Container gardening for beginners

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Greenfingered MoneySaving
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BeclesBecles Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Greenfingered MoneySaving
I was wondering what plants do best in containers?

There are two areas where I would like to put containers. Hard to explain but my home has a porch extension that sticks out with a side door and a sort of canopy that goes over the garage door. I was looking to put a largish container by the porch and the pillar on the other side of the garage door with a plant in. What would look best for an all year round wow factor?

The second problem is between us and next door. There front garden joins against our drive way. It's mainly lawn which isn't treated and it's full of weeds, then to make a divider between us, they just slapped yellow paving stones on top of the grass and put big red terrocotta pots on them. The paving stones are all uneven and the pots are full of weeds now. This faces me as soon as I walk out my front door and it looks really messy and it bugs me! If I bought some troughs to hide the pots, what plants would do best in them? Again looking for all year round interest.

We live on a hill and the front garden is all open plan. Whatever I plant is going to get blasted by icy cold winds in the winter, so it needs be plants that can withstand that.

Any help or ideas would be much appreciated.
Here I go again on my own....

Replies

  • Kay_PeelKay_Peel Forumite
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    Hi Becles,

    I do this very cheaply - but it's effective. The secret is to have the biggest pots you can get hold of because scrawny mid-sized pots will not do the job if you want the WOW factor.

    1. Fill the base of the pot with bricks, broken tiles, polystyrene, cardboard - anything in fact. This will mean that you don't use so much compost - you really only need the top 10-12 inches covered in compost.

    2. You need some evergreen basic plants as your backdrop. I use heathers because I got 6 for £3 at Aldi. You could use a couple of dwarf conifers or some lavender plants. Leave plenty of space around your evergreens.

    3. Go to Morrisons or B&Q or Wilkinsons and look for trays of bedding plants. I got 20 marigolds last year - more than enough for my planters - together with some petunias, sweet peas and pansies. The trays cost very little and it means that you don't have to faff around raising your own from seed. You'll get a very good display throughout the summer from these plants.

    4. When the summer is nearly over go back to Morrisons or wherever you got your bedding plants from and look for Winter Flowering pansies and spring bulb selections. Chuck out the summer plants and replace them with the winter and spring ones. You'll get winter colour from the evergreens and the little spring bulbs can start appearing in January.

    It's as easy and cheap as that.

    I think I'd approach my neighbour and say something like: 'I've got loads of plants left over - would you mind if I put them in your pots?' If they said yes then I'd tidy up the area. I'd weed the pots and put a small layer of fresh compost in them.

    Then I'd plant them.

    You have to be diplomatic, don't you?;) Sometimes our neighbours are just so overwhelmed by the task facing them that they look for easy answers that work for a short time. They turn a blind eye rather than tackle the job in hand - possibly because they don't know how to get it looking good. It just needs one, brave, diplomatic soul to take the initiative, I feel.

    Hope that helps! :beer:
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