Tag Archives: pots

March Focus on Pots & Containers – Entrances

Pots and Containers – ideas to bring your “space” to life

It isn’t a myth; gardens are getting smaller and for many of us, they’re so small it’s hard to know what to do, where to start, what to use and indeed how to create our own little sanctuary.

Sometimes it’s best to think about it practically…how much space do you have, how do you want to use it and how much time can you lend it. Some of us have only a small patio or balcony, some of us have nothing more than a few steps and some of us may be looking to turn a little corner into a little haven. Pots and containers can allow us to make it happen with relative ease.

Maybe you want perfume rather than colour, maybe you want a theme of gentle colours that are kind on the eye, maybe you want some bold, stunning, contemporary plants that offer structure. Perhaps your interest is only structural, framing an entrance or softening a gate or perhaps you are looking to make a display that’s main attribute is to attract bees and butterflies. There are so many options.

Our garden centre (on the Sidmouth Road at Clyst St Mary, postcode EX5 1AE) offers a vast collection of pots and containers of different styles and materials or you may want to simply make your own…convert an old bucket or trough into a planter, up-cycle something wonderful from some old wood; the possibilities are endless and can be a lot of fun.

Make an entrance

The key thing to consider is the architecture of your home for this will be the back drop to your planting. Is it stone or brick or tile or render? Is it grand? Is it classical or is it rustic? What colour is it? What size is it? Think through all of these questions so as to help you make the right decisions. Your aim should be to select your pots based on proportions and style. Sometimes the most attractive are the most simple, the most stunning are the most bold and the most beautiful are the those that have a boutique and bespoke style.

For many, the geometry of the entrance determines the decor you place in front of it. Cubes or urns containing topiary of bay or buxus are always strong favourites, something formal is the preferred choice for many. Conversely there are lots of properties where ‘geometry’ simply doesn’t sway it! For these you may prefer a more loose or casual array of assorted pots with a variety of aromatic and tumbling plants to spill a welcoming hello eg lavenders in terracotta with hostas and daisies and diascia, geraniums and grasses, herbs with scabiosa and sedum.

Give it a go

Very importantly you just need to have the confidence to give it a go, to show your inner creative self and make it extraordinarily yours! If you want aromatic go for it, if you want edible go for it, if you want gentle and calm go for it or if you want big and bold statement with a zillion colours or simply every shade of green, GO FOR IT.

You’ll need some compost, you’ll need a watering can and you’ll need a few minutes each week to give you a welcome home every day. Go on, GO FOR IT.


Pot ponds

When it comes to having a pond, you don’t need a mansion with a pond the size of a lake (though if you have a mansion why not)! Many ponds, especially ponds for wildlife, can be created in a simple pot. As well as attracting a range of insect life and maybe the odd amphibian, you will be able to grow a new range of plants namely aquatic and marginals.

Step One

Choose a pot from a garden centre (ours have a wonderful selection). If your pot has a drainage hole, block it up with a silicone sealant. If the pot is made from a porous material like terracotta,  seal the inside with yacht varnish. Alternatively you could line your pot with pond liner or choose a water tight container like a beer barrel.

Step Two

If you have a deep pot marginal and emergent plants need only a few centimetres of water, so sit them on upturned empty aquatic plant pots or other pots to raise them up.

Step Three

Put the pot where you want the finished pond to go. Fill the pot with rainwater or water that has been left to stand for a few days to de-chlorinate. Rainwater also helps nutrient levels stay low and avoids algal blooms that green your water.

Taking care of wildlife

If you pot is deep, ensure frogs, toads, newts and hedgehogs can get out by ensuring there are shallow areas at the edge of the pot e.g. stones or wooden ramps or a partly submerged stick.

Plants to consider

Look out for dwarf waterlilies and other compact growers. Ask our aquatics team for advice. Our range of aquatics plants are always changing so do keep popping in to see what is new. Native water plants are always a good bet, such as water crowfoot (Ranunculus aquatics), brooklime (Veronica beccabunga) and rigid hornwort (Ceratophyllum demersum).