Collecting Containers – Tips for Garden Pots


This fine collection of sundry containers were getting a soaking in our summer rain. The wheel at the back only contains fresh air but could become a feature for a ‘Herb Wheel’ if laid on poor soil.

Tips for Containers

  • Small clay feet in threes or fours lift the container off these Yorkshire stone flags. This aids drainage and prevents the base of the container freezing onto a path and then loosing the base when moved.
  • Mulch and decoration on the surface of a pot can be organic with bark or inorganic with a variety of pebbles and stones. Mulch helps prevent moss and keeps the wind & sun off the soil surface.
  • Bear in mind a small pot will constrain the roots and a large tree will become a bit like a bonsai. That can be quite desirable but remember to freshen the compost by replacing the top 2″ annually and fertilizing regularly.
  • Pots can bake in summer and roots become distressed. Black and plastic pots are the worst whilst evaporation through terracotta cools a bit. If in doubt keep moist and shaded.
  • Pots can freeze but bubble wrapping your potsĀ can help hardy plants through winter.
  • Pots located together look better than pepper-potted around. They also help maintain a humidity level in a micro climate (not too important in this wet garden)

Unusual Containers

Long Toms

    • A bog garden can be created in an old galvanised basin without drainage holes. Miniature water lilies are now available for small ponds so give it a try.
    • Long Tom or old Chimney pots are ideal for tall statuesque displays. Try some airy grasses at the back near a wall.

  • I like pans, shallow bowls and half pots which are fine for many small bulbs, annuals and trailers. Beware most Alpines have very long roots and seek out depth.
  • Old wheel barrows, dustbins or discarded containers can be pressed into use or should I say recycled into reuse.
  • Old polyester sacks can be used to grow vegetables like these potatoes.
  • See Bottle gardens and Terranium

Potato sacks

Other containerĀ  tips

Contain Tulip Fire


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