Alice, Garden Design, Gardens

While flowerbeds and borders are great places to create a dazzling display, pots have the benefits of adding flexibility, variety, and a sense of staging. A potted garden can be a wonderful place to spend time, but if you’re stuck for ideas to get started, here are some design ideas for potted gardens.

design ideas for potted gardens

Pocketed Plants

If you’re short of space, plant pockets are the perfect compact solution. Our Living Wall Felt Planter hangs easily against a wall, fence, or balcony, and provides 6 small pockets that make great homes for small plants or herbs. You can also create your own using an over-the-door shoe organiser!

Plant Ladder

A plant ladder is an eye-catching addition to any garden or terrace and offers plenty of space for small plants. Our Outdoor Wooden Triangular Ladder offers three shelves to display items and add levels to your garden. You can also upcycle an old ladder with a fresh coat of paint.

Wall Planter

A wall planter is a fantastic space-saving solution if you have a smaller garden, and can be a great way to brighten up a boring wall. Our Rusted Metal Vase Wall Planter adds style and character to your garden with rustic Greek-style urns.

Wellington Boots

Wellington boots make a unique way to display trailing plants. Our Pair Of Wellington Boots Planters have a rusted weathered finish and look amazing filled with tumbling plants. You can also upcycle an old pair of wellington boots for an eye-catching addition to your garden or patio.

Climbing Plants

No longer restricted to the ground, potted plants can be used to liven up a plain wall with lush greenery. Our Trough With Trellis Hardwood Planter provides a planting area with a wooden trellis for plants to climb up. Fill with beautiful climbing roses or clematis for a glorious display.

Parallel Planters

Jumbo-sized planters packed with plants are a great way to provide screens of green. Placing them in parallel rows is a great way to create a walkway or secluded area. The classic look of The Big One Terracotta Pot Planter makes an impressive and stylish addition to your garden.

Wishing Well

A wishing well planter makes an attractive focal point for a patio or area of your garden and is a great way to house a range of plants. Our Large Wishing Well Wooden Planter is made from Swedish timber using sustainable resources and can be built in under half an hour.

Water Feature

A water feature planter serves the dual purpose of housing greenery while adding the ambient sound of gently flowing water to your outdoor space. It can also make a fantastic focal point. The Easter Island Solar Head Water Feature makes a stunning but natural-looking addition to your garden and comes with LED lights so you can enjoy it after dark.

Now you’ve got your design ideas for potted gardens, make sure to check out our guide to how to plant in pots to get growing!

What have you been up to in your potted garden? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

Alice, Gardening, Grow Your Own, How To

Growing your own vegetables is not only a fun and rewarding pastime, but it provides you with a crop of tasty, fresh, chemical-free produce for your kitchen. But if you don’t have a large garden or an allotment on hand, never fear. Most varieties can be grown in containers, so even if you only have a window box or a small patio area at your disposal, growing your own is still an option. Pots and containers are great because they allow flexibility, you have control over the soil type, and they can look great on a balcony, patio, or placed in a border on a plinth. So read our guide and find out how to grow vegetables in containers.

how to grow vegetables in containers

Choose your containers

Any garden centre should have a good variety of pots and planters to choose from. However, any container with some drainage and an opening can be used to grow plants. Barrels, recycled buckets, washing up bowls, dustbins, and even an old pair of boots can be used with success. Hanging baskets and window boxes can also be a great option for smaller vegetable plants and herbs.

The important thing is to make sure there will be enough space for the plant to grow. The size required will depend on the variety of vegetable, but most will need a pot with a depth and diameter of at least 45cm (18in), however smaller varieties such as spinach and lettuce can be grown in smaller containers. 

You must also make sure your container has a drainage hole. If it does not already have one, drill a hole (or many) at least half an inch wide into the bottom. If your pots are kept inside or on a balcony, place a tray underneath to catch the drips. 

Add soil

A good, peat-free potting compost should be sufficient to grow your vegetables. However, you could also mix in leafmould, garden compost, and horticultural grit to ensure drainage. Do not use soil from previous crops as this can spread infections. Fill the containers up to one or two inches below the rim. You can also supplement with a weekly liquid feed, but do not make the mixture richer or add in too much at once. Broken pieces of pot, pebbles, or polystyrene chips can be added into the bottom or larger pots to prevent compost falling through the drainage holes. 

Plant your vegetables

There are three methods of growing your own vegetables in containers. More hardy varieties such as beans, beetroot, carrots, and radishes can be sown directly into an outdoor container. Sow the seeds as directed on the packet, however not all the seeds will germinate, so you can plant more than you need, then thin once the seedlings have two pairs of leaves. Shop our vegetable seed collection for a variety of quality produce. 

