Container gardening, a joy for ever

Photo credit : WVC 2015-05-21 – P1120058

Left, yogurt pot as water tank – Right, cherry tomato pot with dome

Container gardening never disappoints

Tomato pot with dome slides in yogurt pot, serving as water tank - Photo WVC 2015-05-12 - P1120059
Tomato pot with perforated dome slides in yogurt pot, serving as water tank – Photo WVC 2015-05-12 – P1120059
Hamilton Spectator

Planting pots is a real pressure cooker. Will the colours clash, the textures look wimpy, and the design brand you as out of touch? It’s spring and it’s time to stew about stuff like this.

I get in to trouble if I try to be tasteful, so I go for deranged. Flowers, vegetables, herbs, tropicals, I through them all in the container and give it a name like Post Modern Abstraction. Each year I think it will never work, and by August it looks like a perfectly hatched plot.

I like bright colours and big leaves and fat flowers, but I learned recently that tone on tone is popular. For those who can’t figure out the subtlety of this tasteful way to use colour, there are those who will do it for you.

Each spring President’s Choice has a fancy runway show of their new and super performing plants. They put it on for garden writers and fill our heads with inventive ways to make plants mingle happily in pots. I liked the tone on tone thing, but show me a screaming orange geranium or a red petunia and I’ll order a shipping container full of them.

Petunias have a nostalgic charm, and in the right location, unstoppable vigour. I really liked PC plants Flash Mob Bluerific petunia for its intense colour. Petunias with their robust flowers look lovely with a mass of multi coloured calibrachoa. PC Confetti Garden Summer Daze pop open masses of hot coloured flowers that fill in any spare space in a pot. If your colour scheme is cool, then Confetti Garden Silk Cerise splashes forward with some very pretty pinks.

We have three window boxes at the front of our house, two in sun, and one in shade. I like putting perennials in containers, so the Hosta Island Breeze with plump leaves in yellowy-lime with dark green margins would mix well with the coral-bronze-red tones of Heuchera Fire Alarm.

Read the full article: The Hamilton Spectator

Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.