2 min read, friends of sawday's, opinion

Green-fingered goddess, Sarah Raven shares her winning recipe for the perfect potted plant

7th May 2015
Green-fingered goddess, Sarah Raven shares her winning recipe for the perfect potted plant

Container planting offers a brilliant, yet simple way to fill your garden with colour in even the
dreariest of months.

From a single-coloured, classic container, equivalent to the Chanel of the pot world, to the razz-ma-tazz statement planter, think Galiano or McQueen, there is a pot for every garden and every gardener.


Find a fun combination that mixes things up and play with colour, texture and form; three different things in harmonious colours, or two colours that are strongly contrasting.

If you’re not sure where to start, here is a recipe to give you a helping hand:

What you want first is THE THRILLER – the wow factor, the jewel in the crown, the showstopper. Then you need THE SPILLER, something to soften the edges and create the curves. Or for something a little different, pick a PILLAR, a plant that offers some vertical height.

Finally, while it may seem unimportant compared to the main event, THE FILLER is an essential supporting role. This provides the padding that enables the rest to meet in the middle; a foliage plant often works best, serving as a backdrop and balancer to the other two more dominant players.

For best results, I would recommend getting planting in the next month or so, now the frosts have come to an end, before replanting in late autumn for winter and spring. By doing this, you shouldn’t have to keep replacing them and re-doing the mix. If you select the right mixes, just two groups of plants should last the entire year.

Follow these tips in the next couple of weeks and you can guarantee a garden with cat-walk model form.


Sarah is an-award winning author who has been running flower arranging, growing and gardening courses since 1999, as well as writing for The Daily Telegraph, Country Living, Gardens Illustrated, Gardeners’ World Magazine, The English Garden and Sainsbury’s Magazine. For all things green-fingered, visit www.sarahraven.com.

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