Guest column: Potted plants make gardening easy and rewarding

Rhododendron Dopey provides long-lasting colour to your garden
Rhododendron Dopey provides long-lasting colour to your garden

Container gardens are not just about putting a few pansies in a pot.

You can grow some fabulous shrubs and plants in a variety of garden containers that will bloom year after year and provide you with colour and foliage in even the smallest of outside spaces.

If you are not sure which shrubs to go for then it’s a good idea to have a look at the RHS Award of Garden Merit (AGM) selection of container friendly varieties.

All you have to do after that is take some pots, grab some compost and make your plant selection.

If you fancy some vibrant red to bring your garden, patio or balcony alive then here are some AGM beauties to try.

Rosa Munstead Wood is a compact rose has a long flowering season from June to September.

Its large sumptuous flowers are deep crimson and it’s highly perfumed providing an old rose fragrance during the summer months.

New leaves are an attractive reddish bronze in colour and it thrives in a sunny spot.

Rhododendron Dopey is perfect for a smaller garden and has long-lasting clusters of deep red flowers and matt green leaves.

This combination makes this evergreen really attractive.

Its flowers will create an eye-catching splash of colour through May and June and it’s happy in part shade.

You will need to use ericaceous compost in your container for this one.

The Acer Crimson Queen has leaves that create a lovely lacy effect but its special feature is that it keeps is colour from spring until the leaves turn scarlet in autumn.

Best in sun or partial shade it can grow to a height of three metres, but you can keep that in check with pruning.

And even in winter, when the leaves have dropped, the stems and stalks remain red.

Containers are the perfect home for colourful flowering plants, shrubs, climbers, grasses and roses – plus trees and even fruit and vegetable – so here are some easy potted garden tips to get you started.

Pick you colour scheme – such as vibrant pink and purple, flamboyant red and orange or striking white cream.

Choose contrasting flower shapes – so mix daisy shapes with little fluffy flowers and trumpet-shaped petunias for example.

Plant small bedding plants in threes as this provides an instant floral display and will fill each container completely.

Water your plants the day before you are going to plant them, and then make sure you water them or a regular basis once planted.

Finally, enjoy the your plants in all their glory.