Are you limited to a balcony or patio? Or do you simply want to enjoy even more beautiful garden plants? Either way, it’s now time to select and pot the prettiest perennials. Elegantly planted perennials in pots and containers give your balcony, patio or roof garden a personal touch.
Enjoy perennials in pots
Most perennials will thrive in pots. What’s more, they will emerge year after year, so you can enjoy them for a long time to come without having to keep repotting them. With vigorous, long-flowering perennials in pots like Crane’s bill (Geranium ‘Rozanne’), Orange coneflower (Rudbeckia fulgida), Catnip (Nepeta) or Stonecrop (Sedum spectabile), you can enjoy a wonderful display of flowers on your balcony. Fill a decorative pot with a single variety and make a definite choice with regard to size, style and colour. A few large attractive pots that correspond nicely to the style of your balcony will provide a better visual effect than a random collection of small pots. If you have a large container, you can also use perennials to create a ‘mini-border’. Combining several different varieties makes for an even more beautiful display.
Flowers on the balcony and patio
Just as in a garden, colourful fragrant flowers make a real eye-catcher on a balcony or patio. For spring, choose the scented Creeping phlox (Phlox subulata ‘Candy Stripes’). In the summer, Stork’s bill (Erodium), Astilbe ‘Erika’, Lavender (Lavandula) and Bellflower (Campanula persicifolia ‘Alba’) will add colour to your patio or balcony. And don’t forget to plant some late-flowering varieties such as Aster (Aster) or Japanese anemones (Anemone x hybrida). Elegant foliage plants such as the Plantain lily (Hosta), Coral bells (Heuchera), ferns and ornamental grasses provide a subtle green element among all the flowers and remain attractive for a long time.
The best spot for perennials in pots
Perennials can grow in permanently installed plant containers or in individual pots on a balcony. You might also look into the new systems for vertical gardening that let you decorate a whole wall with perennials. One important factor to consider is the aspect of your balcony or patio. If it faces south, it will receive a lot of sun. Carnations (Dianthus), Thrift (Armeria maritima ‘Splendens’), Catnip (Nepeta), Hyssop (Agastache) and Lavender (Lavandula) prefer such a sunny location. An east-facing balcony or patio is also fairly sunny; suitable perennials here would include Crane’s bill (Geranium), Masterwort (Astrantia), Speedwell (Veronica) and Pincushion flower (Scabiosa). A balcony or patio with a western aspect can be very windy, so sturdy plants such as Bergenia, an evergreen Crane’s bill (Geranium macrorrhizum), Lilyturf (Liriope) and Lady’s Mantle (Alchemilla) would be preferable here. For a balcony or patio facing north, the best choices would be vigorous shade-loving plants such as the Plantain lily (Hosta), Columbine (Aquilegia), Spotted deadnettle (Lamium maculatum) and ferns such as the Hart’s tongue fern (Asplenium scolopendrium).
Spring is the best time of year to plant perennials in pots and containers. Make sure that pots contain a drainage hole, and always use fresh potting compost. Watering frequently is important; you could also use one of the convenient irrigation systems for this. With proper care, your balcony, patio or roof garden will become a real plant paradise.