Garden Blog - Blog Post

Patio Pot Plants 2015


With the days getting longer and occasionally warmer, Spring is advancing and I used the long Easter weekend to start bringing plants out of the cosy comfort of the greenhouses and out of winter hibernation. It’s time to start the growing season for 2015.

With the major part of the patio now scrubbed and cleaned to a bright sparkling finish, it was time to set up the patio pot plants for this year. I decided to shift things around a bit by moving the barbecue closer to the kitchen to make outdoor grilled meat more likely for dinner and the table and chairs were moved to an even sunnier spot. I part-surrounded this table and chairs with pot plants to try and get a more “enclosed” feel. I only paid a small amount of attention to pots that prefer shade and others that prefer to bake as the patio is very sunny – oppressively so at the height of summer – and there’s really not a great deal in the way of shade unless its supplied by other plants.

Patio Long View 2015

Patio finally scrubbed!

The theme of hostas, iris and roses remains the same, with those making up the majority, but there are also others plants such as Clematis, lavender, ferns and even a fig. Things are looking rather sparse at the moment as the hostas and ferns have yet to emerge, the fig is leafless, the roses are only just getting going and the Clematis is still a pile of dead sticks however, as things begin to grow it will all begin to knit together and look like a large, individually-potted herbaceous border.

Patio Pots with Auto-Irrigation

Shiny new watering system being plumbed in.

I’ve had few casualties this winter, I think it was only the chillies from last year, which did not survive the cold. During particularly windy weather, we have been at risk of the walk-in plastic greenhouse taking off and ending up in someone else’s garden. It really did get a battering to the point where it threw pots and seed trays off the staging inside. Waking up in the morning to find seedlings and young plants in piles scattered on the floor was very discouraging. Fortunately, most have survived and have re-emerged from their winter shake-up.

Dead Chillies

Chilli plants don’t like Winter.

I’m trying to resurrect the trailing fuchsias that were in the front trugs last year. At the moment, they look like dead sticks. A couple have a few new green leaves but most look gone. Perhaps optimistically, I gave them a soak and have put them in the warm greenhouse in the hope that they may wake from the dead and start growing again. The Banksiae Lutea rose is sheltering in the warm greenhouse too. It likes it so much in there that it will be flowering heavily (for the small plant it is) this year. As these roses are tender when young, I’ll be keeping it within the protection of the greenhouse until around May, when I will plant it out next to the Wisteria at the front. The Strelitzia – which has been lounging around inside the house – will be joining the patio pot plants when the nights rise above 5°C.

Overwintering Trailing Fuchsias

Trying to bring trailing fuchsias back from the dead.

There’s still the rest of the patio to scrub and I have to set up the irrigation system for all these pots. I also have great plans for patio staging for the multitude of seed trays and little plants I have that will populate the garden. More on that in another post (and after I’ve done some shopping).

Banksiae Lutea Rose in BudBanksiae Lutea Rose in heavy bud.

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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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Alain 13/04/2015 - 2:11 pm

The patio already looks very good and the new watering system should save you a lot of work. Good luck with bringing back to life the trailing fuchsias.
Even here it is starting to feel like spring. Yesterday it was warmer outside than inside.

Sunil 16/04/2015 - 6:18 pm

Hello Alain, the irrigation system is already making a difference and even though it isn’t complete yet, it has already saved me a lot of time. With the trailing fuchsias, I think I’ve managed to save about 1 in 5, not a great record! I’ll have to top them up from the Garden Centre.

gardeninacity 14/04/2015 - 12:57 am

Interesting that your containers are almost all perennials. That is fairly unusual for this part of the USA. The idea appeals to me but I keep sticking with all annuals. Looking forward to seeing what you do with all your seedlings.

Sunil 16/04/2015 - 6:17 pm

Hello Jason, I don’t tend to go for annuals in pots as I prefer the convenience of perennials. I pot them up as they grow and get bigger, eventually turfing them out into the garden and starting over from perennial seed or cuttings that I had prepared earlier.

Jean 15/04/2015 - 3:00 am

Like Jason, I’m very interested in your use of containers to create a potted perennial border. I have never been very imaginative in my use of containers, and I hope to improve on that as I develop my new front garden, which includes a patio, a small deck, and a front entry that are all good sites for container gardens.

Sunil 16/04/2015 - 6:15 pm

Hello Jean, it’s ended up this way mainly because these are plants that were lifted from the previous garden, but thinking back to when I used to have the smaller patio pots collection in the old garden, they were perennials too. I tend to keep one per pot and make them substantial. I don’t really go in for annuals in pots, or annuals at all, I find having to resow them each year too much effort. Having said that I have made an exception for the trugs at the front, which have hanging basket annuals in them with a Clematis at the centre (perennial again).

casa mariposa 18/04/2015 - 2:28 am

You and I have a very similar approach to our patios. I use mine as a spot for my large container garden, which is really an extension of my perennial garden. It allows me a chance to grow plants I don’t have room for or whose drainage needs require something other than clay loam. But I’m doing the opposite by kicking most of the perennials out and back into the garden. This year I have tons of annuals to fill my pots with so I’ll have color all summer.

Sunil 18/04/2015 - 8:49 am

Hi Tammy, it’s very much an area for entertaining and relaxing while being surrounded by plants. The plants in the patio pots are either on their way into the garden or have come out of the garden as over-spill or are in intensive care (if border competition proved too much). The trugs at the front will have annuals, as will the hanging baskets, but this is more unusual for me.


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