In this No Fuss video guide, Kevin Smith shows how to plant up a terracotta pot that is packed with late-summer colour. He explains which compost to use and selects a range of perennials that will have a life in the garden once the pot is past its best, including echinacea, diascia and heuchera. He also highlights the importance of deadheading and watering to prolong the display.
Late summer colour pot display: transcript
There comes a time when summer containers begin to look a little bit tired. Don’t worry about it, I’m going to show you a way to create a pot that will give you interest right the way through to the end of the season. I’m starting off with just a traditional terracotta pot and I’m going to fill it until it’s about three quarters full with multi-purpose compost. I’m just breaking up any large lumps with my hands as I go. For good measure, I’m going to work in some slow release fertiliser granules. Now, these are just mixed into the compost. If you push them right the way down with your hands, they’ll give the plants that I’m going to put into the pot all the nutrients they need to see them through for several months to come. I’m just mixing them all in, making sure they’re evenly distributed amongst the compost.
The plants that I’ve chosen are perennial, which means they come back year after year and they can be transplanted to the garden once this particular container is past its best, it means that you’re not really wasting money and the plants have a life beyond the container. Now, I’m starting off with this echinacea. It’s called ‘Double Scoop Mandarin’ and I imagine that’s something to do with the orange flower. Just carefully remove it from the pot – I’m going to position it towards the back. Next I’m adding these Diascia ‘Aurora Apricot’. They’re lovely delicate little blooms and they’ll gently spill over the edge of the container as it begins to grow. I’m now going to add Heuchera ‘Cassis’ – this foliage plant has beautiful leaves that are a really deep colour. As I said, like all the other plants, it can be added to the border when the container is past its best. I’m just going to pop it near the front. So the leaves spill over the edge a little bit. Finally, I’ve got these two little Uncinia rubras – they’ve got plenty of movement and their leaves have lots of sort of structural interest add add another shape to the display. I’m going to put them together near the front.
All I need to do now is add some more compost to the gaps, so that all the roots of the plants are in contact with the soil. And finally, it’s time to give it a really good water. Let’s go gently so you don’t splash it all over the edge; and then water regularly so that the compost doesn’t dry out. As the flowers continue to grow, nip off any faded blooms as they appear. This will keep things looking really neat, meaning that this will keep you going for the rest of the season.