September 29, 2022

Easy and impressive potted garden perfection

Incredibly versatile and with so many options to choose from, flowering plants in pots are the perfect way to bring colour to small spaces.

It is easy to bring your balcony, patio or a garden bed to life with plants. If you only have a small area to garden, clusters of pots filled with carefully-chosen plants will give you added dimensions and style.

There are many ways to maximise space and make your area feel bigger and brighter. By grouping and layering plants in different types of containers, you can create a different look for each season. Troughs, window boxes, various pots and hanging baskets all aid in providing interest and ambience.

Get creative by using interesting shapes and colours of pots. Pots also provide the opportunity to select and grow a wider range of plants, as they can be moved around, chasing the sun over winter and nestled into the shadier parts of the garden for summer.

Pots make it easy to give your space a completely different feel whenever you want.

Tall, thin plants such as ficus, palms or coprosma are great options as they can be trimmed to shape to give you height without taking up too much room, creating opportunities for shady under-planting.

You can then play with the next layer, choosing from a wide range of plants including begonias, fuchsias, bidens or coleus, as they will all be happy with the dappled shade created by the taller plants.

The bottom layer can be filled with plant varieties that will spill over the edge of the pots, such as bacopa, lotus, dichondra, calibrachoa or ferns.

This planting arrangement will give you colour and foliage interest all year round. You can also change the combinations, with long-flowering plants, annuals and multi-planting several varieties in one large pot.

For slightly larger areas, sandstone or concrete troughs along the edge of paving or verandahs are a great choice as they do not take up much room but give you more soil depth to play with. Plant multiple plants, using many different varieties in the one pot or keep it simple, using just one variety.

You can even form a screen to provide privacy from neighbours or to hide an ugly fence. Use plants such as lilly pilly, murraya or coprosma to form a dense screen that can get up to two metres high in a good-sized pot.

We are lucky to have such a large range of pots on the market to choose from. You can go for classic black and white, patterns, bold prints, funny faces, animals, and many different types of materials and textures too.

If you are renting your property, gardening in pots means your garden goes wherever you do. You can hang baskets and window boxes up with hooks over pergola beams, handrails and balustrades without requiring any fixings. Hanging baskets add yet another dimension to the space.

Fill your hanging baskets with hardy plants that look great all year round such as geraniums, bidens, bacopa and succulents. Herbs and strawberries are also perfect in baskets and are easy to pick as the fruit hangs down. Remember though, hanging baskets require more water than other pots as they tend to dry out more quickly.

Getting into the garden is great for your body and soul. Even a small space can provide much enjoyment and can be easily changed, redesigned and refreshed as often as you like.

This article was first published in the spring 2021 issue of SALIFE Gardens & Outdoor Living magazine.


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