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Diarmuid Gavin: Bring some versatility to patios and gardens with pots and containers

Container gardens are perfect for any green space - from petite patios to expansive plots

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Pots and containers are the ideal entry point to gardening

Pots and containers are the ideal entry point to gardening

Pots and containers are the ideal entry point to gardening

Since ancient Egyptian times, growing plants in containers has been popular. There's a myriad of reasons. Pots enable you to plant somewhat tender but definitely colourful species at this time of the year, when our fear of frost is beginning to recede. And it allows you to grow plants that are normally unsuitable for your soil. For instance, if you have an alkaline-based soil, displaying some species which are happier in an acidic base, such as camellias or rhododendrons, may be a real treat. And if you garden on a balcony, or tiny paved patio or courtyard, and have no soil at all, pots and containers give you the ability to create an 'out of the ground' garden.

As the lockdown weeks go by, more people are turning to gardening, and pots and containers are the ideal entry point. It's so easy, and this spring we're around to water and maintain anything we plant... so why not start now?

Just before lockdown, in an urban location, on a terrace high over the madding crowds, I've planted up a mixed border, all grown in pots. Taking care to achieve a balanced look, I started by potting up some mature yew hedging in deep wooden planters, which acted as a green wall behind the display.