Gardens - Container Gardening

Video: Plant a vibrant container step by step

Watch as Paul Zammit demonstrates his fabulous container planting tips

Add fragrance, colour and texture

Because I’m a big fan of fragrance and because I have very little space, I need to learn to maximize my garden and I love plants with fragrance so we’ve used the Cypress, and another one we’re going to be using is this rosemary. Rosemary is fantastic for its sent and of course for cooking purposes, and in a small garden if you don’t have a lot of space to be doing an entire herb garden or vegetable garden, you can incorporate them with your mix planters. This is going to become what I often consider, the filler component. Here, we’re adding the rosemary, digging a little bit of a hole, and you begin to see what is happening – so we’ve got a series of textures and colours.

Next item we’ll be adding, a punch of colour – and I love orange, particularly with terracotta, so we’re selecting this Gerbera daisy. My recommendation when planting Gerberas, is to remove the flowers immediately, that actually encourages more to form. But, for today’s purposes we’re going to leave them in place so we can see the effect once the container is planted. Remove any yellowed or damaged leaves. 

To this combination I want to see more texture, so I’m going to add another favourite plant of mine, Parsley. It’s fantastic for a late spring container after the dangers of frost, it’s awesome for the summer but also cold tolerant. 

We want to also have what I refer to as ‘colour echoing’ or ‘colour repetition,’ and because we’ve got burgundy here in the phormium, I’m going to add some pops of burgundy lower down. And we’re going to be using a Hukera here, this particular one is called ‘Crème de menth’ it’s out of the ‘Proven Winter’ series. It has beautiful burgundy veining, which will echo the phormium, and a nice splash of colour on the underside of the leaves.

It’s really important when adding plants with interesting foliage to a container that you start to combine the foliage so that it will contrast or compliment the plant that it’s beside. So in this case we’re taking the bold leaves of the hukera and combining it with the fine ruffled leaves of the parsley and that makes an interesting combination, giving you interest and appeal - even though neither of these plants are being used for their flower. Just like how we practiced colour repeating or echoing in the phormium, I want to make use of the chartreuse in this cypress. We’re going to use a little bit of golden thyme here, or lemon thyme, just to cascade out of the container. 

Now, often when we look at the plant components that we added, we’ve got the dramatic components up here that add the height, the filler components here, and then when we look at the cascading components. Often people will just plant cascading components all the way around, I like to remind people that if you’ve invested in a very attractive pot you don’t want to hide that. So, when we add our cascading components I’m intentionally only going to have them partially around the container because I still want the container to be part of the focus.

Once again, we’ve got the bold leaves of the gerbera daisy with the fine leaves of the thyme. I love how the colour of the thyme is going to bounce against the colour of the gerbera, the parsley, as well as the hukras. 


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