Refresh and revive
How are this year’s garden schemes taking shape? At time of writing (the start of the summer school holidays) the usually lush, green gardens of England are limping a little in the midst of a lengthy summer heatwave. We don’t yet have a hosepipe ban in place in the South West near Bath and rain is forecast but we’re staying ‘water wise’ by saving excess and ‘dirty’ water from the house to water containers, troughs and other planters.
Donning shades and straw hats, July/August is a terrific time to plan a mini makeover for the portable elements in the garden. Some June flowering plants will be past their best and a pleasing rethink on colour and composition can introduce fresh magic. As well as the time being ripe to mop up heaps of inspiration from the big RHS garden shows, it’s well worth applying some bold splashes with super-saver plug plants. For 40 plants at under £10, these are ideal for larger gardens.
Planters and troughs, dotted around a building’s perimeter and garden areas, make the ideal framework for instant ‘wow’ highlights. Re-thinking the positioning and type of container (material and design) is a worthwhile exercise in any refresh project. Then it’s on to the pleasing choosing of the plants themselves…
Start by considering any bare areas around a house or business building – either side of an entrance or patio and terrace areas where people will enjoy spending more time sitting and enjoying the view with a coffee or glass of wine. Garden Requisites recently supplied some superb café screening planters to The Ivy’s Brasseries, lending instant impact and al fresco dining privacy that beautifully complements The Ivy’s chic, classic brand. We also design made-to-measure lead-look troughs with built-in trellis, giving height and space for under planting with topiary, trailing ivy or seasonal colour. Balconies and roof terraces can also benefit from this look. Why not create a similar area for restaurant or business or even at home?
Steps can also be transformed with multiple planters, one sat on each step, or either side if a wide set – or maybe one or two standing at the bottom or top. Moving into the garden or courtyard areas, unloved focal points can be revived – where paths cross, or a corner is turned, or as a key element in a framed view from the main building. Adding a steel obelisk into a planter can give wonderful structure and height, especially in the winter months when perennial climbers recede and fairy lights can take their place.
Which Plants for Planters?
There really is no end to the variety of summer planting for containers and troughs. British garden centres and growers are brimming with bright ideas and there are some brilliant bargains to be had. Inspiration from the latest garden designs at local garden shows can be teamed with visits to real gardens, especially the hundreds of private gardens opened periodically as part of the UK’s National Garden Scheme. Start with a sense of your garden’s style – clipped, informal and minimal will point to more mono-coloured schemes (think tidy topiary with Lavender, flowering Thymes, Nepeta (cat mint) and the like). In a more informal setting, a wider range of wildlife-friendly plants such as Flowering herbs, Salvias, Echinops, Eryngium and Hebes will attract birds, bees and butterflies. Or you could go for eye-catching showpiece displays with mixes of annuals and perennials in favourite colour combos? Whatever takes your fancy! For more inspiration, we’re in the process of adding to our Summer Planters Pinterest board so do stay tuned to that.
In the meantime, have fun refreshing that summer look and do give Hilary & team a call with any questions on planter sizes. Remember, we can make to measure!
Hilary & John