Andy McIndoe spoke to a full audience about how year round planting schemes can bring interest close to the house.
Buying the best pots you can afford is the best plan and when it comes to terracotta Andy suggested the English made ones are tougher than others and will survive cold weather.
Good drainage using old crocks is essential.
He used old compost mixed with added John Innes for the summer and said it was important to feed throughout either with a slow release fertiliser or a liquid feed.
He had stunning displays with tulips and recommended Cairo and Jan Reus. Best planted in November, he doesn’t replant the old bulbs but starts again each year.
Planting a perennial which then can be supplemented with summer flowers is good.
Ideas for perennials include:
Pittosporum e.g. Golf Ball
Skimmia Kew Green
Euonymus Fortunei Silver Queen
Clematis Bijou (cut back after flowering for repeats)
Roses e.g. Desdemona
Nandina for winter interest
Hydrangea paniculata Little Lime
Choisya White Dazzler
Ornamental grasses e.g. Hakenochloa
Senecio Angels Wings
For summer interest pelargoniums, cosmos nemesis, bacopta and begonias add colour.
Grouping pots together has more impact than dotting them singly in the garden and also pay attention to the colour of the pot and its contents.
Lots of ideas to take us into the summer months and beyond!