Summer Container Deliberations

It will soon be time to plant up the summer containers.  The spring plantings are now looking really scruffy with the tulip leaves flopping about and the pansies all leggy and going to seed.  Each year when the pots are emptied I rush round the garden centres trying to decide how to fill them to the best effect.

Pinned Image
via pinterest
Do I plant them with a riot of colour, cottage garden style, or an arrangement that is a little more sophisticated.  To add another problem to the mix - I also want the plants to be bee and insect-friendly.
Pinned Image
via pinterest
This year I am thinking of a white and silver theme for the patio pots - I usually opt for a pink/purple theme, but I think a change is due.  For the containers at the side of the greenhouse, it is a little shadier, so that is something else to take into consideration, and opens up a whole new can of worms. 
Pinned Image
via pinterest
I have fifteen containers to fill, and that means quite a lot of plants.  I am growing quite a few from seed in the greenhouse, but due to their slow growth because of the cold and sunless April, I will definitely have to buy quite a few to fill the containers to make a good display.

Pinned Image
via pinterest
This is where I find Pinterest useful - there are all sorts of planting ideas on the site - which is great for helping me decide which plants look best together, with plenty of tips on how to creat the best effect for the whole of the summer.  I have learned one thing over the years, and that is to fill your containers with as many plants as you can, using  plants of different heights plus trailers to tumble over the edge, concealing the pot.

So - let the fun and games begin - this is one gardening ritual I really enjoy every year - and quite a challenge.  Do you have a tried-and-tested formula for summer containers or are your efforts as hit-and-miss as mine are?

Comments

  1. I hope it gets a bit warmer before planting time begins. I used to grow a lot of plants from seed, but I found that they weren't all ready at the same time. I often ended up planting my summer containers in August. So now I grow from plug plants instead. More expensive, but they tend to be ready on time, and they are cheaper than the full grown plants from the garden centres.
    As for what to plant, I'm very hit n miss. Although I do make a note of anything that does work.

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    1. I agree it is a bit hit and miss with plants you grow yourself as to whether they will be ready on time - this year mine are way behind - some years the plantings look better than others.

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    2. The weather is definitely holding everything back so it looks like I'll have to raid the piggybank for shop-bought ones.

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  2. I have already planted my pots, 8 of them. Simple. but oh my gosh the plants were expensive. And I may have put them out a bit early because it has been quite chilly. I want to see yours when you are finished. Isn't pinterest great!

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    1. It takes me a couple of days to plant mine up - every year I say I'm not going to have as many containers but the garden wouldn't be the same without them - and yes they are expensive this year.

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  3. Hi Elaine, My containers need serious help! Most of them spend the summer in the shade and so I stick with begonias and the like. The thing I find most challenging are the trailers. Ivy works fine, but I would much prefer using other, more sun-loving vines, to trail over the edges of my posts.
    You certainly have you work cut out with 15 containers to fill! I like the white/silver idea and your Pinterest ideas are all really nice.

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    1. Last year I grew some Morning Glory at the back of the containers that were up against a fence - it looked lovely mingling with a purple Clematis.

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  4. I only plant up a couple at the Priory, Elaine. And very simply - just helichrysum and trailing pelargoniums. They neeed to look after themselves for days on end without water. Pinterest, eh? Not something I've looked at yet. D

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    1. That is the only trouble with containers - all the watering that is involved - especially for the poor neighbours who look after them whilst you are away. Pinterest is great but addictive and time-consuming!

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  5. There are some lovely ideas there. I am doing pots for the first time this year as I usually think pots need too much watering but I want some luminous white flowers on the terrace for the evening. Christina

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    1. That would look lovely - especially if they are perfumed as well.

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  6. I like seeing the endless variety of containers that people use as well as the plants that they grow in them. Flighty xx

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    1. I particularly like using old tin buckets - they look great planted up - but there are so many different plants it's hard to make decisions as to what to choose.

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  7. Elaine, these examples from Pinterest are all so lovely. How will you choose? I can't wait to see what you pick.

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    1. I am not the most decisive of people so it is quite hard for me - I usually go by gut instinct - and it nearly always works.

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  8. Decisions Decisions! The loveliest of choices awaits you!

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    1. I'm sure it will all come good in the end - it usually does.

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  9. I have a few containers left to fill, and I, too, have been thinking about what I want to do. I think using Pinterest is a fantastic idea...thanks!

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    1. Good luck with the rest of your containers - for me it requires a lot of thought - any mistakes and you're stuck with them for the rest of the summer. Happy hunting on Pinterest.

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  10. Can't wait to see what you come up with; I will enjoy yours vicariously as I've decided to do fewer this year! Less watering!

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    1. That's what I say every year Jayne - then I get carried away and I'm back to square one - hey ho!

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  11. Replies
    1. I have just begun emptying my containers of spring bulbs that have gone over. Now the fun begins.

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  12. I'm a hit and misser. I always grow plenty of dark blue trailing lobelia from seed but tend to buy inexpensive plugs from B&Q to grow on before planting out. Am now thinking that I should pull my socks up!

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    1. I have always used the more common plants that are on sale for containers and baskets - but I just feel that there is a whole lot of plants that I have never even considered and should maybe raise the bar a lilttle.

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  13. I love the contrast of colors and texture in the first one but they are all winners.

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    1. I wish I wasn't so indecisive - I think I know what I want to do - then I go into a garden centre and see the wonderful array of plants and start re-thinking all my plans. Note to self: stop dithering about and get on with it.

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