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Outside container plants, beginner help required

Hi, I've had a garden for a few years but never successfully kitted it out with plants - i just cut the grass and that's it.

I'd like to place two large containers in the two far corners in front of the fence but I really have no clue what to plant in them. It would have to be something quite hardy as the wind can get quite ferocious round here at times.

I've seen some great big plants and shrubs at b&q but they are too expensive for me right now so I was wondering what seedlings I could try instead, and how I should go about it. If it was just seeds or seedlings would I have to grow indoors first until they are of a decent size?

Any advice would be very gratefully received as I have a complete lack of knowledge or skill where gardening is involved.

Many thanks.


  • GardenmaidenGardenmaiden Posts: 1,126

    I would go back to b and q after Easter and have a look on their reduced trolley, you might find something then. Maybe something like a lavender would cope with the wind, and then you could have some bedding around it. You could then change it throughout the year and keep it looking interesting.

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,158

    You could put short term plants, summer bedding, bulbs etc in for a couple of years and buy small plants of the big ones you like and grow them on until big enough for the big containers. You wouldn't have to grow it indoors, hardy plants don't need to be indoors and it would have to be hardy if you're leaving the large containers out all year.

    Does that make sense? I don't feel I've put that very clearlyimage

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 2,286

    I don't think you'll want great big plants in any case with ferocious winds, the pots might topple over!

    There is such a huge range of things you can grow in pots, from grasses to rhododendrons, fruit trees to bulbs, annual flowers... well just about anything that grows probably has a variety that will thrive in a pot. 

    Have a think perhaps more about what you want to achieve, like structure or colour, perhaps both. Producing some food, or just purely aesthetic? I'm sure the good people here will advice which plants would be best if you can narrow it down a bit.image

  • Wow, thanks for all the replies.

    I was just thinking aesthetic but something that bears fruit sounds like a great idea (b&q has some nice orange plants but they're indoors ones I think). But something also still nice to look at all year round. Guess I'm not too sure what I want to be honest, but for now main criteria is low(ish) cost, nice to look at and durable during harsher weather.

    I guess I'm looking at these to be the 'main attraction' in the corners alongside some smaller potted plants eventually placed between them.

    Garden is just grass but 2 years ago I dug a trench around the perimeter, alongside the fence, and laid gravel down. Plan was to adorn these small 'paths' with potted plants and solar lights but few attempts I made with potted plants failed as they all died. Can't remember what they were but there was no planning beforehand, hence my more cautious approach this time. Plus I messed up with buying cheap solar lights too, which unsurprisingly no longer work.

    I could start on something small indoors. That's no problem.

    Haven't bought containers yet so unsure of size but will get something weighty to stabilise them and plants which aren't too tall, as suggested.

    Garden is bit of a Suntrap but these will be under shade of the fence.

    Have put off attending to the garden for too long, hopefully this will be just the start!

  • GemmaJFGemmaJF Posts: 2,286

    I'm not much of a fan of conifers, but for the all year appeal they can work well. Not to expensive to buy as small plants and some species grow fairly quickly. lots of different varieties/colours to choose from many have nice (inedible to us) berries

    This page gives a useful color guide to give some ideas (down right hand side of page, click on the links for more options):


  • CeresCeres Posts: 2,284
    Euonymus (Emerald n Gold is a good one) will give you year round colour and cuttings root very easily so if you buy one plant, in a few years you can end up with a garden full of the things. They can be trimmed neatly and look great in pots.
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