It doesn’t have to be all petunias and marigolds, there is lots of variety to choose from at Coolings…over 350 varieties of seasonal bedding and patio plants to be exact! As many of you know the majority of the plants we sell are grown here on our nursery behind the garden centre and we are as passionate about inspiring our customers to enjoy planting them as we are about growing them!
Statement pots and baskets
The golden rule to planting statement pots and baskets is to follow the thriller, filler, spiller formula. A proven recipe for success for planting containers…
Thriller = Central, upright plant to provide height and wow such as Upright Fuchsia, Jumbo Geraniums or large Begonias.
Filler = Lower flowering or foliage plants that form the middle layer of a planter such as: Laurentia ‘Blue Star’, Verbena, Allysum, small Begonias, Coleus, Cineraria ‘Silver Leaf’ or Euphorbia ‘Diamond Frost’.
Spiller = Trailing plants to cascade down the edge of the container and soften the effect such as: Bacopa, trailing Petunias/Begonias/Verbena/Lobelia.
Upright plants of the same type and variety when grouped together will give the effect of one huge plant – no neighbours needed as they will fill your pot beautifully all by themselves and make a real impact in terms of size and colour such as:
Cosmos – always popular and has a stunning effect when planted in groups. White and Carmine are popular colours.
Upright Fuchsias such as ‘Dollar Princess’, ‘Winston Churchill’ and ‘Hawkshead’ are a great choice as they excel in flower and are one of the longest flowering garden plants.
Marguerites (Argyranthemums) are another great choice to fill containers. A profusion of daisy flowers are borne in succession throughout the season. A top tip to promote repeat flowering is to pinch out the faded blooms as you are passing. This will encourage the plant to form new buds.
Salvia – the dainty flowers of Salvia are another summer treat for those who like subtle beauty. They are really easy to grow and three planted together will fill a large pot, their graceful flower spikes swaying in the breeze. Our favourites ‘Love and Wishes’ ‘Ostfriesland’ and RHS Chelsea Flower Show favourite 2017 ‘Caradonna’.
Arctotis – a sunny corner can be transformed by a pot full of Arctotis. This is not the most well-known of flowers, but just three of our chunky home-grown plants in a pot will give months of colour. ‘Flame’, ‘Red Devil’ or ‘Wine’ are a popular customer choice.
Colourful Beds and Borders
Upright Petunias – novelty varieties such as ‘Black Velvet’, ‘Pinstripe’ and ‘Phantom’ where introduced last year and have been very popular for their unusual patterns and striking, distinctive colours.
New Guinea Impatiens – these make a wonderful splash of vibrancy and are perfect for a cooler location.
Begonias – one of the most versatile summer bedding plants, Begonias are well loved for their large flamboyant blooms in a wide range of colours, their ability to thrive in both sun and shade, and for flowering continuously throughout summer up to the first frosts. Upright begonias are perfect for beds and borders and trailing varieties look great in baskets. ‘Champagne’ is an old favourite with Coolings customers.
Geraniums – a faithful bedding plant for many and for good reason! These sturdy, sun-loving plants are well suited to hot, dry conditions and flower all summer long. Primarily available in vibrant shades of pink, white and red.
Sweet Peas – These make fantastic cottage garden bedding plants. Let them scramble up obelisks or netting to add height to your garden. Alternatively, try dwarf sweet peas for ground cover at the front of beds and borders. With their delightful fragrance and wide range of colours, sweet peas are excellent summer bedding plants and also provide bunches of gorgeous fragrant cut flowers throughout summer. We like ‘Spencer Mixed’.
Upright Lobelia create wonderful dense mounds of colour along the edge of beds and borders. Easy to grow, long-flowering and generally come in shades of blue which is unusual for bedding!
Nicotiana – beautiful colour, great scent, ideal for sun and shade and easy to grow – what’s not to like!
Water and Feed!
Remember to water, water, water and feed your plants! All recently planted plants – especially bedding – and plants in containers and baskets will appreciate a good soak everyday and a regular meal every month to keep them growing well. Use collected rainwater where possible. We recommend Miracle Grow plant food or a slow release plant food such as Osmocote Plant Food (for beds) and Osmocote Plant Food Tablets (for baskets and tubs).