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Pot plants and containers should complement each other.
If you have a greenhouse you can make pots and baskets from early spring. Keep them fed and watered so that they fill out, ready to be placed in position when the risk of frost has passed.
Many bedding plants are tender and cannot be planted out until the end of May when there is no danger of frost.
Plants grown in tubs, baskets and window boxes have a greater need for nutrients as they are grown very closely together. Use a slow-release fertiliser when you plant, to feed them throughout the season and keep them healthy.
Traditionally, boldly planted ornamental containers are changed and renewed several times a year. Place them wherever you would like to see vivid colour for months on end, in parts of the garden where there is little of interest.
For spring display, appealing choices would be wallflowers, forget-me-nots, double daisies, primroses and polyanthuses. Combine with tulips, hyacinths, narcissi and crocuses.
For summer display, there is a wide choice of half-hardy annuals and other plants that are easily grown from seed in spring. Combine these with half-hardy perennials or shrubby plants such as pelargoniums, dahlias, begonias and fuchsias.
Consider placing fragrant potted plants near doors and windows, or on patios, where you can best appreciate their scent.
It is essential to keep pots and hanging baskets well watered – about four litres a day per basket or container. Once a week use a highpotash feed to encourage fresh flowers.
Deadhead by removing spent flowers. This stops the plant wasting energy by producing seed, so that it will flower for longer.
A bucket is useful for supporting a hanging basket when planting up, to allow plants to trail over the edge without damage.
Alyssum, calendula, cosmos, gazania, helichrysum, nasturtium, petunia, salvia, tagetes, zinnia
Begonia, campanula, fuchsia, hedera, impatiens, lobelia, mimulus, nasturtium, nicotiana, viola
Chionodoxa, crocus, fritillaria, galanthus, hyacinth, iris, lilium, muscari, narcissi, tulips
The following plants would be suitable, as indicated: