Galvanised water tank filled with wildlife-friendly plants poppies, dianthus and Orlaya Grandiflora

Wildlife-friendly container display

If you want your garden to benefit pollinating insects like bees and butterflies this container display has been planted with plants that attract wildlife and suit a garden of any size. Designs by gardener Julia Wylie, who specialises in naturalistic planting schemes. Photographs by Andrew Montgomery

Cultivation and care

This wild style plant pot display uses white lacy annual Orlaya grandiflora – Ammi majus would also work. Plus ladybird poppies for a clash of red and pink – it looks fantastic at Great Dixter, seeded among the silver-leaved, shocking magenta-pink-flowered Lychnis coronaria.

Advertisement
A late summer container
© Andrew Montgomery

For the annual orlaya and poppies to flower so early in the year, the seeds need to be sown September-October. Sow directly where they are to flower or into cell units or individual pots, to avoid disturbing their roots. There is still time to sow the seeds – until the end of May – directly where you want them to flower later this summer. Or the perennial dianthus, centaurea and daucus can also be grown from seed, but won’t flower in their first year – for more instant gratification buy them as plug plants or in pots.

Galvanised water tank filled with wildlife-friendly plants poppies, dianthus and Orlaya Grandiflora
A large galvanised water-tank adds an industrial edge to the wild-style planting. Photo: Andrew Montgomery

Place the pot in an open sunny site, with free-draining loam-based compost with added hydroleca or grit. Water regularly, because they are at your mercy in a pot. One that is a similar size to this water tank will help to make them feel as if they are growing in the ground

Head to our pot plant hub for more container ideas

Plants used in this display
These all make great cut flowers.

Wildlife-friendly plants. Photo: Andrew Montgomery

(Left to right)

  1. Orlaya grandiflora (5-7 plants)
    Height 60cm, Season May-Oct.
  2. Papaver commutatum  (2-3 plants)
    Height 45cm. Season Late spring to early summer. Hardiness rating RHS H4.
  3. Dianthus carthusianorum  (3-5 plants)
    Height 40-60cm. Season May-Sep. Hardiness rating USDA 5a-9b.
Advertisement

Recommended suppliers