Pots of pots

thegardener's picture
newly wed, nearly dead, begonia bed
tomato plant

The Scarboro Garden Scene
Pots of pots
A brief walk around the neighbourhood in September provided a fine view of a selection of pots – some contain a mixture of perennial grasses flowers, as well as a whole array of local and exotic annuals, and the digital version of this newsletter shows coloured photographs of an attractive selection.
There are a variety of plants to choose from, depending on taste and location, background building material, and how they will integrate with the rest of your property – not forgetting exposure to bright drying sun, direct, as well as reflected sunlight, wind and hail. Important for many people are the appearance, form, size and material the pots are made from, all of which contribute to the integration with garden. I take my cue to plant from a neighbour who always gets her spring planting ahead of the crowd, thus getting the best choice at the garden centres, and the earliest, longest-lasting and brightest of spring displays (the plants can establish their roots before the hot summer arrives). If you plant pots on wheels, you can move them into a sheltered spot should heavy late frost arrive or severe weather arrive.
There are few guidelines to remember – the soil should be light – bags of potting soil have the right composition for many annuals – succulents, hardy alpine plants and cactus would need a sandier mix: water frequently at first (you need holes in pots for drainage), then weekly should be fine to encourage the roots to “dig” deeper into the pot, that way they will be better prepared for winds and dry spells. Rain water is better than piped city water (the former has less alkaline chemicals in it). Fertilize when you plant, and a few times over the summer – and dead head to prolong the bloom period: if you want to have them a specific height or bloom later, give them the “Chelsea Chop” … cutting back delays the flowering time.

– with thanks to Scarboro residents