We planted up this large container with a bright and breezy mix of perennials that will look good for months on end, and provide valuable pollen and nectar for pollinating insects. For this pot display, we picked an attractively ribbed metal container that provides plenty of space for root growth.
More container gardening advice:
Find out more about how we planted up this container and how to care for it, below.
The plants we used
‘Ostfriesland’ is a hardy, compact salvia, so it’s well-suited to growing in pots and containers. The flower spikes bear lots of vibrant violet flowers along their length and are a magnet for butterflies and bees. Other salvias to consider include Salvia ‘Flower Child’ and Salvia ‘Viola Klose’.
In this video we planted Achillea ‘Moonshine’, which is a particularly prolific variety. As the flowers open, they will turn a brilliant shade of canary yellow. The tiny flowers are especially good for hoverflies. If yellow isn’t for you, why not go for the dusky-pink blooms of Achillea ‘Paprika’ or orange-flowered Achillea ‘Terracotta’.
Blue moor grass, Sesleria caerulea
Blue moor grass, Sesleria caerulea, is one of the many lovely seslerias to grow. This species is tough, slow-growing and evergreen. Alternatives include Stipa tenuissima and Acorus ‘Ogon’.
Care and maintenance
Once planted, place the container in a sunny area of the garden. These are all robust plants that can cope with hot summer sun. Give the compost a good soaking with a watering can when the top few centimetres of the compost have dried out.
We mixed in slow-release fertiliser when planting up this container, which should provide the plants with enough nutrients for the growing season. However, if you don’t use these, feed the plants in the container with a liquid tomato feed every few weeks, while the plants are in flower.
Keep deadheading the salvia flower spikes and achillea flowerheads as they fade – they’ll soon be replaced by new blooms. The sesleria can be kept tidy by raking through the foliage with your hands to remove any dead leaves.
Planted in spring, this container will look its best until autumn when the achillea and salvia start to die back. Cut the salvia and achillea back hard in late autumn. Given the large container used, these plants could remain in place for a few years. After this time, all of the plants can be potted up separately or planted in the ground.