Making a statement

Our striking new pebble cube planters (available from mid July) create a stunning sculptural addition to your urban garden, balcony or patio.

They are reminiscent of ‘gabions’ which are often seen in landscaping – essentially wire mesh containers filled with stones or Welsh slate. The planters come with a recess which will house anything from a tea light candle to a huge flower pot, depending on the size.

It’s an ingenious way to create a real focal point. I have used one of the large planters and filled it with a favourite pot of rosemary. It really makes a wonderful statement on the balcony because of its size and it’s such an unusual container.

The pebble cubes have got me thinking about how important it is to try to incorporate something high impact in a small outdoor space.

Firstly, try to keep your design simple. Too many plants or ornaments can make a small space seem messy and overcrowded.

It is better to spend your money on a couple of key large items instead of lots of smaller items. Don’t be afraid to make a bold statement with over sized pots. Place them in your sight line, such as opposite a seat or outside the kitchen window. Or if you have a balcony like me, use the patio doors like a frame.

Adding sculpture or art installations can help to create your own outdoor gallery. Look for heavy sculpture so they can endure the elements and high winds.

Or think outside the box and create a mini pond. This can easily be done by using an old tin bath or sealed pot, anything so long as it is watertight. You can use PVC lining to waterproof the container and prevent toxins from seeping into the water. Water adds a new element to your balcony and you can grow miniature water lilies and other aquatic plants such as iris or water mint, and even introduce fish.

Floating plants such as water lettuce and water hyacinth are another good choice. Allow plenty of room between plants to avoid over-crowding. Natural pond plants need lots of light so build your pond in a sunny spot of the garden.