Garden Mini-Makeover Part Two: Plant Me Now

Plant detail, as seen on Stylist's Own Blog by Joanna Thornhill

So as mentioned in my last post, I’ve been slowly tackling the garden over the past couple of months, in-between book shenanigans and driving rain. As we didn’t get the garden set up last year until rather late in the season, along with some perennial plants here and there, we mainly just filled in the gaps with cheap seasonals, so come March when we finally stuck our heads out the back door, it was all looking somewhat barren:

Grubby Garden Before shot, as seen on Stylist's Own Blog by Joanna Thornhill

Just as thoughts turned to restocking supplies, I had a rather timely email from a clever company, Plant Me Now, who sell an array of seeds, bulbs and plug plants (little tiddlers ready for going straight into your soil) along with various gardening supplies – a one-stop gardening shop, if you will, asking if I’d like to test out their service. I’ve always been slightly confused about what to plant in my garden due to its slightly unusual set-up (as it’s wholly concrete – we put down the fake grass and borders last year – everything is grown in pots rather than planted into the (non-existent) ground soil). However, I’m lucky that my garden is south facing and gets the sun all day (on the occasions when it actually shines) so I’ve always had high hopes that she might become a little tropical oasis, spilling over with flora and fauna if I treat her right. Together with their in-house expert, the very helpful Tim, I discussed my grand plans for a wild meadow-style space brimming with pretty country flowers, in the hope that my vision could be translated into my, um, small patch of concrete in  Walthamstow. Luckily, it turns out a lot of my favourite garden flowers were deemed suitable for my setting, so I’m hoping that in a month or so everything will be overflowing with some of this (and if you have a south-facing balcony or small garden and an abundance of pots, these should all work for you, too:)

Ready plants from Plant Me Now, as seen on Stylist's Own Blog by Joanna Thornhill

Ready perennial plants (provided as a 7cm plug plant, already overwintered (grown the previous year) and ready to plant for flowering that season)

{1. Delphinium dalsante; 2. Echinacea double scoop cranberry; 3. Huecherella sweet tea; 4. Phlox cloud of perfume; 5. Penstemon electric blue}

Starter plants from Plant Me Now, as seen on Stylist's Own Blog by Joanna Thornhill

Starter plants (provided as a 5cm plug plant and also overwintered)

{6. Achillea red velvet; 7. Foxglove digitalis dalmation cream; 8. Euphorbia humpty dumpty; 9. Gardilia mesa bicolour; 10. Lupin gallery pink; 11. Monardo marshall’s delight; 12. Rudbeckia goldstrum; 13. Salvia nemorosa caradonna}

Bulbs and seeds from Plant Me Now, as seen on Stylist's Own Blog by Joanna Thornhill

Bulbs (can be removed at the end of the season and replanted the following year) and seeds (lasting one season)

{14. Dahlia collerette; 15. Dahlia maniac; 16. Dahlia nick sr; 17. Sweet Pea singing the blues; Sweet Pea old spice mixed}

Preparing to plant, as seen on Stylist's Own Blog by Joanna Thornhill

So as to avoid last year’s mild disaster of not labelling anything and now having no idea what half the living things actually are, I was determined to be meticulous with my plant organisation. Initially, I cut up the green pots they were all sent in, so each was sat in its own individual labelled container, so to speak.

Plant Me Now label detail, as seen on Stylist's Own Blog by Joanna Thornhill

Then we worked our way around the garden, deciding which pots to place what in and resting each on top until its turn came to be planted (stopping for a bit of tea and cake halfway through, natch).

Coffee and cake in the garden as seen on Stylist's Own Blog by Joanna Thornhill

And finally, I worked my way around, replacing the printed-pot labels with my own hand written ones, scrawled in biro on some bits of bamboo leftover from our fence (in an ideal world, I’d have done this a little more elegantly, but the effects of the earlier coffee and cake had started to wear off by that point and I was getting keen to finish up.) They do the job, nonetheless!

