Passionate container gardeners Paul Zammit and Uli Havermann share tips and plant picks that make up their splendid garden oasis.

A mix of types, textures and tones is the key to terrific containers.

Foliage Favourites
Zammit and Havermann use many cultivar selections of these foliage plants; those marked have colourful blooms as a bonus.

  • Agave (Agave)
  • Boxwood (Buxus)
  • Canna (Canna)
  • Club moss (Selaginella)
  • Coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides)
  • Coral bells (Heuchera)
  • Duranta (Duranta)
  • Echeveria (Echeveria)
  • Fancy-leaved annual geraniums (Pelargonium), especially ?Indian Dunes?
  • Herbs including sage, parsley and basil
  • Ivy (Hedera)
  • New Zealand flax (Phormium tenax)
  • Plectranthus (Plectranthus)
  • Spurge (Euphorbia)

Summer Stars
The many cultivars of these shrubs and perennials make summer planters shine.

  • Barberry (Berberis)
  • Bergenia (Bergenia)
  • Bugleweed (Ajuga)
  • Elderberry (Sambucus)
  • Hosta (Hosta)
  • Japanese forest grass (Hakonechloa macra)
  • Japanese maple (Acer palmatum)
  • Sedge (Carex)

Drought-Tolerant Beauties
These succulents relish heat, shrug off drought and look fabulous doing it.

  • Aeonium (Aeonium)
  • Agave (Agave)
  • Aloe (Aloe)
  • Echeveria (Echeveria)
  • Hens and chicks (Sempervivum)
  • Kalanchoe (Kalanchoe)
  • Orchid cactus (Rhipsalis)
  • Snake plant (Sansevieria)
  • Stonecrop (Sedum)

Paul Zammit and Uli Havermann’s top container tips

  • Combine plants that require similar growing conditions and place the container in an appropriate setting.For example, plant ferns, mosses, boxwood and hostas that prefer lower light and moist soil in containers for shade.
  • Cut down on maintenance by arranging containers with similar watering needs in the same area.
  • Pests and disease are not an issue if the container plantings are properly maintained. To combat weevils, apply a layer of pea gravel on the soil surface.
  • Keep containers on the dry side. But when you do water, water thoroughly so the entire root mass is moistened and water runs out of the bottom of the pot.
  • Feed container plants regularly, especially annuals. Apply SmartCote or Miracle-Gro Shake ?n Feed at thestart of the season, and a water-soluble 20-20-20 fertilizer subsequently. Always fertilize when the soil ismoist (never when dry).
  • Use a good-quality soilless mix such as Pro-Mix or Miracle-Gro for mixed planters; for specimen perennials, shrubs or small trees, add one-third composted manure. For succulents, work in chicken grit forbetter drainage.
  • Mulch containers with shredded cedar, moss or pea gravel to reduce watering and to add a decorative touch.