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Create a Colorful Summer Container Garden

Watch Monty Don put together a bright and energetic design with plants that thrive in hot weather

Video: Britbox

When the heat of summer truly sets in, many gardeners prefer to sit back in the shade and enjoy their garden, instead of sweating to maintain it. The one task that many of us don’t mind, however, is watering and fertilizing our containers. These potted gardens are easy to enjoy while relaxing on the porch or patio, and—let’s be honest—no outdoor entertaining area is complete without a few show-stopper container gardens.

In this video from the horticulturist Monty Don, host of Gardeners’ World (available on, you’ll learn how to plant a pot that will be an instant focal point of the summer season.

First, Monty puts a few generous shovelfuls of compost in the bottom of the container. This helps the medium retain water and makes it richer for the annuals you plant, all of which are heavy feeders.

Next, Monty chooses a “thriller,” a plant that gets big and has an undeniably bold presence in the pot. This star generally anchors the design and dictates which secondary plants you choose. For this dynamic pot, Monty chooses ‘Assam Orange’ ginger, which has a rigid upright habit and bright orange flowers in mid to late summer.

Monty then explains that you’ll need to fill in around the base of the ginger and choose plants that will hide the bare legs of the tropical thriller. For this design, he selects a variety of French red marigolds for their hot hues.

Finally, you’ll need to have a few plants that will spill over the sides of the pot and help to soften its edges. For this job, Monty opts for some vibrant orange calibrachoa. The array of hot hues in this design ensures it will be the perfect focal point throughout the dog days of summer.

Plant list

‘Assam Orange’ ginger (Hedychium densiflorum ‘Assam Orange’, Zones 7–9)

‘Disco Red’ French red marigold (Tagetes patula ‘Disco Red’, annual)

Callie® Orange Sunrise calibrachoa (Calibrachoa cv., annual)


Read more about designing magnificent container gardens here.

Click here to watch Gardeners’ World on BritBox with a seven-day free trial.

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Container Gardening

Container Gardening

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