Plants in Pots- part 1

I like growing plants in pots. Every year I somehow manage to end up with quite a large collection despite promising myself that I must take control, limit it, remember all the watering, lugging can after can around the place.

I think my short term memory span must be in query as I've just come in from, well, lugging can after can of water all around the place.

So anyway, here's some of the stuff I'm growing at the moment.

Above is Foxtail barley, Hordeum jubatum. I love the way it sways in the breeze with pink tinged nodding infloresences.

Below, a bronze sedge. Carex. Exactly which one I'm not sure, but it's a colour that really harmonises with blue such as the catmint growing behind.

I'm really knocked out with this tobacco below. Nicotiana 'Tinkerbell', Nicotiana x hyhrida.

At the time of sowing, back in March, I was not entirely sure that it would work in the tubs I had in mind. I couldn't have been more wrong. My photo doesn't do it justice but I can tell you that I love its structure and those blooms! Thompson and Morgan's description that 'Nicotiana Tinkerbell demands closer inspection, as the clusters of dusky-rose petals have lime-green backs and unusual azure blue pollen in the centre of each flower' is absolutely spot on.

Below, this Asparagus fern, Asparagus densiflorus 'Sprengeri' , sits at the bottom of the wall as you walk down into the courtyard. I'll be honest. Sometimes I really like it, other times I think it looks like someones bad hair day.

Finally, growing in a stone planter near the living room window, this is my 'bling' thing. Canna 'Phasion', also known as 'Tropicana' or 'Durban'.

In a month or so, these will send up shocking orange flowers, but really it's the foliage I like. Love 'em or hate 'em, you can't miss them.


  1. Great pictures Rob. I love growing plants in pots but watering can be a pain in hot summers. And Weevils seem to be a problem this year. But I would never give them up.

  2. Love the Canna! (And its stone container). The Nicotiana flower is amazing.

    I water infrequently but really saturate the tubs when I do, which seems to work.

  3. Hi Rob, I have terrible luck with containers and sometimes think they look better empty. Yours are fabulous, the grasses are perfect against the gravel paths and Tinkerbell is a beauty. It self sows here and is left to grow wherever it decides it wants to live, usually in the middle of the path. :-)

  4. Beautiful photos -- I especially love the closeup of the Nicotiana Tinkerbell.

  5. I'm a big fan of other peoples pots! Not really my own. I have a couple but the extra watering required creates one of those time issues. You planters look great.

  6. Rob,

    I like your selections and the containers must make wonderful accents in your beautiful garden.

    I know what you mean "short term memory" about containers. After I HAD to stop watering in the drought of 2007, I skipped growing anything last year. This year, I went all out with 17 containers. (whoa -- that's the first time I counted -- I must be crazy)


    PS the airfares for September are dropping really low. What's the Perigord region like that time of year? Weather? Crowds?

  7. Everything looks wonderful, I love the grasses.

    I have only container, and last year it was over 200 pots. This year it is probably something like 150. I do water deeply, very deeply, and then leave them for a few days, this trains them to make use of what water they are given.

    Of course I am also training them to sit up and beg, or even to roll over. Just joking.

    I is carex buchannii? Hard for me to tell for sure.

    Muddy Boot Dreams

  8. Hi, I LOVE your stone planter...that knocked-me-out, so to speak! You've 'tweaked' my curiosity about these specimens, and reminded me that I had actually intended to plant some catmint this year and have forgotten!! I have blue salvia, blue lavender; but I forgot the catmint! I'll get on it...perhaps even today (if I can 'stumble' out of the house! Actually, I must put on my 'boot' and head on over to the doctors because my blood test was Positive for Lyme Disease! Yuck. Maybe that's why I've been literally feeling so bad! I've just finished a round of doxycyclene and now the dr. wants me to go through another round of antibiotics. Hopefully I'll get this under control before I get 'laid up'. Sorry I haven't visited you in a while! I always enjoy, and appreciate, your visits and comments! Jan

  9. Love all your plants in pots. Think of the great work out you're getting lugging all the cans of water :)
    My tall nicotiana is officially dead :( The shorter variety is doing great though. I'm going to try the ones you have next year.

