One of the best projects that I have ever undertaken was transforming my kitchen courtyard and side alleyway into an ornamental potted garden.
The kitchen now opens up into a weatherproof courtyard, protected from the rain and the wind by a pergola structure covered with clear Polycarp and dressed with whitewashed timber droppers on the underside to regulate the sunlight and temperature.
Luckily the area is surrounded by four walls including my neighbour’s boundary. The courtyard used to be a dead area consisting of rubbish bins and a washing line. The addition of the covered pergola transformed it into a conservatory.
It has been furnished with bespoke rough and rustic timber shelving especially commissioned to parade my collection of potted plants. The courtyard is brimming with ferns, indigenous Streptocarpus, lovely old fashioned Begonia and Orchids. There are two magnificent flowering Brugmansia trees in pots and old fashioned Ferns and Zygocactus suspended from the cross beams. It is paradise.
It was such a joy that I continued with the theme and built more shelves in the adjacent ally way off the courtyard and this area has become my potted succulent, salad and herb garden.
I have used standard old fashioned clay pots and paired them with the occasional ‘flea market’ zinc planters for fun. Clay is such a great medium as it breaths and ages so nicely adding such unique character to each and every pot.
Potted gardening is hugely rewarding. Different styles of planting can be chosen for different areas. Popular collectables include cactus and succulents for hot dry areas. Use Ferns and Orchids for bright and protected shade. For those who love change and colour there are the seasonal annuals. The potted food garden is always fun with herbs, salad and even vegetables. Larger pots can stage flowering shrubs, roses and fruit trees.
Gardening in pots is a hugely rewarding and wonderful pastime. The combination of the right plant and its pot is truly instant gratification gardening.
Container plants respond quickly to feed programs but will require regular watering, but far less than the larger garden areas do.