While many people think of potted plants as something you have on a window-sill, garden expert Claus Dalby talks about how he uses potted plants outdoors and combines them to create small still life tableaux. 

For many years the focus has been on larger pots, but now Claus Dalby would like to strike a blow for smaller pots that are easy to find room for, even on a small balcony.

Here he gives us some of his tips and ideas and explains how to create an atmosphere outdoors with plants in pots. Here are his thoughts and ideas:

Use different pots

When I put plants in pots, I choose different shapes and materials that are closely related. I really like concrete pots, for example, because they have a raw look which I feel is well suited to outdoor life.

Remember fertiliser

If you want to have blooming and healthy potted plants, it is important to remember fertiliser. This applies whether the potted plants are indoors or out. Liquid plant fertiliser can be dissolved into the water before watering the plants. It is also a good idea to give the plants a slightly larger pot than they originally had, and plant them in nutrient-enriched potting soil.

Pot roses

Pot roses do fine out in the open, and if you constantly prune away the withered blooms and make sure to fertilise them, they can go on flowering throughout the summer.


Lovely campanulas, or bellflowers as they are also known, have become very popular as fine, robust potted plants. If the plant starts to droop a little, prune it halfway back and apply water and fertiliser diligently. A completely fresh bloom will then come along after about a month.


In recent years, the southern European French lavender has become very popular as a plant for pots and jars. Here it is unrivalled, but it is not worth your while to plant it out in the garden because it will not survive the winter in these climes.


There is no doubt that hydrangeas are popular in jars and pots – and when you see these beautiful flowers with their many colours, you can understand why so many people choose them.


A classic summer flower is the marguerite, or daisy, which is now available in many cultivated varieties. This means that they can remain in bloom for a long time, and they have particularly beautiful foliage.


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