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I have a large (1ft x 3ft) container that would like to place at the front of our house, between the front door and garage, as a focal point. This position gets sunlight from mid-late afternoon until evening in the height of summer. My question would be what kind of hardy, evergreen, flowering shrub would grow well in this size container and position? Ideally I could leave the container in position during the winter months too. I am a novice gardener (but trying to learn!) and would appreciate any advice. I have trawled the Internet for hours trying to find the best plant for my container but now my mind is muddled with all the different names and varieties....
A camellia? If so make sure you use ericaceous compost. get one of the x williamsii hybrids (such as Donation) rather than the japonicas - they are hardier and don't need so much sunshine to flower.
That shrub sounds perfect, and surprisingly it is one I have not seen on my long trek through gardening websites. I should have come here first! So if I grow this in my container will it grow to the 5+ metres I have seen? That's a little larger than I was looking for, but perhaps I can cut the top once it reaches a height I like? (See, I really am new to this!)
Make sure it does not get morning sun on the flowers, or the petals will turn brown. Good luck with it
Good suggestion gold1locks. I had Donation and it's very pretty.
Only drawback is that it flowers early in year and therefore is just green the rest of the time, so my thought is -could you put the camellia in a container inside the 'display' pot and then replace it when it's flowered with another one for the summer? There are loads of summer flowering shrubs to pick from- Choisya ternata-glossy green leaves and white flowers and there's a golden leaved variety 'Sundance'. Hebes- loads of varieties to choose from with flowers from white to purple which attract bees. These would do well and they don't need loads of attention.Easy to obtain in GCs or nurseries.Then you can pop the camellia back over the winter ready for the following spring.
You can keep them to any size you want within reason. MIL has some in a raised bed and they are around 5 feet tall. Prune immediately after flowering - May time usually.
Arjak, you are spot on. I didn't mention it because Mrs. W's description of the planned site suggested it would probably not get morning sun. MIL's Jury's Yellow has caught the morning sun and the white flowers have been disfigured with brown edges.
They take a while to get established and get to their eventual height but will saty smaller in a container anyway. The important thing with camellias is to make sure they don't go short of water during the summer as that's when they form their buds for the following year
Fairygirl, I wondered about that. When i had them in pots I used to move them out of the way after they had flowered. Only problem is the 1 ft x 3 ft trough - it won't take a pot big enough for a camellia I don't think.
It most definitely will not get any sun at all before 1 or 2pm. The container depth is 1ft, the width is 3ft and the height is 1.5ft.
Could I plant something around the edge of the container that flowers longer / more often to keep it "interesting" after blooming?
Thanks for all of these suggestions. It is very helpful.
Summer bedders such as tender geraniums or begonias will give colour until October, and/or trailing fuchsia, trailing slver or gold leaved helechrysum, then replace with violas (prettier and more floriferous than pansies IMHO) until March.