Successful patio gardening

With land prices going for a premium, especially in our town centres and cities, you may find that your house comes with very little outside area. However, even if your back yard has no lawn, there are still plenty of ways you can add colour to a small, outside area and make it a pleasant place to sit in and enjoy a cup of tea or an early morning breakfast.

One of the easiest ways is to carry out “container gardening”. Garden centres, large department stores and even the major supermarkets sell a huge selection of pots and planters, from ceramic, terracotta and plastic, which come in a huge range of shapes, styles and sizes. If you want to create some height, then buy taller pots and plant small, dwarf conifers in them or sow a couple of sunflower seeds and watch as the flowers tower over you. Plants which are ideal for pots and containers include pansies, petunias, gazanias, lobelia and geraniums. Once these have finished flowering at the end of the summer, you could plant spring bulbs and have a splash colour in your small garden for most of the year.