Pot Amalgamation

Finished pot
Finished pot

I  have the strange and unusual experience of sitting down on a Saturday afternoon to do nothing.  I have been busy though, the last two weeks at work have been very very busy physically and mentally and I think I did lots last weekend on the back of the adrenalin rush I got from being involved in a very successful week of graduation ceremonies at work (or commencement ceremonies as I think they call them in the US).  However, now I am feeling a little weary so it is time to listen to my body and put my feet up.

Saying that I have managed an hour in the garden today to get my fix and to feel like I am getting through all the jobs I need to do.  Having  sat in a cold hall this morning at the Allotment Association AGM I needed some sort of physical activity to  warm me up so I decided to amalgamate some pots that I have been looking at for a few weeks now.

The raw ingredients
The raw ingredients

The first pot contains a bay tree which I bought for a couple of pound at a garden club plant sale probably 4 years ago.  The bay has grown well and withstood two very cold winter (-18C) but is looking too top-heavy for its pot.  When I looked at the bottom of the pot the roots were emerging so definitely well over due for some potting up.

The second pot which I forgot to photograph before starting is a large grey pot with two sprawling ivies in it. It did have something else in the middle, I forget what it was now, but whatever it was it died over winter and the pot has been looking forlorn and in need of something ever since.  I have been looking at it and wondering what I could add to contrast with the ivy, which I wanted to keep, and to add some height.  Suddenly I thought of the bay tree and the penny dropped.  This was during one of my middle of the night mental plant moving sessions which are proving to be quite inventive although a little tiring.

underplanting of violas
underplanting of violas

Anyway this afternoon I decided this would big a quick and easy job to do before I sat down.  Silly me!  It took ages to get the bay tree out of its pot and involved a lot of compost moving and much huffing and puffing but I did it in the end.  I am pleased with the result I think the bay tree adds the needed height  and its new pot will allow it to grow more without it being swamped by compost.  I had the foresight to buy a tray of violas at the garden centre yesterday and these have gone in to finish off the pot.  They are white and pale yellow and I think they pick up on the white variegation of the ivy well.  I  deliberately decided not to include bulbs as I think it would be too much.

I also planted some  more violas in a pot on the table of delights and some bargain bucket tulip bulbs are planted in spare pots for  an extra bit of  spring colour  I can sit down.

Author: Helen Johnstone

I live in Malvern, Worcestershire and am a very keen gardener. I started the Patient Gardener Blog in January 2008 as a way of recording what was happening in my garden and connecting with other like-minded people. I started a second blog PatientGardener 365 January 2013 in order to try and post a photo a day to capture what is growing in my garden or places I have visited

12 thoughts on “Pot Amalgamation”

  1. I find container gardening jolly hard work when you have to renew and replace plants. I find the fact that you made yourself do the job, even though you were tired, admirable. I lost my bay tree ,as did my two neighbours, during last winter. Looking round garden centres for a replacement, the cheapest was £40 – needless to say, I remain bay tree-less.

    1. I agree with you Elaine and I find myself going more and more for perennials or just not having as many pots especially when we have a dry summer

  2. Lovely and I love violas…I can understand working so hard mentally and physically that one needs rest or time in the garden…I missed planting violas and pansies this year. I need to make note and maybe grow my own from seed in the future to plant in early spring and fall.

    1. I’ve got viola seeds sown in the greenhouse too but I have discovered they need a cold shock to help with germination so they will be going out side tomorrow

  3. Love the way the ivy’s habit (or how you’ve planted it) – looks like it’s been in that pot with the bay for ages. Hard work but well worth it.

    1. the ivies have been in the pot for ages and I have to prune them as they were trailing across the ground. Will shape the bay in the spring and hope to use some of the cuttings to create more bay trees

  4. That was a good afternoon’s work! Doing stuff in the garden is so different from sitting in an office, it doesn’t feel like work – more like exercise. And huffing and puffing helps get rid of all those “stress toxins”. I must try to fit in an hour in the garden tomorrow.

  5. Perhaps you can get a little more sleep now?

    I had a satisfying afternoon of tearing out more miserable looking turf and putting in some geraniums. It feels like such an accomplishment to look at a little spot that is cared for… much like your pretty pot, I think.

  6. Wow, Helen, doing nothing is indeed a very strange concept because I don’t remember when I last endeavored in such an “activity.” However, you’re right. One should listen to one’s body and take a rest when it’s called for.

    I learned to appreciate pot amalgamation from a friend who’s been doing it for years and I just started about a year ago. So, all my pots now consist of one tall plant such as a dwarfed tree and at least one or two plants closer to the soil.

    I love the visual and if matched properly, these plants can coexist “forever.”

    By the way, Helen, I love your blog and I visit it frequently. I have also incorporated your link within my OrchidCare.org site as a valuable resource for my visitors. Would you be willing to return the favor by placing my link within your Non-UK Blogs I Follow section?

    Thanks a million.


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