Pots for an Irish garden

Gardening trends may come and go but garden pots are always popular

The right pots add great colour and character to even the smallest of spaces indoors or outdoors. With a little creativity, they are a veritable gardener’s paradise, particularly at this time of year.

Achieving colour at your front door

Pots for an Irish Garden
Pots are an easy way to brighten up your front door

I like to mix evergreens with a little bit of colour. That way I can keep replacing the colourful plants and shrubs throughout the year to achieve very different seasonal looks both at my front door and on my own patio at home.

If you want colour and want your pots to be maintenance free, then I’d recommend mixing it up with some striking foliage rather than relying on flowers that might get tired half way through the year.

To achieve colour with striking foliage I’d recommend pink cordyline, variegated ivy, coprosoma, heuchera, hosta or carex grass. Another interesting choice is Astelia. It’s fantastic when mixed with evergreens!

Bay laurels were huge a few years back but got decimated by the frost and snow. Lots of customers who come into us now at CountryLife are looking for plants for their front door or patios that will provide berries for the birds during the winter months. Standard holly is great for this and was a huge hit last year.

Tips for choosing garden pots

When choosing a pot there are a few things to consider. I always recommend a frost-resistant container. I lift mine off the ground just a little by placing a few tiny pebbles underneath. This allows surplus rain to drain off, reducing the chances of frost damage while also providing a self-draining soil for my plants. You can also purchase saucers for the base of your pots, but be sure to get a saucer that is the same size as the pot and don’t be afraid to mix a different colour saucer with a different colour pot. Be adventurous in the garden!

Compost is vital from the get go

I recommend using really good compost from the outset – compost that won’t dry out too much, such as Growise All-purpose compost is the perfect starting point. Mix a little topsoil with your good quality compost or choose a high grade, multi-purpose one such as one with John Innes. To really drive your plants on, add in a little pelleted manure, it makes a really good home for the plants and their roots.

Bord na Móna’s Pro5 Compost is a reduced peat premium compost that’s specially formulated for use in pots and containers

Garden pot maintenance

Give your containers a good clear out at the start of each growing season and replace the compost. Before discarding the old compost over your garden, check first for eggs. If you find any, discard them in a safe part of the garden where they won’t damage flowers or shrubs.

If you plan to use containers in a windy area, perhaps choose square ones as they are less likely to blow over. If you have chosen terracotta and want to age them from the get-go, smear them with natural yoghurt for a more natural look.

Ceramic makes it easy

If you want an easy care container garden, I’d be inclined to opt for ceramic pots. They are easy to look after; you can wipe them down with a cloth or give them a little spray every now and again with a power hose , try not to upset things too much.

If at any stage your pots look a little tired, don’t be afraid to whip out any dying plants and give them an afterlife in your compost heap.