Tulips in planter May 2013I’m quite pleased with the way some planters I made are currently looking  in Old School Garden. I made two of these planters for our Courtyard Garden and last autumn replanted them.

Made from a combination of decking planks screwed to corner posts  and topped off with cheap trellis frames, I painted them black and half- filled them with broken up polystyrene and then soil/compost on top.

They are currently sporting two varieties of Tulip (one a sort of ‘raspberry blush’ colour the other more ‘strawberries and cream’!), which I think look good against the black paintwork and especially in early morning sun.

Last year I had a surfeit of Nepeta which had grown like topsy and was sprawling over large parts of our main mixed borders. Don’t get me wrong, I quite like the way plants like Nepeta (and Geraniums) sprawl over the edges of borders, softening up the straight lines of the lawn or the mowing strip of a path we have alongside the borders. But these Nepeta were seriously taking over large parts of the border, so I divided (and hopefully now rule) them, replanting several pieces of root in the black planters.

This was after I’d seen a wonderful example of how you can use such plants in a Devon garden near my mother in law’s house. Here, the neighbour had used them as a wall topper alongside a path. This had the effect of raising the flowers (and all the insects they attract) closer to eye level and also allowed their sprawling habit to cascade down the side of the wall and provide a wonderful minty, fragrant burst as you brushed up against them.

So, I’m hoping that my replanting in the black planters will bring me some summer colour, fragrance and insect interest to follow on from the Tulips – the plants seem to have taken successfully and are looking promising. I’ll plant some climbing Nasturtiums behind them to add a yellow-orange backdrop on the trellis, which should complement the purply- lavender flowers of the Nepeta well. I’ll post some more pictures of the summer show later in the year.

Old School Gardener

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