St.Margarets GardenGarden, London
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Consider your colour paletteFor a semi-formal solution, keep to a palette of similar tones, not only taking planters into account, but other materials nearby, such as paving, walls, gravel and so on. This built-in planter and the freestanding pots next to it are in a garden designed by Tom Howard Garden Design & Landscaping. As they’re close to the house, they’re fairly low to the ground, so as not to obscure the view of the rest of the garden. Bear this in mind when choosing planters for a patio, so you don’t block sightlines across your green patch. Read more about this garden.
The pots are used for herbs and are close to the house. “They contain thyme, parsley, sage, rosemary, chives and oregano, all pretty hardy herbs,” Tom says. “And I always say, if they do die, go to the supermarket, buy another £2 pot and stick it in.”In this low raised bed (the rest of it is visible in the previous pictures) there are Ilex balls. “These are very similar to box,” Tom says, “but because of box caterpillar, we used this, which is a close alternative.” There are also some different grasses, including Carex testacea and Carex ‘Evergold’, the fern Dryopteris affinis, and Muehlenbeckia. “In a lot of our schemes, we start with the evergreens – that’s your structure. You might not be out there all year round, but you’ll see the plants from your living room or kitchen.”There are floor lights in some of the paving stones and corresponding ones in the decking on the other side of the garden for atmosphere after dark. Polystone frost-resistant planters, sourced by Tom from a trade nursery.