Bedding plants are, typically, plants that only grow for one year (or ‘annuals’) which means that when they die back at the end of the season this is nothing to worry about. They’re a great way to change the feel of your garden every year or even season and, as an added bonus, they’re often very affordable. You can buy seasonally appropriate bedding plants as an add-on when you purchase a Dig bed, but that shouldn’t stop you re-upping whenever you feel like it from your local nursery, garden centre or even supermarket.
With that in mind, we’ve put together a helpful colour plan to help you choose the right spring bedding plants to perfectly compliment each of our themes. These are in no way prescriptive though – equally important is choosing colours that you like, that make you feel happy, and which brighten up your space how you want it to. We’re always thrilled to see creative choices that our customers make with their Dig gardens.
The Classic, with its simple and refined elegance, benefits enormously from equally simple and refined colours. White and cream blooms from Irises, or Nemesia sit very happily alongside the soft pinks of Astrantia or other varieties of Nemesia. If you’re feeling bold, darker blooms of a burgundy or reddish hue work very well amongst the greens, whites and dusky pinks. Trailing Bacopa in white is also a great shout for The Classic – you can see it in the picture above, delicately trailing over the edge of the planter.
The Jungle is loud, it’s vibrant, and its lots of fun – so the bedding colours should reflect that. Go wild with reds, blues, purples and even a splash of orange to create spots of light amongst the shapes and textures in this tropical-inspired theme. Begonias are a great bedding choice for The Jungle – they are colourful and long flowering and come in upright and trailing varieties so there are plenty of options. Violas are also a big hit too, coming in many varieties which work well in shade.
The Mediterranean is designed to transport your outdoor space to the azure blues of Kefalonia, the gently waving lavenders of Provence, and the richly scented purple sage of more arid climates. Think blue, blue, blue, and maybe a splash of lime too too for the navy and deep mauves to bounce off, if you’re feeling particularly daring. We’re a big fan of Myosotis (the humble Forget-Me-Not) as well as Helianthemums for this atmospheric theme.
The Cottage reminds us of English Cottage Gardens, but with a modern twist. The established planting provides the modernity and core colour and, as such, the bedding is where you can really make it sing. Think pink, think delicate blue, think mauve, violet, lavender. Pastel colours that will glow in the sunshine, and reflect soft, dusty light at sundown. You can almost hear the bees. The good old Pansy is ever reliable in The Cottage and comes in lots of colours. We also love a trailing Bacopa here too which comes in pink variety that works very well.
Before purchasing any bedding plants, remember to check the aspect of your outdoor space. Plants will come with labels indicating whether they work best in sun or shade but there will always be plenty of variety available to achieve the look you want. Once you’ve chosen your bedding plants, it’s time to plant them. Here are a few tips:
- Create a hole in the ground the same size as the pot of the plant you’re planting
- Gently place the plant in the ground (bedding plants often have delicate roots)
- Firm the soil around the base of the plant
- Water well after planting
- If you like, you can also mulch around the plants to help retain moisture and suppress weeds
Caring for your new bedding plants
Generally speaking, these wonderful additions will look after themselves with nothing more than regular watering from you, but there are a few extra things you can keep an eye on if you really want them to sing.
- Water your bedding plants regularly, especially during hot, dry weather.
- Give your bedding plants a feed every few weeks with a balanced fertiliser such as tomato feed (widely available from supermarkets and garden centres)
- Deadhead your bedding plants regularly to encourage new blooms – simply pinch off the dead and withered flowers right underneath the flower and the plant will do the rest. You can use garden snips, scissors or just your fingers