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Moving away from ‘traditional’ bedding to nectar rich pots…

The patio end of my garden is a real sun trap, yet the small beds are rocky and difficult to plant successfully. I have always opted for pots here. I love the versatility of pots; you can easily experiment with different plants and you can move them around to create impact as well as density.

In the past, I was pretty traditional in my planting… the good old fuchsias would feature, along with violas, pansies and marigolds. Over the last few years, that has changed completely and, although the odd fuchsia still sneaks in, my planting is very different.  I now plant my pots very much with insects in mind. Lichfield market is a favourite haunt and I often watch to see which species are attracting insects, before I purchase! The bargain bin at my local Wyevale Garden centre is another great spot. As soon as plants go over or finish looking their best, they are banished to the reduced section and some real bargains can be picked up for just a few pounds. A quick trim and a good water and many of these perennials will thank me with great displays the following year… worth the wait I think and it means I can buy a lot more plants than I could ever do at full price. My local supermarket is another place for bargains and from lavender, salvia and verbena can be added to the shopping… swap that chocolate bar for a plant!

This year, my little patio  area has, quite literally, been buzzing! My tomatoes, beans and courgettes are in amongst them, benefitting from all the pollinators.

Not only is it great for insects, I think it looks great too!

Think again when you have a plant pot or trough needing a replant……. could you plant it up with an attractive nectar-rich alternative? Many of these are perennials…. at the end of the summer, plant them up in the garden if you want some winter colour in your pots. They will surprise you next summer with another great show… to me, it just makes perfect sense…. give it a go… you and the insects won’t be disappointed!

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