Posts Tagged ‘container gardening’

Cool pansies for containers and ground cover

July 16th, 2014 | Plant Talk with Graham Rice | 0 Comments

Pansy 'Cool Wave Mixed'Those of us old enough to remember ‘Universal’ pansies will recall how they delighted so many gardeners as the first pansies that flowered in the winter as well as the spring. That was back in 1979.

The Universals are long gone (though the name is sometimes attached to newer varieties) but since then there’s been a long succession of improvements: more flowers, more colours, better hardiness, better weather resistance and now pansies with a trailing and spreading habit.

Pansies for hanging baskets is a relatively new idea and ‘Cool Wave’ is the one to look for. Flowering from October to May, the seven colours in the mixture harmonise well together and make a delightful basket without any companions – although silvery ivies (‘Glacier’ or ‘Little Diamond’)Pansy 'Cool Wave Mixed' provide colour when the worst of the weather reduces the flower power of the pansies. And the stems of ‘Cool Wave’ don’t simply hang down in straggly vertical sheets, no. The plants are more semi-trailing, they arch elegantly over the sides of the pot or basket.

But there’s another way to use these versatile pansies – as ground cover. Plant them at the front of a border that gets sun for most of the day and they will spread out with the flowers standing up above the leaves. The flowers are medium-sized, so they’re colourful but not so large that they’re easily damaged by rain, and they’re held up above the leaves which cushion the rain splashes. They’re also tough; ‘Cool Wave’ pansies will tolerate temperatures of -29C – should we so unlucky.

You can order Pansy ‘Cool Wave’ now, try get your order in before the August Bank Holiday.

Container gardening guide

April 8th, 2014 | The vegetable garden | 0 Comments

Mixed Spicy Salad LeavesGet some ideas on how to grow crops in containers for gardens where space is tight, or simply to have easy access to regular cropping vegetables from your kitchen door in this container gardening guide.

Window ledges and balconies are a great place to grow plants in pots if you have no garden, otherwise choose a good sunny site on the patio in your garden. Warm sunny walls are ideal to provide a good source of warmth for your plants.

Great plants to grow in containers if you are new to this style of gardening include:

  • Salad leaves – grow them as cut and come again for a continuous supply of salad through the warmer months
  • Tomatoes (try them in hanging baskets!)
  • Potatoes in patio planters
  • Herbs to provide the kitchen with a ready supply for cooking

Use our Garden Planner to help you plan your container garden.