Is your deck looking a bit dreary, is your courtyard a bit ho-hum? It might be time for a burst of potted colour to welcome in spring and summer.

The most obvious place to start is the front door, where you walk in and out every day. Either clean up your existing pots or buy some new ones, then fill them with flowering annuals.

The deck is another place to focus. Have a clean up and a clear out. Hanging baskets are a great way to introduce colour and to add a new dimension to the space, by lifting the colour off the ground and drawing the eyes into other spaces.

Many people ask us at Palmers to explain the difference between an annual and a perennial plant?

An annual plant is grown specifically to flower for one season and, in the garden centre, this is commonly known as potted colour. You will get about 10-12 weeks or even more flowering in the garden; just pick off the dead flowers to get more flowers coming through. Once the flowers have stopped, it’s time to pull out the plant and replace with new colour.

Perennial plants won’t die off each season. Once they’ve finished flowering, prune them back and they will flower again next season, or quite possible repeat flower again in the same season.


There are many great options for spring colour.

One is pansies. These are annual plants which have great big flower heads, so are quite showy, and come in a dazzling range of colours to suit all kinds of garden styles. Plant them in groups, rather than singly, for the best display.




There’s so many spring annuals to choose from right now including primula, calendula, chrysanthemum, delphinium, forget-me-not, hollyhock, marigold and polyanthus.

Another good flowering plant is lavender, which is a perennial. It has beautiful tall flower spikes so gives easy access for the bees. Bees love blue flowers. There are so many different varieties of lavender available now and they are a top performer in the garden, providing flowers for many months.

Other perennials include canna lilies, fuchsia and geraniums.

To extend the flowering period of your potted colour, mix annuals and perennials in the same basket or pot. The benefit of mixed planting is that you can use your creativity to come up with lots of different options and create your own masterpiece. Planting in pots is all about experimenting, so never be too scared to give a new combination a go.