair or even a series of matching containers on either side of a door or on a deck or patio creates interest decoration and impact. I plant up 11 pots matching pots of English Lavender every year they add a touch of the Mediterranean for the summer so simple yet extremely effective.