Garden Blog - Blog Post

Some Patio Gems


The patio is currently the temporary home of all the plants we had managed to bring along with us from our previous garden. Also present are plants discovered in and rescued from the compost heap and plants that have been kindly donated. There are umpteen pots all displayed together and it’s turned the patio green and it looks beautiful.


From the kitchen end.


From the far end


From the front (or back?).


From above with the focus completely out of whack.

The sheer number of pots makes it feel like a kind of a garden caravan or a mobile flower show. There are spaces to really get in among the plants and to reach the ones at the back. There are also log stools made from an old pear tree to sit down on and take it all in. The pots are visible from all windows at the back of the house and the whole thing runs almost the full length of the patio. It’s the largest pot display I’ve done yet, and probably will ever have.

Despite its size and sheer presence, I always get a sense of fleeting and transience when I’m around the patio pots. Their number means an automatic watering system would be  prohibitive and unable to cover every pot there is. I don’t fancy spending the whole summer watering by hand either. A sprinkler is out of the question since we’re on a water meter and many of the plants won’t like being cooped in pots for long. It’s purely pragmatic reasons like these which mean there will likely never be a similar display once these pots have been dealt with.

Nearly all the pots are expected to be planted out somewhere, eventually. They’re all waiting on me to create the borders and dig the beds and reclaim the various neglected areas of the garden. At that point, I’ll walk back and forth across the collection of pots and pick the ones I want to plant out and so place them permanently in their new “home”. This is just what I did with that front border; gaps in the display briefly opened up as I removed a few clematis and roses but a quick shuffle of surrounding pots into those gaps and they were never there.

As I pick away at the patio pots, systematically planting them this display will gradually erode until there are just a handful of pots left so lets look at a few pictures of this display before it disappears altogether.

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Sunil Patel

I'm Sunil Patel, this is me. I created the Garden at 13 Broom Acres and I open it to visitors. I also bake and write blog posts giving a "behind the scenes" look into what it's like to maintain such a garden.

Visit the blog, then come and visit the garden. We can have a good sit-down, a jolly chinwag and a relaxing cup of tea with a sinfully generous slice of home made cake.

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susan maclean 30/05/2014 - 11:35 pm

Well, well, well! lots and lots, so good luck with that! Your Arbutilon, where is that going? It looks as though you have some work to do (or someone will have to deal with it for you) supporting the end of the terrace – that paving will not support itself for long!

Sunil 10/06/2014 - 8:05 pm

Hi Mrs Mac, I don’t know where the Abutilon is going yet. There isn’t a suitable place for it at the moment, I shall have to invent one. The support at the end of the terrace is crumbling somewhat, but there is a concrete skirt underneath (not easily visible) so it is walkable but just don’t go too close to the edge.

casa mariposa 31/05/2014 - 1:45 am

Ya know, you just might get so used to all those pots that you end up buying a few ceramic ones once your borders are full because the patio looks so empty. i started out with one pot and ended up with 80+. I love how you’ve structured this into a beautiful temporary bed. It will be fun to go “shopping” on the patio for just the right plant to fill your new spots. 🙂

Sunil 10/06/2014 - 8:07 pm

Hi Tammy, I really do like having all those patio pots but the watering is an issue. I have been wondering about irrigation systems. “Going shopping” on the patio gives me a really thrill as I just walk along and pick out plants as I want for the areas I’m planting up. It’s really fun!

gardeninacity 12/06/2014 - 10:39 pm

Very clever approach, allows you to take your time. I find watering is a problem only in the summer when it is hot, planting so that none of the planting mix is exposed helps prevent drying out.

Sunil 15/06/2014 - 9:26 pm

Hi Jason, watering is a problem mainly because I can never tell when it’s going to rain. I spent ages watering all the pots once and then we had a heavy and prolonged thunderstorm in the middle of the night! There’s just no winning.


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