If you have a little spare time this weekend, why not get your gardening gloves on and plant up a beautiful container that will fill your summer with colour? We’ve put together a beautiful planter designed to be colourful and inexpensive. This one will also do its bit for nature by attracting bees into your garden.

We’re going for a combination of lobelia, busy lizzies, and rudbeckia in our planter this time. This combination will look beautiful on your decking, or on the patio but might well be happier outside once the weather has improved.


What you’ll need

  • •  Planter
  • •  Peat-free compost
  • •  Trowel
  • •  Gloves
  • •  Stones or broken pots
  • •  Plants
  • •  Fertiliser


Plants and flowers

Trailing lobelia (plugs)

Busy Lizzie (plugs)

Rudbeckia (seeds or plugs)

 

Prepare your Plug Plants

Trailing lobelia is a mainstay of British gardening design and can work really well in a container trailing over the edge of your planter. Lobelia is super easy to grow and should last well all summer long. Normally in shades of blue and purple, we’ve also chosen lobelia in order to offer a subtle contrast to its colleagues. Busy Lizzie is such a cheerful plant. This one will fill the middle circle of the planting design with sweet and colourful blooms well into the first frosts of autumn. Finally, for a bit of added height to the scheme, we’ve gone for the sturdy rudbeckia. Sometimes known as coneflowers, these guys are bright yellow and will flower from late July well into October.


Preparation

Choose from our brilliant planters, like our ready to paint square planter. Made of high quality materials, they’re long lasting, suitable for all weather, and can be painted any colour you like. They come with pre-drilled drainage holes and a liner so they take all the hard work out of gardening. You might prefer one of our alternative planters – this planting guide will suit anything.

Fill the bottom of your planter with large gravel or a layer of broken pots to assist drainage. Any kind of container gardening needs to work hard to ensure plants don’t become water-logged. Next, fill your planter about two-thirds up with a good quality, peat-free compost mixed in with a good handful of perlite to aid drainage even more. Now is a good time to either water your plug plant trays, or stand them in a small amount of water just to loosen up the existing compost and make transferring them a little easier.


Plants

Carefully extract your plug plants form their containers and plan your design and distances – don’t dig them in at this point. Once you’re happy with the arrangement, use the end of your trowel to poke a hole in your compost and perlite mix deep enough to cover the roots of your plug. Carefully place each plant in the right hole and firm the compost to make sure the roots are covered but not too much of the stem. Once you’ve finished your planting, give everything a good water and finish off with a spot of liquid fertiliser. There is still time to sow rudbeckia from seed if you prefer – the busy lizzies will cover for them until they reach full height.

Stay tuned for more planter designs coming your way soon. Good luck, green-fingered friends!