Posts Tagged ‘plants for containers’

Garden writers vote for Carol’s unusual drum planters

August 12th, 2014 | News, The flower garden | 0 Comments

Unusual drum plantersMany staff members at Mr Fothergill’s are also keen gardeners who enjoy taking their work home with them.  This summer the company challenged them to grow plants in unusual containers.

Twelve people rose to the challenge, and their handiwork was judged by members of the gardening press who visited the Mr Fothergill’s Kentford trial ground in Newmarket in early August.

The winner was Carol Parsons, who divides her time between the company’s seed testing laboratory and working in the trial ground.  Her winning entry was this pair of male and female metal drums sporting blue lobelia and pink petunia ‘hair’.

In second place was product development coordinator Pim Dickson who planted a brazier with flame-like celosias.

Among the entries were some weird and wonderful creations, including a brassière used as a hanging basket.  As one wag was heard to remark,  “It’s good to see underwear recycling in full swing!”

Pim Dickson's celosias planted in a fire basket

While the competition was mainly for the fun of growing the plants and the glory of winning, there was a first prize of a case of beer and a second prize of a bottle of wine.

A stroll into almost any allotment plot in the land will reveal unusual planters in old baths, toilets, old tyres and containers that would otherwise be described as old junk.

There have been some great examples of using broken crocks, discarded kitchen crockery and other containers to house alpine displays on the Flower Show circuit this year too.

Do you have an unusual planter?  Share your pictures with us on the Facebook wall and let us all see!

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.

The perfect plant for containers, beds and borders

January 24th, 2014 | News, The flower garden | 0 Comments

“Just about the perfect plant in all respects for containers, beds and borders” is plant manager Tom Stimpson’s summing up of the brand new Coreopsis that Mr Fothergill’s is introducing for the 2014 season.  He spotted Solanna™ Golden Sphere while visiting trial grounds in the summer of 2013.

Coreopsis Solanna Golden SphereTom says, “This plant stood out for the sheer number of blooms per plant – literally hundreds throughout the growing season. Talking to the breeder, I was surprised to learn that it is also hardy given well drained conditions and will start to flower from early May.  I grew several at home they were still flowering in November, and also noticed they were not bothered by pest or disease.  For me, Coreopsis Golden Sphere is a real star!”

As well as its flower power and length of blooming time, the plant habit is excellent too, being neat, compact and non-leggy, even towards the end of the growing season.  The plants keep their neat shape – perfect for container planting, or for providing a focal point in borders or for edging a path.  Flower size is also large for a coreopsis and, as its name suggests, the fully double blooms are totally ball-shaped and sit above very strong stems – even when windy, the blooms do not suffer.

Then flowers age well and do not become discoloured.  Bees and butterflies are certainly attracted to the heads, while its strong stems make Solanna™ Golden Sphere ideal for cutting, and the flowers last well in the vase.  It grows to 50cm (20in) and five young plants, despatched from mid April 2014 cost £8.95.

Request a free copy of Mr Fothergill’s Seed, Plant and Bulb Catalogue 2014 online, telephone 0845 371 0518 or write to Mr Fothergill’s, Gazeley Road, Kentford, Suffolk CB8 7QB.