Growing plants in pots opens up a world of opportunity. The right plant, right place rules that usually affect our everyday gardening decisions go out of the window. You can choose your own soil type, aspect, nutrient level and even temperature. Growing in pots gives you flexibility that the ground can’t offer.
Chocolate cosmos has amazing flowers that smell of chocolate, but the smell can only be appreciated when you’re up close and personal. Growing it in a container raises the flower height so they are nearer your nose, allowing for easier access to that incredible aroma. Combined with the rich colour of the flowers, it is the perfect plant to grow in a pot.
Necklace vine has to be included for its achingly beautiful form and leaf. This plant will cascade over the sides of any pot, creating an obscured edge, with the instant look of an ancient relic, that evokes a forgotten-garden feel. It creates softness and wildness, but in the daintiest of ways. A nice bonus is that Meuhlenbeckia will also climb if you would like.
Pelargonium ‘Attar of Roses'
This is a scented leaf pelargonium, with soft, downy hairs on the foliage. It has pale, lilac flowers and a strong scent of rose when the leaf is rubbed. This plant highlights how containers can be flexible, as this pelargonium may need to be moved indoors for the winter unless the weather is very mild. This is a medicinal pelargonium that’s used in the production of rose geranium essential oil.
This tender succulent, also known as African bulbine, demonstrates how using a container allows us to change our soil type. The bulbine needs good drainage and will happily grow in almost pure gravel or grit. It is a medicinal herb from South Africa, with aloe-like gel, which is widely used medicinally. Like aloes, bulbine has a lovely, orange or yellow flower, but the foliage is much finer and more elegant than the aloe.
Growing blueberries in pots highlights again that soil type is irrelevant in containers. I have never had a naturally acidic soil, so always grow these fruits in a pot filled with ericaceous compost. There is nothing else that tastes like a blueberry, so for me, this plant, and therefore a container in which to grow it, is a must! It’s best watered with rain water as water from the tap is too alkaline for this sensitive plant.