Hooray! Spring has arrived, so you’re probably busting to colour your garden with some pretty flowers. These five flowers will do well in container gardens on the balcony or in the courtyard. Plus you can add more colour by purchasing brightly coloured pots.
Chamomile: Chamomile is not just a pretty flower, but also a very useful herb with relaxing and anti-inflammatory properties. They look similar to daisies and thrive in sunny positions and likes partial shade if conditions are hot and dry. Roman (otherwise known as English and Russian) chamomile is a perennial whereas the German chamomile is a hardy annual. German chamomile can grow to approximately 50cm in height and Roman can grow between 15 to 30cm in height. The flowers can be used to make herbal tea, by cutting them off and using them fresh, or you can dry them and store in an airtight container.
Daffodils: Otherwise known as Narcissus, these cheerful, hardy flowering plants produce a sweet aroma and grow well in pots. They are perennial, enjoy full sun and require heavy watering after bulbs have been planted, allowing for good drainage. Whilst bulbs should be planted in the cooler months, pots can be planted anytime. The trick to successful potting is choosing the right pot, which will allow you to plant bulbs at the correct depth – approximately 15cm deep with the pointy end up.
Daisies: For instant colour, you can’t go past the daisy. They are easy to grow and love full sun. With so many varieties to choose from, there should be something available for almost every kind of condition. The exception to this is tropical conditions, with high humidity leading to root rot fungi, which can kill daisies. They belong to the largest plant family in the world and boast over 25, 000 species.
Australian daisies are quite small and for this reason, grow well in pots. They also like to be fed general, all-purpose fertiliser.
Dianthus: Commonly known as pinks, the dianthus is easy to grow, loves bright, sunny positions and well-drained, moist soil. They belong to the same family as the carnation and emit a spicy fragrance. They grow from 15cm to 45cm in height. It flowers for approximately 20 weeks and come in a variety of colors, including blue green, grey green, yellow, pale or dark pink, purple, white, red, cranberry, and orange. The name ‘pinks’ does not refer to the colour of the plant, but the jagged edges of the flowers that appear to have been cut with pinking shears.
Lavender: Fragrant, beautiful and long used as an antiseptic and sleep aid, there are three types of lavender: English, Italian and French. It is said Roman soldiers carried lavender to dress wounds and combat infection. Lavenders love the sun and have a tendency to grow out towards the sunlight. They also require well-drained soil and not too much water as they have a good root system. French lavender (Lavandula dentata) has serrated leaves with a furry spiked purple flower, Italian lavender ((Lavandula stoechas) displays two brightly coloured wings at the top of each flower and English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is thought to be the ‘true’ lavender. English lavender is said to be hardiest and generally produces flowers earlier than other varieties. Prune twice a year ensuring you don’t cut back into the old wood.