In this second part of the blog I’ve finished planting the container and top-dressed with fine gravel. As the plants will be in full sun, I’ve incorporated moisture-retaining granules in the compost mix to enable the soil to better hold onto any moisture that’s available through rain, or me remembering to water the pot! The gravel placed on top of the soil will act as a barrier to help prevent the soil from drying out. In Summer, hot winds can be very desiccating and cause all sorts of problems with containerized plants. With those simple steps, I hope to have alleviated some of the trouble drought can bring.
Notice that the pot is not filled to the brim with compost. This allows for plenty of water to fill the top of the pot before it overflows and makes a mess of the patio. I will be looking to top-dress the blue-glazed pot in the Autumn, paying particular attention to the Box and the Ophiopogon. My choice of compost will probably be a blended farm manure, mixed in equal parts with an organic mulch. This is so that the resultant recipe is not too rich in nutrients, but will act as a good protective barrier against anything the harsh Winter weather may throw at the container. If the Osteospermum is still alive, it will also not favour a rich compost mix, so I’m trying to “box clever” (no pun intended!)