COLUMN: Bring bright colours into your garden

Sara Milne, gardening column
Sara Milne, gardening column

Container gardens are not just about putting a few pansies in a pot – you can grow some fabulous shrubs and plants in a variety of garden containers that will bloom year after year.

They will provide colour foliage in even the smallest of outside spaces.

If you are not sure which shrubs to go for, then it’s a good idea to have a look at the RHS Award of Garden Merit (AGM) selection of container friendly varieties. All you have to do after that is take some pots, grab some compost and make your plant selection.

If you fancy some vibrant red to bring your garden, patio or balcony alive then try one of many AGM beauties.

The first is Rosa Munstead Wood. This compact rose has a long flowering season from June to September, its large sumptuous flowers are deep crimson and it’s highly perfumed providing an old rose fragrance during the summer months. New leaves are an attractive reddish bronze in colour and it thrives in a sunny spot.
Secondly, you could try Rhododendron Dopey.

Perfect for a smaller garden, Rhododendron Dopey has long-lasting clusters of deep red flowers and matt green leaves which makes this evergreen really attractive. Its flowers will create an eye-catching splash of colour through May and June and it’s happy in part shade.

You will need to use ericaceous compost in your container for this one.
Finally, try Acer Crimson Queen. The leaves of Crimson Queen create a lovely lacy effect but its special feature is that it keeps is colour from spring until the leaves turn scarlet in autumn. Best in sun or partial shade it can grow to a height of three metres (but you can keep that in check with pruning) and even in winter, when the leaves have dropped, the stems and stalks remain red.

Plant small bedding plants in threes – it provides an instant floral display and will fill each container completely. Water your plants the day before you are going to plant them, and make sure you water them on a regular basis. But most of all, enjoy!