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5 messages
03/04/2012 at 20:01

Hi 

Sorry if this is in the wrong place or if it has already been asked.

I am quite new to gardening and don't have a lot of spare cash or time, however I do have lots of enthusiasm and I don't mind a bit of hard work!

I currently have 3 wall planters - metal "manger" style with coco matting liners in them, on the front of my house.  Every year I put spring plants in them and every year they do ok for a  couple of weeks then I forget to water them and they practically die off.  I would love to have an all year round display of plants in them but have not got the time to spend watering them every night so I need them to be pretty but also resilient to a bit of abuse/neglect. As the planters are on the front wall of the house they are quite sheltered but don't get a lot of rain.

I would ideally like to plant something now and be able to leave it to do its thing throughout the year with just a littel bit of maintenance.  I would also like the planters to look good in the winter/autumn too.

Ok am I asking the impossible or is there some way to plant them up so that there is something on display all year round - I know I could do spring bulbs but then what?

they are not huge planters - approx 10 inches across.

Thanks for reading

    04/04/2012 at 10:40

Hello NJJ272, it sounds like Mediterranean herbs are the perfect option for you. Does your wall get a lot of sun? First I would consider lining the baskets with an old plastic bag to conserve moisture in the compost (the coco matting liners should hide this). Add a few drainage holes so any excess water can drain. Then plant it up with lavender or rosemary. These plants thrive in dry, sunny conditions, so do well from a little neglect. The lavender will need deadheading and a bit of a prune to keep it in shape (many people do this after flowering, but I do so in spring, so the birds can eat the seedheads in autumn and winter), and you'll need to repot the plants every year or two, when they get rootbound. Lavender alone has attractive foliage, and of course lovely flowers in summer, and rosemary has pretty blue flowers in spring. From the size of your baskets I'd probably just go with lavender. You can have a mini, fragrant, bee-friendly hedge jsut outside your back door!

Hope this helps

Kate

06/04/2012 at 08:14

Hi Kate

Thanks for your reply.  I hadnt really considered Lavender or Rosemary, I like the idea of the scented baskets by the front door. Is there any variety of Lavender that you would recommend?  

Thanks 

Nicky 

11/04/2012 at 17:49

Anyone else have any other suggestions - something that will provide colour/interest all year round??

11/04/2012 at 18:39

its a tough one..ivies spring to mind, and are good all yea,r for flowers its a tough one...you could pop some nasturtiums as they do ok in bad soil and will flower and trail although you will have to water some...most things in containers really need regular watering, but you could add some moisture retentive crystals to the compost and the plastic liner already suggested, i would leave an inch from the top of the containers in order to allow a good soaking when you do water, im sure if you check around this site or google drought resistant plants then a good many will be suitable...a lot of alpines like sun and free draining soil but to find something suitable for winter then i would go with ivy and change to primroses and crocuses in spring, and so on throughout the seasons with the ivy as your constant

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