Following on from a review of the borders, I thought it would be helpful for me to review this season’s pots, starting with the front of the house, where the summer content of this pair of baskets has remained largely unchanged for a number of years: pink, purple and blue surfinia petunias, lilac trailing lobelia and whatever this trailing foliage plant is (nepeta I think). The fact that my choice does not vary tells you successful they have been, subject to regular deadheading, watering and additional feeding later on in the season. Being at the front of the house, this nurturing tends to get overlooked as I am reminded (but frequently then forget) just when going out or coming in.
Also at the front are two pots, this year with Argyranthemum ‘Grandaisy Pink’ and the trailing Lobelia ‘Fountain Lilac’, both used extensively elsewhere in the garden and working well together here, the argyranthemum emerging amidst a sea of lilac froth:
The argyranthemum is used in pots in front of the sitooterie, with pelargonium in the troughs (and me reflected in the glass!), and in a large pot near the clematis colonnade, and subject to deadheading will continue to flower all season and could possibly be overwintered but with no guarantee of success, so I shan’t be bothering. I buy a tray of 40 plug plants and have used spares to fill gaps at the front of the borders.
The main pots, the ones requiring most planning, are the four square lead effect ones on the paved area, in graduated sizes, and yet again the contents will need editing. Looking at them in this photo, you could be forgiven for thinking they contained only purple petunias and the trailing lilac lobelia, although in real life you can see some pink diascia, D ‘BreezeePink’ too. You can’t, however, see Verbena ‘Enchantment ‘Hot Pink’ nor Osteospermum ‘3D Double Purple’, so that’s a waste of £15 0r more! One of the issues seems to be the exuberance of the lobelia, which quickly swamps any pot it is planted in, particularly if planted in twos or threes, which will have been the case in larger pots. There is a similar issue with the tank of Verbena ‘Sparkling Purple Blues’ and the three pots with single plugs of calibrochea and lobelia, although I suspect there may not be enough sun for the calibrochea.
Also in view from the back of the house are the five pots always in the foreground of the first shot on my End of Month View photos; for many years they have held dark red pelargonium but looked increasingly tatty so I decided to ditch them this year in favour of bedding dahlias. They looked good for a month or so until the local snail population decided they tasted good too, so I need a reliable alternative for future years and may well end up with single coloured Busy Lizzies which I already use in several other pots, with mixed colours in the bigger pots. I sourced them from two different sources this year so have ended up with some pastel and some brighter pots. Since their downy mildew problem was (temporarily?) eradicated they once again provide reliable colour, shrugging off sun, rain and pests and not requiring deadheading.
I showed you the tank with Dahlia ‘Art Deco’ yesterday, clashing a little with the lobelia, but thriving in the sun and seemingly unaffected by slugs and snails, so dahlias will continue to feature here in future years.
Most of the pots are in the areas nearer the house, but there are four square pots in front of the main borders, two tucked into the corners of the sunken area and two behind where the photo below was taken from. This year they contain Nemesia ‘Easter Bonnet’ and although the photo does not do them justice they have made a pretty display and have the typical nemesia fragrance of vanilla, which pervades the immediate area, guaranteeing a place for them or their relatives next year.
I mentioned the pots that form part of the blue & white borders in my post about borders, and they undoubtedly need a great deal of thought. Elsewhere, and with sincere thanks to petunias, Busy Lizzies, argyranthemum and exuberant trailing lobelia most of the pots have been reasonably successful but the four big square ones in particular continue to provide an annual dilemma…is less more, or would reducing the lobelia make all the difference? One can only try it and see!