Creating a summer pot

Find out how to create a stylish summer pot display, in our No Fuss Guide with Kevin Smith.

A summer container display can bring life to an empty corner of the garden. Discover how to create the perfect display, in our No Fuss Guide to creating a summer pot, with Kevin Smith, BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine.

Creating a summer pot: transcript

Hello, I’m going to show you how to plant a summer pot. It’s full of texture and interest and perfect for a hot, sunny spot. Choose a lovely glazed container – this will add loads of interest to your patio or doorstep and will just be a little bit more interesting than plain terracotta.

You need to fill the pot with peat-free multi-purpose compost. Fill it until it’s about two thirds full. This compost has everything that plants need to keep them going for around six weeks. After this time, you might want to consider giving your container a liquid seaweed feed. Now you want to add some grit. All the plants that we’re going to use in this pot love really free-draining conditions. So, this grit really does give
them the extra drainage that they need to be happy and survive. Mix it in with your fingers.

Now it’s time to add the plants. I’m going to add this aeonium first. It’s a really, really impressive looking thing and these fleshy leaves are full of water that hold onto loads of moisture to keep it going through the summer. Just remove it from its pot and just pop it on the compost surface. I’m putting it near the back of the pot so it forms the backdrop to the whole scheme. Next is this Festuca glauca – it has a lovely blue colour and it really moves in the wind to create a lovely contrast against the aeonium. I’m going to put that near the back too. Next, I’m going to include the cineraria. I love this silver foliage and it really brightens up the whole look of things. So I’m just going to separate them out and put them in individually.

Now, for the final plant, I’m going to use this sedum. It’s got a lovely creeping habit and will gently trail over the edge of the pot as it grows. Put it in the gap that’s left and don’t worry about jamming it in – the plants will quickly settle down. Add a little bit more compost into any gaps. We’ll follow that with a few handfuls of grit. Now it’s time to water the pot. Although all of these plants love hot, dry conditions, all new containers need watering. It helps to settle the compost around the roots and make sure all the plants get off to a really good start. So there we are, a summer pot for a really hot spot.