Crocosmia, penstemon and rudbeckia pot display

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
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 not at its best in May

Plant is not at its best in June

Plant is at its best in July

Plant is at its best in August

Plant is not 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

To do
To do

Do To do in January

Do To do in February

Do To do in March

Do To do in April

Do To do in May

Do To do in June

Do To do in July

Do To do in August

Do To do in September

Do To do in October

Do To do in November

Do To do in December

While many container displays are looking past their best by August, this late-summer display will brighten up a corner of the patio right through autumn. The fiery colours of the crocosmia, rudbeckia and penstemon contrast beautifully with the evergreen foliage of pheasant’s tail grass.

You will need

  • Crocosmia × crocosmiiflora ‘Emily Mckenzie’ 
  • Penstemon ‘Red Riding Hood’
  • Libertia ixioides ‘Goldfinger’
  • Rudbeckia fulgida ‘City Garden’
  • Anemanthele lessoniana
  • Terracotta pot, 45cm diameter
  • Multi-purpose compost
  • Slow-release fertiliser

Total time:

Step 1

Place a layer of broken polystyrene or crocks in the base of the pot, to aid drainage. Add compost until the pot is two-thirds full. Push your fingers into the compost or gently knock the pot to remove air pockets.


Step 2

Sprinkle slow-release fertiliser over the compost, to keep the display looking good for as long as possible.


Step 3

Place the tallest plants at the back of the pot and the shorter plants at the front. Add more compost around the plants and firm gently.


Step 4

Add the smaller plants around the tallest, filling in gaps with more compost.


Step 5

Water the pot thoroughly and leave to drain.


Kevin Smith says…

These plants are great for a hit of potted late-summer colour, although they can be moved to a border when they stop flowering. They’ll all thrive in a sunny spot, rewarding you with blooms for many years to come.

Kevin Smith