Bamboo plant label, as seen on Stylist's Own Blog by Joanna Thornhill

I dearly hope to be able to come back to you in a month or so with pictures of my overflowing garden, but for now I’m sitting back and letting Mother Nature do her thing…

{Images: all taken by Joanna Thornhill, except for the flowering plant photographs, which were taken from Plant Me Now’s website.}

{Disclaimer: Plant Me Now supplied me with all my lovely foliage in exchange for a blog post, but the items picked are all my own personal selection}



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About Joanna Thornhill

Freelance Interior Stylist, Author, Writer and Crafter working for a range of magazine titles and commercial clients. Author of Home for Now (CICO Books 2014)

8 responses to “Garden Mini-Makeover Part Two: Plant Me Now”

  1. Claire says :

    The plants look lovely, I have got some similar plants that I have been growing from baby plug plants. This is my first attempt at gardening so I am hoping for my garden to be overflowing with beauty rather than the barren waste land when we moved in. I look forward to seeing your progress.

    • Stylist's Own (by Joanna Thornhill) says :

      Thanks – good luck to you too! I’ve not used plug plants before but touch wood all seems to be going well. Only just planted the seeds and bulbs – keep impatiently staring at them every few hours and wondering why they’re not instantly growing. It’s my first proper attempt too, luckily my Mum is very green-fingered so has been my unofficial consultant throughout 😉

  2. Girl About Balham says :

    Good luck with your plants. I’ve just put some Hostas, foxglove and a lime green Heuchera into my little 5m x 5m garden I’m slowly transforming in Balham. Have you thought about cutting back some of the ivy and replacing it with clematis or a climbing rose to give you vertical scent and colour as well?

    • Stylist's Own (by Joanna Thornhill) says :

      Sounds lovely – foxgloves are one of my favourite flowers! Fingers crossed for yours! Re the ivy, to be honest we’re actually encouraging it as the fences are pretty flimsy (especially on one side – it’s actually just trellis!) so ivy’s our best option to give us privacy without actually replacing it. But on the more dodgy/barren side of the garden, there is loads of passion flower that peeks through in summer from next door (one advantage from not having a proper dividing fence!) and I got a climbing jasmine plant last year for the same side which is slowly filling out. So hopefully nice colour and scent to come soon!

  3. pebbledashedpad says :

    Saw your inspiring post on My a Friends House so followed you here (now following!) and was thrilled to find gardens the subject matter as not only do I have a boring bedroom but we are soon to be owners of an exciting (but still, in a way, boring) garden…..gardeners are busy at work levelling it so we will be left with beds of bare earth. So lots of good for thought here….thank you!
    (Any advice on ours very welcome….some pics of progress here:

    • Stylist's Own (by Joanna Thornhill) says :

      Ah thanks! Just been eyeing up your blog too, looks like you’re making great progress! Our garden isn’t really a real garden – it’s a fakeover, as I like to call it! All concrete under the plant pots and fake grass. But am doing my best to try and make it nice with my various seeds, bulbs, trinkets and baubles. Sure yours will look great! I find a knowledgable parent is a useful tool when working out what to plant where, if you have one of those handy. And am now addicted to treating myself to new pot plants every time I pass Homebase (it used to be tops every time I passed Topshop, sigh). PS my house is covered in ugly pebbledash too and we had the dilemma of what to do – scared to remove it in case it unearthed all manner of problems but sighing with contempt every time I accidentally looked at it. In the end we just painted it all and I can’t say what a transformation it’s made. Must blog about it soon. If money was no object and I thought this was the Forever Home I’d have been tempted to strip it off but for what it is, I think we made a great choice. Good luck with yours!!

      • pebbledashedpadMelanie says :

        Ah….that’s a good tip re the pebbledash. We hate ours but no chance of doing anything this year or even next at this rate (I’m probably about to spend a fortune now on plants…!) Painting could well be just the thing….!

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