Your pot garden should be easy and quick to do, not a decision for life, says a well-known, Danish gardening writer. This will allow renewal and variation throughout the summer, with a continuously fresh and beautiful result.
Karina Demuth, a journalist and the author of several books on gardening, follows just a few simple rules when building up her pot garden.
"I place the pots in staggered positions, so that they give a sort of 3D experience. I do this by putting them on a small podium or an old garden bench," she says.
"For the actual pots, I start with some plants that provide a good base. These might be something evergreen like boxwood, or plants with beautiful leaves like Sedum telephium or herbs. That way, the pot garden is always nice and green to look at. Then I build it up from there, in height and density."
Coherent colour theme
It's a question of choosing a style and colour scheme - and sticking with your choice, so that the result does not become a mishmash of a colours. Karina therefore recommends choosing a colour theme in white, pink or blue, which offers many choices and allows the different heights of the flowers to provide variation in the pot garden.
The pot garden - a flexible solution
Once you have chosen your colour theme, Karina recommends that you use some of the wonderful one-year summer flowers, as, in contrast to landscape gardening, planning a pot garden is not a decision for life.
"Choose flowers which will keep well and bloom vigorously all summer, like 'Million Bells', one of the newer Petunia varieties, which just goes on producing new flowers. If you need a little extra colour, so that your pot garden will look fresh and beautiful when your friends come to visit, you can always throw away any finished flowering plants and add some new ones. And hey presto! You can have a completely new and vibrant pot garden in an hour," concludes Karina.
Suggestions for plants to provide a base in pots:
Herbs (e.g. oregano, thyme)
Fortunei Aureomarginata (Hosta)
Suggestions for plants that bloom all summer long:
Cape Daisy (Osteospermum)
Busy Lizzie (Impatiens)
Pouch nemesia (Nemesia strumosa)
Petunias (the new varieties that do not need snipping, such as Surfinia or Million Bells)
Baby's-breath (Gypsophila paniculata)
Spider flower (Cleome hybrid)
Suggestions for plants to give height or density in a pot garden:
How to create your own pot garden, step by step:
1. Water the plants thoroughly before planting. Place them in a bucket or tub so they can draw plenty of water.
2. Place leca stone, potsherds, or crushed granite at the bottom of the jar, then fill with potting compost.
3. Remove the plants' original pots. First plant the tallest plants, then the lower ones in between.