Half-hardy or tender vegetables such as cauliflower, lettuce, aubergine, peppers, and tomatoes need to be planted indoors. Try your kitchen windowsill, or your greenhouse if you have one. You can use a seed tray, small pots, or recycled yoghurt pots filled with compost to grow the seedings, then transport outside to larger containers in early summer. Sow according to the packet instructions, then thin once the seedings have two pairs of leaves. 

You can also purchase vegetable plug plants from a garden centre. Dig out a space in the container soil, then set in in the plants at the same level as they were growing in the pot they came in, apart from tomato plants where you can remove the lower leaves and plant them deeper into the soil. 


Once you have planted your seeds or plug plants, water gently but thoroughly, then water every few days to get your seedlings established. However, if you are using small pots indoors, take care not to overwater as the soil can turn mouldy. 

After the seedlings are established, give them a good watering once a week. Watering thoroughly once a week is better than a light watering every day, as light watering does not penetrate the soil deeply which encourages roots to grow to the surface where they can dry out. 

If you are often away, an irrigation system can be a great way to make sure your plants stay hydrated. These have individual lines going into each container from a ring hose, and drip water slowly around the roots of each plant to avoid evaporation or splashing. 

Watch out for pests and disease

Plants grown in a container can be more vulnerable to pests and diseases. Take care not to overfeed, as this can produce a lush growth that is a magnet for aphids, slugs, and snails. Make sure to remove any weeds as they appear, and watch out for signs of insects or damage from disease, and remove or treat. Beer traps, copper tape or a pesticide can deter unwanted pests. Check out our guide to natural slug repellants.


Start harvesting your crops as soon as they reach a size where you can eat them. Most vegetable plants are most productive when you harvest early and often, and letting plants “go to seed” can cause a drop in yields. 

Now for the fun part- enjoy the fruits of your labour! Cook up a feast in the kitchen, or perhaps gift produce to your friends or neighbours. Often, home-grown vegetables are tastier than their supermarket counterparts as the soil tends to have more nutrients and they are not genetically modified for a longer shelf life. So enjoy the bounty of your efforts and spread the word about the joy of home-growing!

Check out our full guide to how to grow vegetables here.

Which vegetables have you been growing in containers? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram!


Flowers, Gardening, Gardening Year, George, Grow Your Own, Herbs, How To, Infographics, Planters, Planting, Plants

You may have noticed over the last few months that we’ve been going potty over pot-growing plants. Through a series of infographics, we’ve compiled the Complete Guide to Container Gardening – simple guides to help you get the most out of planting in pots.

Here are the collected guides for you to enjoy all over again. And when you’re ready to start growing, we have all the planters you could ever need!

How to Plant in Pots

How to plant in pots

We kick off with the basics, for gardening novices or simply those who need a refresher. Planting in pots opens up a whole world of flexible gardening for decorative plants, herbs, houseplants and more.

How to Repot a Plant

Hot to repot a plant

Most potted plants will need repotting at some stage in their life. If they outgrow their current container it’s essential to give them more space. We made this 5 step guide to make the process super straight forward!

How to Water Pot Plants

How to water pot plants

Watering is one of those critical conundrums when it comes to pot plants. With potentially no natural water and limited drainage, it’s easy to over or under-water. Follow these best practices for healthy plants.

How to Choose the Right Planter for Your Garden

How to choose the right planter

Picking the right planter is a deceptively easily task. But there are so many factors aside from taste – material, portability, size and more. We address them all to make your decision simple again.

How to Plant Potatoes in Containers

How to plant potatoes in containers

Container gardening is such an adaptable form of growing and it’s perfect for raising your own crops to eat. Potatoes especially are a natural fit for pots, meaning you can have home-grown spuds without the need for an allotment.

How to Plant Strawberries in Containers

How to plant strawberries

Strawberries are perfect for growing in pots on the patio too. Fresh fruit on the doorstep – what’s not to like? We take you through how to grow the juiciest strawberries at home.

How to Grow Herbs in Pots

How to grow herbs in pots

Take your cooking to the next level with a stock of fresh herbs at your fingertips. We show you how to start growing herbs at home in a kitchen garden or right on the windowsill.

How to Grow Plants Indoors

How to grow plants indoors

Of course, many of us who love container gardening do so because it allows us to fill the house with beautiful blooms. Indoor gardening has its own challenges, so we’ve got the tips for you to master it.

How to Plant a Hanging Basket

How to plant a hanging basket

Finally we round off the series by heading back out into the garden for a classic horticultural endeavour – planting a hanging basket. By now you should be an expert in container growing and well prepared for this last task.

George at PrimroseGeorge works in the Primrose marketing team. As a lover of all things filmic, he also gets involved with our TV ads and web videos.

George’s idea of the perfect time in the garden is a long afternoon sitting in the shade with a good book. A cool breeze, peace and quiet… But of course, he’s usually disturbed by his energetic wire fox terrier, Poppy!

He writes about his misadventures in repotting plants and new discoveries about cat repellers.

See all of George’s posts.