  10. Hmm some food for thought there especially the nicotiana. I too am a bit of a pot fanatic so much so I have difficulty finding room for them. I think it is a bit of a control thing with me. Also I like to move things around a bit like furniture.
    My current favourites are Hosta, Lillies, Agapanthus polyantha type roses like the Fairy,and many things I haven' found space for in the garden yet.

  11. You have some real gems there Rob. It must get even hotter when you are lugging that watering can about ! I like the way that the carex perfectly complements its pot. Have you come across nicotiana mutablis? It starts off white and then fades to a pale pink before turning to a dusky pink (it might be the other way round) You get all three colours on the plant and it is scented too. I will send you some seed if you are interested. Look forward to the next installment :)

  12. And speaking of love/hate, I added some bronze sedge to a container arrangement for a client to pick up the lovely bronze tones in the flagstone. Was back for the first time since last year on Monday and the plant was gone. Why? Because she never learned to embrace her "perpetually dead looking plant."

  13. Hermes, It's those white grubs that do the damage. They seem to love soilless compost.

    Phoenix C, the sensible way to water.

    Frances, I remember you mentioned Tinkerbell self sowing. I bet it looks wonderful popping up here and there.

    Hi Island gardener. How you doing?

    Dave, sure enough the watering takes time.

    Cameron, September is a nice month on the whole. The beginning is preferable to the end when the evenings draw in and the temperature drops. The August crowds are gone. Actually, there are quite a lot of American visitors at that time of year, credit crunch excepted!

    Jen, I'd forgotten that you have a huge amount of pots.I think the carex probably is, that or bronze form

    Jan, take care of yourself. That Lyme disease can be serious. Glad its been an early diagnose and can be dealt with swiftly.

    Catherine, sorry about the tall Nicotiana! I guess you're refering to sylvestris. Go for it again next year.

    Joanne, I seem to remember you posted about Hosta some time ago, or Hostas were in the post.
    I may go for Agapanthus next year.

    Anna, I'm going to google N. mutablis, I seem to remember Chiltern's having it.Thanks so much for you kind offer. I may take you up, cheers.

    Hi Susan, Karen (my wife) simply refers to carex as the all year dead thing.I should have trimmed mine a bit back in March as the new growth has a slightly pink tinge and the tips from last year are a little ropey.

  14. Such a lovely sight.... glorious sunlight and glorious plants and blooms.

    ~ bangchik

  15. Hi Rob am a big fan of grasses and strangely never thought of putting them in pots. They do look lovely and i love the way they sway in the breeze. Nice post. The Nicotiana i think is a noxious weed here, but the others are nice.

  16. Great photos Rob - and I just love that Canna!
    I'm way too lazy to have tubs (or hanging baskets!)as I just completely forget to water them, but your tubs look great and I'm really quite envious of them - but not enough to bother having some of my own!!!

  17. I came over via Sylvan Muse, and discovered the wonderful photos of your garden.

  18. Great stuff, Rob! You have a great eye for interesting plants with stunning foliage. Love containers but must limit mine since I'm gone so much ... yet, I must have them, sad when I loose them :(
    Nicotiana 'Tinkerbell', Nicotiana x hyhrida is a beauty, a plant often used in our public village gardens. Oh sweet June ... in your French garden and my Michigan one!

  19. I like your containers and the plant choices. That flowering tobacco as I call it--is so interesting and was worth a closer look. I wasn't going to do many containers either but I've got 10 so far and it will grow by another 4 today.

  20. Love the Asparagus fern.
    It was fun visiting you !

  21. I really like that first grass. It's lovely. You're more industrious than I am, I try to avoid potted plants (except for the huge number of baby plants on the porch).

  22. I like the asparagus fern - thank heaven for tough plants like that one - it did well in a pot on my HOT and shady front porch last year, though it's not hardy in our winters. And I'm not a canna fan, but yours are certainly interesting!

  23. Hello!

    My name is Hukumaru.

    I think your website is wonderful.

    Please link to this site

    My web site address is below.

    If you would like to link to my site,my URL is below.

    Bonsai Garden


  24. Somehow, I missed this post! Grasses in containers - I need to try this! I also like your gravel paths. Better than mulch.

  25. lovely collection. reminds me of a friend who does amazing things with pots, which I do very little of.. for now.


Post a Comment