At Coolings we know our plants because we grow our plants! We have our own on-site nursery and 101 years’ experience in the business of bringing colour into our customers’ lives. In a busy world, gardens are a place where we can relax and express creativity through our choice and use of plants. Even people living in flats or sheltered accommodation can still plant and take enjoyment from containers and window boxes.
It is always a pleasure to talk to customers and see pictures of the successes they have had using Coolings plants. We regularly learn something new ourselves from this exchange of ideas, which is indeed part of the joy of our work.
Experimenting with seasonal plants is fun! However, we recognise that a lot of people appreciate a little bit of guidance with their choice. When planting containers and hanging baskets, there is a proven formula for success: “Thriller, Filler, Spiller”.
This provides the height, focus and ‘wow’ in the middle or back of the planter. There is a wide choice! Upright Fuchsias, non-stop Begonias, Arctotis, Marguerites, Nicotiana, Euryops, Cosmos, Osteospermum, Regal Pelargonium, Geranium, New guinea Impatiens, Salvias, Coleus, Gaura. A recent introduction (a bit of a luxury!) is Cordyline Shocking Pink, which is an extravagant fountain of foliage.
These are the flowers and foliage around the “Thriller” that are used to fill out the container with colour and interest. Semperfloren Begonias, Petunias, Dianthus, Dwarf dahlia, Ageratum, bush Lobelia, Allysum, Euphorbia Diamond Frost, to name but a few. In practice some of the “Thrillers” such as Geraniums in larger planters can be used as the “Fillers”.
Plants that spill out and tumble down the side of the container. What a choice! Surfinias, mimi-trailing petunias, trailing geraniums, trailing fuchsias, cascade Lobelia, Dicondra Silver Falls, trailing Begonia, Helicrysum, Bacopa, Diacia, Nemisia, Scavola, Brachyscome, Verbina, Bidens. A truly amazing “Spiller” plant is Tradescantia Purple Sabour. We grew it to spectacular effect around our site last summer, but we grew nowhere near enough for our customers who all wanted it!
Much like making a cake, it is easy to follow a simple Recipe for Success using the “Thriller, Filler, Spiller” principle. Download our colourful cookbook of teamed planting ideas for pots and baskets. These have been drawn together by our expert nursery and garden centre staff including Nicky, who has been planting hanging baskets here for over 25 years and has a Hampton Court Silver Gilt award to her credit. As an extra incentive we have a super-duper special offer with our down-load, but you will have to look to find out!!
Jon’s Top Tip for Success
I sometimes get asked if we sell “Bags of Dirt” - the mind boggles! Always use good quality compost as the growing media for your plants! You get what you pay for and we recommend our own formula Coolings Professional Potting Compost. A million award winning plants home-produced in it by us every year is hopefully recommendation enough!