Nathan James Dodd attended the Garden Press event on Thursday at the Barbican in London, a great chance for suppliers and manufacturers to meet the gardening press to showcase their existing and new products.
Planters have many uses, as garden features, used for flower displays, or to break up hard landscaping. Nathan James Dodd loves these invaluable garden ornaments that play a leading role on the garden design stage.
A timber clad wishing well is produced by Forest who, along with other manufacturers, market a collection of wooden planters. They use interlocking logs and a wooden six sided roof to re-create a covered well with plants as the central feature. There is also a semi-circular version that can be positioned neatly against a wall.
Sawn timber or half log wooden planters are attractive, robust and available in various options from simple containers to practical ornamental designs. Properly treated, all timber products should last for many years with very little maintenance.
There’s elegant square planters, pyramid shaped planters, barrel shaped ones, multi-levelled with tumbling plants and hexagonal herb wheels featuring an eye-catching geometric design. Other timber planters fit around trees so you can relax enveloped in fragrance.
Borderstone are a major manufacturer of stone planters, from the amusing old boot planter to smooth to the touch modern versions made from rainbow coloured sandstone. There are also classic designs representing Grecian urns and homely ones including the wicker basket.
Perhaps the most charming is the Wishing Well Planter. With a tradition going back centuries it will prove to be a popular addition to your garden. Of course it can be planted like any other container and will become a colourful summertime centrepiece.
Another major manufacturer of cast stone planters is Haddonstone. Their vast range includes contemporary and traditional designs including troughs, bowls, cubes, urns and vases to complement stylish interiors, conservatories and garden rooms or to be placed on terraces, balconies or patios.
There are just too many to mention individually but they can come in an array of finishes and, like Borderstone, are manufactured from extremely durable cast stone with great attention to detail.
Once the container is in place, don’t forget that if you have alkaline soil, you can fill the container with ericaceous compost and your range of planting suddenly increases, and of course this works vice versa.
The container should be free draining and because nutrients can be easily lost, they must be replaced with a slow release fertiliser or by feeding every week in the growing season. Water daily and use water retaining granules, in addition cover the top with gravel or decorative stones to avoid excessive evaporation.
Bulbs are easy to grow in planters and choose any number of small shrubs or perennials to provide height in the centre. Alternatively a dwarf conifer will be perfect.
Use foliage plants in the winter and early spring and a flowering perennial such as a Christmas Rose or Cyclamen. Hepaticas and Pansies will certainly brighten overcast days. For the container edge, trailing geraniums, lobelias and nasturtiums look particularly attractive.
If you’re a keen cook, herbs can’t be fresher than gathered from a container next to the kitchen door. Also, remember that vegetables and even fruit can also be grown in a container. Dwarf fruit trees including apples will do well together with tomatoes, currents and strawberries.
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