Keeping a pretty patio all year round can be a challenge, and as a gardener in Chelmsford, I am well aware of the struggles of choosing the right plants for patio pots. Containers offer Essex gardeners excellent versatility and can be a great way of experimenting with different plants and garden designs. Whether you are after short-term bedding displays or more permanent greenery for your outdoor space, knowing which plants will compliment and thrive on your patio isn’t always easy. Getting your potted plants right can be great for adding new dimensions, softening harsh corners and brightening dull spaces. Here I’m sharing my top plants for the perfect patio:
Elephant Ear (Colocasia)
A tropical plant with striking heart shaped leaves, the Elephant Ear plant ranges in shades from white and green to deep purple and black. Naturally they grow is swamp areas, which makes them the perfect choice for brightening around ponds, however they will require a warm climate. As a gardener in Chelmsford, where the climate is often cooler, Elephant Ear makes for a great container plant. You can keep them outdoors on the patio in warmer months and bring them insider over winter. Be aware you will need plenty of space for a healthy Colocasia, which can grow between 3 and 5 feet tall.
Flowering New Guinea Impatiens
If your patio area is well shaded, then as an Essex gardener I would suggest the New Guinea Impatiens plant which thrives well in shaded outdoor areas. If you deadhead regularly, these spectacular flowers can bloom right into the Autumn months. Place Flowering New Guinea Impatiens in either hanging baskets or in potted containers and water them sparingly. Ideally the surface soil should be moist but not soggy.
Trees that are slow growing such as Olive Trees are excellent potted plants for patios, balconies and terraces. As a gardener in Chelmsford, Olive Trees make a great choice thanks to their tall elegant shape that brings height to flat patios. Thanks to their hardy nature and being naturally drought resistant they couldn’t be easier to care for, making Olive Trees a super easy, hassle free patio plant.
If you want to add a light-hearted touch and beautifully brighten your patio area, then Cosmos are the plant for you. The tall, daisy-like flowers come in various shades of yellow, red, orange, pink and white, and can easily be mixed with a variety of other potted patio plants. As an Essex gardener, I recommend combining these bright flowers with silver foliage for a stand out finish on your patio. Some Cosmos can grow as tall as six feet, so for containers it is best to look for dwarf varieties that will stay smaller.
Many gardeners in Chelmsford choose Coral Bells for their patio plants, which has small flowers that arch over stunning mounded foliage during the Spring and early Summer. The perennial plant is also known as Heuchera, and the leaves can come in rainbow shades from burgundy to peach. They really flourish in large planters positioned in part sunlight and can be a vibrant addition to any patio.
Many people believe flowering shrubs shouldn’t be kept in containers, but dwarf varieties that don’t grow more than two or three feet are great patio plants. There are so many types of Hydrangea varieties available to Gardeners in Chelmsford now, that you are sure to find one that perfectly suits your outdoor space. The majority of hydrangeas will bloom as a pink or white, and then turn to pink, purple, green or a combo over time.
Another shrub that is common in landscape planting but can also work wonders for patio pots is Roses. To create a decorative and pretty patio area, set out various Roses in nice pots which will create elegant and beautiful focal points in your garden. Roses require a good level of sun exposure, so position them in a sunny area of your garden. There are some great garden centres for gardeners in Chelmsford to buy Roses from.
Geraniums are available in a wide array of colours, foliage and blossom types, and can be used by gardeners in Chelmsford to create stunning, colourful floral displays on dull patios. Opt for a terracotta pot for Geraniums as they offer good drainage, and soil aeration is very important to these types of plants. If they are kept too wet, they can be prone to fungal infestation so do all you can to avoid doggy roots and stems.
If you need some help getting your outdoor space or patio up to scratch and want some professional advice on the best plants for your garden, get in touch with your local gardener in Chelmsford here.