I have quite a selection of pots in clusters around the garden. This year's dry spring has made me have a think about water supplies and thus edit them quite drastically, so that only my largest of pots will contain annual bedding. This should reduce the amount of water I'm using this year (as does the clustering), and it'll also take me less time to look after them.
The smallest of pots have been removed altogether as I've got fed up of fiddling around with them, and the medium pots have been planted with perennials selected for their scent i.e. lavender (a plant which likes poor dry soils, another tick for reduced watering) and the vanilla scented Nemesia I got at Malvern.
I've bought my pots over a number of years and are quite variable in their design. However, by restricting myself to a general style (Mayan) and a limited palette of colours (greens, browns and blues), they look good in any combination I choose to group together. I also generally have at least 50% of the contents in any grouping the same, which helps to pull the look together. So does pairing planters of the same design and contents either side of doorways and steps. It's at these points, and around my garden benches where the scented plants are placed.
I add a small amount of water retaining gel to the compost - I've found this means I only have to water my pots every other day in the height of summer. A mulch of purple slate also helps to retain moisture.
As I've only just planted the pots up, the plants still need to knit together to achieve the look I want for the summer. So until they do, you'll just have to sit back and enjoy a single red bloom contrasting with the deep blue of the large pot in my front garden ;)
How's your garden looking this summer?
Note: This post has been brought to you courtesy of Reader's Digest Container Gardening. However, all the content is my own and I've been planning to write this piece for a couple of weeks.