Many of us enjoy the wonderful variety of colour, fragrance and foliage created by annuals in containers and hanging baskets, but opting for annuals means starting afresh each year, which can be an expensive business. Choosing the right perennial shrubs to plant in large pots offers readymade density and height and can prove very cost-effective. Here are some suggestions to get you started:
Attractive and colourful in spring and summer
Evergreen and hardy, lavender tolerates full sun and is fragrant and colourful. Add grit or pearlite to your planting compost for good drainage and protect the plant over winter. Lavendula stoechas is a great variety to try – place it close to your rattan garden furniture to fully enjoy its heady perfume.
Although geraniums are most often used as annual bedding plants, varieties like Blue Sunrise Blogold are hardy annuals and produce stunning violet blue flowers throughout the summer.
Winter colour and year-round greenery
The pristine white Christmas rose flowers in January and February and brightens your winter garden. It’s hard to beat boxwood, which retains its deep green foliage throughout the year. Green Mountain buxus is often shaped into a topiary ball for a more formal look, but it’ll grow into a loose pyramid shape if left to grow naturally.
Hostas are an ideal choice for a shaded area, and the waxy leaves of the larger blue-green varieties add architectural structure to your container planting. To protect from slugs, put a band of copper tape around your pot to deter munching visitors.
With these shrubs in your garden, your outdoor space will look and smell lovely year-round.