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Spring plants for pots and how to plant them

Spring plants for potsAnother year has passed and we’ve survived another winter - so with thoughts turning to spring it seems like the perfect time to talk with Bressingham’s head gardener Jaime Blake.

Normally Jaime works in our expansive gardens so we thought we'd test him and see what he had to say about spring plants for pots - Here’s what Jaime told us.

What are the advantages of planting in pots or containers?

The advantage of planting in pots and containers is that you can move things around your garden as you wish, and when they’ve finished flowering you can hide them out of the way if you want to.

This portability means you can bring them into a prominent position when you want some colour, if you are careful with how you use them they can be moved around different borders to highlight plants that have “gone over” (this system can be used at any time - not just spring).

Pot planting with an evergreen surround

The other thing that I've seen done to great effect is to use a permanent evergreen outer ring in a fairly large pot (something around a 2 litre bucket) with a smaller, empty pot sunk in the middle.  This leaves you with the possibility of planting things in the smaller pot that come in and out of flower in the middle, whilst keeping the same evergreen surround.

So, for instance, you might have something like Ophiopogon (a black looking grass) used as a surround and then a pot of Snow Drops in flower in the centre.  When the Snow Drops go out of flower you can replace them a different plant coming into flower, such as Primulas.

This method of "plugging in" a new plant each time the old one goes out of flower can be a great way to reduce maintenance and keep some colour in your garden for as long as possible.

How I prefer to use pot plants in spring

Generally for spring and winter bedding or potting out I usually opt for a smaller pot - the reason being that I prefer not to waste a lot of compost on them unnecessarily since when you have something in a pot it's nice to be able to plant it out in the garden afterwards as well.

It depends on the size of the plants you want to put in - most of the time plants from a garden centre will be in a 9cm pot (a smallish square one).  If you were to plant things in a 2 litre bucket, but cut in half but the same height - in that I would probably plant five or six 9cm plants, fairly squished in.

One thing I would definitely recommend for pot planting is Euphorbia griffithii (or “Fireglow”), it grows to about 2.5ft tall eventually and has fantastic bright red spring growth - eventually getting acid green-yellow flowers.

Another is Maidenhair Fern, one called the Asiatic fern. It produces new growth in the spring with a wonderful pink tinge.

Do you have any favourite gardening tips or stories?

Horticulture is such a massive subject we always welcome suggestions and experience from visitors.

If you do, get in touch and let us know – you can also do it on Facebook or Twitter.

By Alastair Baker at 26 Jan 2016, 00:00 AM