Isabelle Palmer is author of The Balcony Gardener, and in her new book The House Gardener she gives advice on how to bring houseplants indoors in innovative containers, so that even the smallest space can have a rewarding garden. Here she gives tips on creating beautiful container gardens to bring a bit of Spring into your home.
On my quest to create the perfect garden or balcony display, I am constantly on the look-out for alternative, contemporary, vintage and quirky items that can be used as plant containers. Plant containers are my obsession, and I’ve searched the world over for creative options while researching my books and creating my website thebalconygardener.com.
Here is a selection of some of my favourite ways to house indoor or outdoor plants to build a handmade, creative and innovative display!
I am a huge fan of Macrame Plant Hangers, and have featured them in the new book, The House Gardener. I am also a neon addict, so this combo of neon pink and orange makes this a stunning piece for me. A really contemporary design, that would look amazing both indoors and out.
I often look for alternative materials and texture for plant displays, and these cement containers are really individual. I love how raw they appear, and with a bright coloured air plant such as this, they make for a modern and alternative house plant display.
These are so cute, and again, I love the fact that they are made from wood, a great texture. This set of three would make a lovely floral display, or even used with air plants. The block paint makes them really individual and quirky – I wonder if I can get them in neon?
Terracota with a difference, how refreshing! These pots could be changed seasonally, or with flower type depending on your mood. I am styling my balcony using colour blocking this Spring, so these would make a great addition to this theme. These would look lovely lined up on a window sill too, all with the same colour flower.
I spotted these outside a Bloomsbury Hotel recently, filled with herbs. This type of container is so dynamic, and can be planted with herbs, flowers, succulents and more. A really versatile and earthy looking plant container that will bring a plain wall to life. I love the handmade, reclaimed design too.
I love love love all things old and vintage for plant displays. I especially love the retro American feel of these crates and the colours are really eye-catching. Combined with bright one colour hydrangeas, these vintage boxes will make a stunning garden or balcony display.
I always like to label my plants, and these are a really cute and quirky addition to any herb box or garden. I’m an avid grower of herbs, and am always looking for alternative items to display with them. These are lovely and rustic.
TIPS FOR PLANTING A CONTAINER taken from The House Gardener (CICO Books)
1. Cover the bottom of the container with a layer of drainage material, such as gravel or pebbles. This will allow the roots to breathe and prevent them from drowning.
2. Fill the container with potting mix to bring the plant up so that the top of the root-ball is just beneath the rim of the container. Try to position the plant centrally in the container and make sure it is not lopsided.
3. Carefully feed more potting mix in between the plant and container, and firm it down.
Avoid compacting the potting mix too much as this will hinder drainage.
4. Add a layer of decorative mulch, such as fine gravel or shells, to finish off the planting. Not only does this make the container look more attractive, but it can also help to reduce the rate of evaporation.
Enjoy your new container garden display!