I was very kindly approached by the lovely team at Foras to contribute to their blog about ideas and how to inject some Spring colour into your garden. Foras are a Norfolk based award-winning business that provide clients with an exclusive range of natural stone, garden accessories, flooring and tiles to dress country homes, city terraces and courtyards. Thank you Clare Brutnall for asking me....

Here's my blog contribution:


Round stone bowls, flat ones,  zinc onesslate ones, large ones, tall ones… What am I talking about? Beautiful planters, that’s what! And if you’re anything like me, you can’t have enough planters crammed full of simply gorgeous plants, especially at this time of year. And boy, we could all do with a splash of Spring colour to cheer us up. So, pop down your seed catalogues (for a minute) and stop browsing for some late winter sun and thank March it’s time to get busy filling your planters with some instant Spring colour.

As a garden designer, I’m always looking for inspiration and I recently took a wander around the gorgeous garden showroom at Foras and fell in love with so many of their planters.

Being somewhat of a plant pot addict I got slightly swept away by the vast collection.

Planters are a bit like shoes, you can never have enough…..So here’s my top tips of what to plant up now:

  1. Treat yourself to a gorgeous new planter (or ten)…! I particularly love the Morston Vintage Zinc Planters.
  2. Think about where you most need some colour in your garden and position your planter there, so you then don’t have to move it once it’s full of soil and plants. My planter is going by my front door so it makes me smile and stops me in my tracks with a gorgeous scent.
  3. Skip along to your garden nursery. My favourites here in Norfolk are West Acre Gardens and The Romantic Garden Nursery, Norwich… and back on my old stomping ground in Wiltshire, West Kington Nursery (trade only)…
  4. Now, at this time of year your choice of colourful plants isn’t huge, so my top selection would be:

    Sarcococca hookeriana var. humilis – Dwarf sweet box / Christmas Box…….This sweet flowering shrub wafts a heady scent right up until March, it’s happy in most conditions apart from full sun (not much chance of that at the mo) and being the dwarf variety it’s perfect in a pot.

    Skimmia ‘Rubella’ – Japonica  Sarcococca coupled with a Japonica – is a marriage made in heaven. You’ll marvel at the dainty clusters of red buds that open to fragrant white flowers in April and May. More scent? At this time of year… surely not….!

    Helleborus × hybridus Lenten rose / hellebore – ‘Harvington Shades of the Night’  And no planter is complete without a shy nodding hellebore. I love the deep aubergine colour of this particular hellebore and with about 45 varieties in flower right now, you’ll be spoilt for choice.

    Heuchera ‘Obsidian’ (PBR) – Coral bells  Foliage. There’s some stunning evergreen (or purple) foliage on plants, so why not fill any gaps with a stunning heuchera, trailing ivy, black grass or hart’s tongue fern

    Galanthus ‘Limetree’ – Snowdrops  Now, I love snowdrops, so I’ve decided to plant them up on their own in a stunning planter. These Limetree snowdrops elegantly tower over the native ones we see in our woodlands, so why not do them justice and add a row of them in a simple natural slate trough.

  5. Obviously you must spoil your plants with some super nutritious, peat free, water retentive delicious ‘woolly’ soil made by the lovely people at Dalefoot Compost and don’t forget to add a few broken bits of ‘dead’ stone planters to add some drainage.
  6. Give your plants a good drink, preferable rainwater, as some tap water can contain high levels of lime (often referred to as hard water) that plants don’t really like to drink. Stand back and admire.



Vintage-Zinc-Pots-and-Planter-Gifts-Foras Stone.jpg
Zinc Planter Foras Stone
One of Foras stunning showroom gardens

One of Foras stunning showroom gardens