Planting focus: Choosing the right soil
Firmly anchored by a classic black cast-iron urn, the old container-gardening tenet of “a thriller, a filler and a spiller” is well demonstrated in this symphony of gold and orange topped off by the “thrilling” architectural form of a burgundy-leaved corkscrew hazel, which can be permanently planted in the garden in autumn. Designed by Paul Zammit, Toronto Botanical Garden’s director of horticulture, the flamboyant foliage adds both texture and colour, while the blooms of the pansies and osteospermums act as a floral bonus.
Always use a specially formulated potting soil in containers. Many potting mixtures have slow-release fertilizers included in the blend; this works well if you’re cultivating no-fuss annuals, but as you can’t control the formulation, the amount or the timing, a water-soluble fertilizer more specifically suited to the plants you’re growing may be in order. Premium potting soils may also contain polymers, which absorb water and then release it slowly, cutting irrigation duties by about half.
- ‘Red Majestic’ corkscrew hazel (Corylus avellana ‘Red Majestic’)
- ‘Bonfire’ cushion spurge (Euphorbia polychroma ‘Bonfire’)
- ‘All Gold’ Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa macra ‘All Gold’)
- ‘Buttercup’ English ivy (Hedera helix ‘Buttercup’)
- ‘Caramel’ heuchera (Heuchera ‘Caramel’)
- Summertime sunset osteospermum (Osteospermum ‘Duetisunset’)
- ‘Isla Gold’ common tansy (Tanacetum vulgare ‘Isla Gold’)
- Deep orange fama pansy (Viola ×wittrockiana [Fama Series] Deep Orange)