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Trailing Plants for Planters

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Comment from Ciaran Halpin


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I am fortunate enough to have a house in the country (Donegal) and I am in the process of completing a patio with raised planters.

I would appreciate views on the type of plants that would best suit the area and that would withstand the harsh winters...gales and frost.

I have in mind trailing plants that would provide colour and cover during the summer bearing in mind that there is another patio on the level above that looks down on the planters.

Grateful for any suggestions but be mindful that we are not there throughout the summer to water the plants in dry weather........dry weather in Donegal!..........not a problem.

Trailing Plants for Planters (04/08/2010)Trailing Plants for Planters (04/08/2010)Trailing Plants for Planters (04/08/2010)

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  • Replies: 3
  • Posted: Wed. 4th August 2010 20:31

Re: Trailing Plants for Planters

Reply from Marissa Zoppellini

Hi Ciaran, here are a few suitable for container growing that will be of interest during the seasons you are there, not all are trailing but will soften the edges (I have picked out various cultivars but for some, there are others to choose from, depending on what is available to you). I would also recommend putting some plants with height in the planter for visual interest. Here goes:

Carex oshimensis 'Evergold'
Bergenia 'Baby Doll'
Hedera helix 'Light Fingers'
Geranium 'Ann Folkard'
Ajuga reptans 'Evening Glow'
Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Nigrescens'
Vinca minor 'La Grave'

Hope this helps. All the best, Marissa

  • Posted: Thu. 5th August 2010 10:04

Re: Trailing Plants for Planters

Reply from Valerie Munro

I think I would recommend doing something quite radical! If the winters are harsh and cold, then the sort of plants that I would recommend are those found high up in the mountains - the alpines.

If you planted trailing plants, I cannot imagine the knots that those Donegal winds would tie them into. Alpine plants are genetically developed to withstand just about any sort of horrible weather you can throw at them - except of course being really wet which is why would would put them into quite sandy soil and then mulch carefully around each of the plant collars with grit so stop any potential rot.

There are so many exquisite alpine plants around, and unlike a proper garden border, less is definitely more. And the grit does play an important role in showing off the shapes of the individual plants.

You talk of a balcony that would be looking down on this planting - that would be absolutely perfect. Alpine plants look great when looking straight down on them - as you would with a tabletop arrangement.

You also indicate that you would not be at your house in the summer - well, think about it - who is going to spend time walking up and down a mountain just to tend the plants? These alpines will look after themselves in your absence, and they definitely do not need feeding. In fact, if you do add fertiliser, you will soften them up and leave them open to all sorts of problems.

How perfect is that?

Any good garden centre will have an alpine section - just go and have a look and marvel at the shapes and colours available!

Good luck
Auntie Planty

  • Posted: Thu. 5th August 2010 10:25

Re: Trailing Plants for Planters

Reply from Ciaran Halpin

Many thanks to both Marissa and Valerie for your advice and comments.

I am leaning towards the idea of planting alpines so I will have to brush up on the varieties available to me.

  • Posted: Fri. 6th August 2010 20:38