Scabious, aquilegia and sweet rocket pot display

Cottage garden in a pot

Love cottage gardens? We show you how to plant one in a pot, using scabious, aquilegia and sweet rocket.

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Plant
Plant

Do not Plant in January

Do not Plant in February

Do not Plant in March

Do not Plant in April

Do Plant in May

Do Plant in June

Do Plant in July

Do not Plant in August

Do not Plant in September

Do not Plant in October

Do not Plant in November

Do not Plant in December

Flowers
Flowers

Plant does not flower in January

Plant does not flower in February

Plant does not flower in March

Plant does not flower in April

Plant does flower in May

Plant does flower in June

Plant does flower in July

Plant does flower in August

Plant does flower in September

Plant does not flower in October

Plant does not flower in November

Plant does not flower in December

Cut back
Cut back

Do not Cut back in January

Do not Cut back in February

Do not Cut back in March

Do not Cut back in April

Do not Cut back in May

Do not Cut back in June

Do not Cut back in July

Do not Cut back in August

Do not Cut back in September

Do Cut back in October

Do not Cut back in November

Do not Cut back in December

At its best
At its best

Plant is not at its best in January

Plant is not at its best in February

Plant is not at its best in March

Plant is not at its best in April

Plant is at its best in May

Plant is at its best in June

Plant is at its best in July

Plant is at its best in August

Plant is at its best in September

Plant is not at its best in October

Plant is not at its best in November

Plant is not at its best in December

Time to act
Time to act

Do not Time to act in January

Do not Time to act in February

Do not Time to act in March

Do not Time to act in April

Do Time to act in May

Do Time to act in June

Do not Time to act in July

Do not Time to act in August

Do not Time to act in September

Do not Time to act in October

Do not Time to act in November

Do not Time to act in December

To do
To do

Do not To do in January

Do not To do in February

Do not To do in March

Do not To do in April

Do To do in May

Do To do in June

Do not To do in July

Do not To do in August

Do not To do in September

Do not To do in October

Do not To do in November

Do not To do in December

This cottage-style planting scheme is perfect for adding a splash of colour and charm to an otherwise dull corner. Here, we’ve used a large grey pot to show off the more vibrant colours of the plants, especially greens. Leaf textures are just as important as flowers in this display, as they add richness to the design.

This display combines pastel tones with white, dark and a splash of yellow for a punchy accent. It’s good for wildlife, too – the aquilegia and scabious will attract bees, moths and other beneficial insects. Achillea is great for hoverflies and provides seeds for birds, while the hesperis is a caterpillar food plant of the orange-tip butterfly.

This cottage-style planting scheme is perfect for adding a splash of colour and charm to an otherwise dull corner. Here, we’ve used a large grey pot to show off the more vibrant colours of the plants, especially greens. Leaf textures are just as important as flowers in this display, as they add richness to the design.

This display combines pastel tones with white, dark and a splash of yellow for a punchy accent. It’s good for wildlife, too – the aquilegia and scabious will attract bees, moths and other beneficial insects. Achillea is great for hoverflies and provides seeds for birds, while the hesperis is a caterpillar food plant of the orange-tip butterfly.

Using a large pot not only lets you grow a wide variety of plants, but the greater volume of compost required to fill it will also dry out less quickly, meaning you don’t have to water it as often.

Place your pot in full sun to partial shade, and plant all but the nemesia in the ground after flowering.

More pot displays:

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You Will Need

  • Achillea ‘Moonshine’ (1)
  • Alchemilla mollis ‘Thriller’ (2)
  • Aquilegia ‘Winky Red-white’ (2)
  • Scabiosa ‘Butterfly Blue’ (2)
  • Hesperis matronalis albiflora (1)
  • Nemesia ‘Lady Penelope’ (2)
  • Peat-free, multi-purpose compost
  • 46cm steel pot

Step 1

Check your container has a drainage hole in the base. Put the pot in its finished position, as it will be too heavy to move when full. Fill the container just over halfway with peat-free compost.

Cottage garden in a pot - adding compost to the pot
Cottage garden in a pot – adding compost to the pot

Step 2

Give your plants a good soak in their nursery containers. When you remove the pots, check the plants’
rootballs to make sure they’re free from pests. Tease out the roots before planting.

Cottage garden in a pot - planting up the pot
Cottage garden in a pot – planting up the pot

Step 3

If your plants came in coir pots, put these straight into the container. Over time the coir will decompose. Backfill around the plants with compost and firm in.

Cottage garden in a pot - planting up the pot
Cottage garden in a pot – planting up the pot

Step 4

Ensure the compost surface is about 2cm below the rim of the pot to make it easier to water. Water
your container well and do so regularly throughout summer

Cottage garden in a pot - watering the plants
Cottage garden in a pot – watering the plants
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This cottage-style planting scheme is perfect for adding a splash of colour and charm to an otherwise dull corner. Here, we’ve used a large grey pot to show off the more vibrant colours of the plants, especially greens. Leaf textures are just as important as flowers in this display, as they add richness to the design.

This display combines pastel tones with white, dark and a splash of yellow for a punchy accent. It’s good for wildlife, too – the aquilegia and scabious will attract bees, moths and other beneficial insects. Achillea is great for hoverflies and provides seeds for birds, while the hesperis is a caterpillar food plant of the orange-tip butterfly.

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