The Orchard Blog For all things shabby chic, rustic and vintage.

May 12, 2016

How to Get Summer Pots and Planters that Dazzle

Why use pots and planters in your garden?

The-Orchard-Home-and-Gifts-Poppy-Forge-Regent Tower-garden-pots-and-planters

Pots and planters offer a great way to get a colourful and impactful garden fast. They are also perfect for patios, decked areas or doorsteps offering bursts of bright colours making an area inviting and interesting where there is no soil to plant in the traditional sense of the word.

How to choose the right pots, planters and troughs to suit your garden and taste

For a striking display of colour on a patio or decked area opt for a larger pot or container, this will look better than lots of smaller ones be easier to manage and have greater impact.  The larger container will also mean that you can add an array of different colours and will also give the plants more room and moisture from the increased amount of compost.

This also applies to doorsteps and veranda type areas where lots of smaller pots can look a little busy and messy somehow.

Smaller pots are best dotted around the garden to add colour in-between greenery and rocks.

During the Summer months any type of container can be used just make sure they have plenty of drainage holes in the base.


Getting ready for planting
Despite the fact it is essential that your pot or planter of choice has good drainage holes to prevent the compost simply washing straight through add drainage material such as broken pots, stones or slate to prevent this, it will also stopped the holes becoming clogged and allow free drainage.

It is also important to have the right tools for the job, we recommend these from our Sophie Conran Collection for Burgon and Ball




The next stage is to add your compost, use a peat-free, multipurpose or potting compost. Roughly half fill your container with the compost, you may also want to mix in some slow-release feed granules or water-retaining granules; this is not essential but works really well for hanging baskets which tend to dry out very quickly.

Water retaining granules can be made  into a thick paste and then stirred into the compost to assist moisture retention in hot, dry weather.

Which plants to choose

Choose plants that are well renowned for their outstanding performance, reliability and long flowering season in containers.

The position you intend to place them is also important when it comes to choosing the right plants for you.

If your chosen spot in in full sun choose plants such as:




Ivy-leaved pelargoniums




For an area in partial shad choose plants such as:


New Guinea Busy Lizzies


Your choice of plant may also depend on the colour scheme you have chosen, if you have indeed chosen one at all. Choosing a colour scheme can be helpful in structuring you pots and getting the best from them.

Some of the most popular colour schemes are shades of pink, lilac and purple but for something a little bolder go for mixing reds, oranges and yellows.  If you want to create a cooler look white cream, green or silver, blue and grey work well.

Add interest by choosing plants with contrasting flower shapes and sizes.  This could be done by choosing a daisy style flower with a larger more post filling flower finished with something that has more of a drop effect such as a fuchsia or trumpet shaped petunia.

The main thing is to get the full effect don’t skimp. Buy enough plants to fill a container completely to create the best display and ensure that these are watered thoroughly the day before planting.

Arranging your plants for best display

Before you commit to planting each individual plant, place it in its pot in the position you think you want it, this way you can move them around easily without damaging the roots. Position them so they will all be well seen.

Planting in round pots


Putting your plants in a round pot like these from the Kew Botanical Gardens Collection the best way to create a focal point is to place the pant that will grow the tallest in the centre with lower plants around that and then anything hanging at the front edge.

Planting in troughs


The correct way to plant in a trough is to place the tallest plant halfway along and then plant shorter bushier plants immediately around them, again as with round pots placing any trailing plants around the edge of the container.

Once your mind is made up and you know exactly where your plants are going remove them from their pots upturning each one and gently patting the rim of the pot on your hand to release the root ball within.  Place the root balls in position and turn the plants so that their best side is facing outwards where it will be best seen.

Fill the gaps between plants with compost, then spread a little more over the surface of the root balls so they are buried, but only just. When you’ve finished, the surface of the compost should be about an inch below the rim of the container, to allow room for watering.

After planting water well to enable the compost and roots to settle.




April 28, 2016

National Gardening Week – Sophie Conran Gardening Competition Winner Announced






The Orchard Home and Gifts-Sophie-Conran-Gardening Competition Winner announced-2

National Gardening Week – Sophie Conran Gardening Competition Winner Announced

We recently held a competition to coincide with National Gardening Week offering participants the chance to win over £100 worth of Sophie Conran gardening tools.

We had a great response and are pleased to announce that the winner of our competition is Vicki Cross ( congratulations Vicki!

Please email your details to claim this fantastic prize.

Gardening at The Orchard Home and Gifts

If you still fancy getting your hands on some of these products but missed out on our competition visit our website and view the full collection here:—ball

We also have a wide range of other garden accessories, pots, planters and bird feeders so why not take a look here:

August 4, 2015

Design A Picture Perfect Cottage Garden With The Orchard

How To Create The Perfect Cottage Garden


Informal but beautiful, laid back and affordable cottage gardens are ideal for those who want a pretty and colourful garden but enjoy a more carefree approach.  It really is a case of beauty is in the eye of the beholder and you can make it everything you want it to be with the view of creating an organised but beautiful mess.

In years gone by cottage gardens were split into three areas to keep the family going these were vegetables to nourish, flowers to feed the soul and brighten the day and herbs to cure, today they can be just as functional or simply a thing of beauty to enjoy with a cuppa and a piece of cake.

So where to start…creating a cottage garden is as easy as 1,2,3 if you follow these three simple and easy design principles from garden guru Frankie “Flowers” Ferragine: (more…)

April 2, 2015

Sophie Conran At The Orchard

Filed under: Garden Accessories,Garden Pots,Gardening — Mat @ 9:37 AM

Just in time for Mothers Day saw the introduction of a brand new collection of garden tools to The Orchard from respected British garden tool manufacturers Burgon & Ball. Designed by Sophie Conran the new collection is for the lady who loves to garden whilst keeping one eye firmly on looking good whilst doing so!

About The Designer – Sophie Conran

Sophie Conran is not only a fantastic designer but is a working mum with two children.  She loves cooking and home life and interiors and has made it her work. Sophie takes her inspiration to do what she does from a childhood watching her rather, a designer and her mother cooking and baking in the kitchen, bringing together the blend of food and design you see in her work today.

Sophie believes in creating a family environment filled with warmth, simplicity and love. Her motto is: ‘One life, live it well’

Her latest products, known as “The Garden & Great Outdoors Collection” have been designed exclusively by Sophie Conran for Burgon & Ball. Working in partnership with Burgon & Ball, Sophie has created a stunning collection of ergonomically advanced tools, gifts for gardeners and home accessories, specifically designed with the female hand in mind, along with unique pieces for those who love their home inside and out. (more…)

March 9, 2015

Perfect Gifts for Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is the perfect chance to show your mum just how much you care and just how well you know her without question.  This may be that she’s a keen gardener, loves shabby chic accessories, enjoys making her house feel like a real home or just simply loves spending time with you.

Whatever hobby or interest reflects your mum we’ve got a gift that will put a fabulous smile on her face this Mother’s Day.

For the garden lover we have a brand new collection of garden accessories by Sophie Conran for Burgon & Ball from watering cans and garden tools to great shabby chic ways to store your garden accessories, here is just some of this collection, we love it and hope you do too:

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To see the full collection of gardening tools and accessories from Sophie Conran and to order your gift in time for Mother’s Day simply click here:

We also stock a fantastic range of garden pots in both our Kew ( and Aged Ceramic ( collections:lavender-tapered-pots-1 Image12




For those mums not so into the outdoor lifestyle we have some cosy gifts perfect for indoors including these fantastic Ruby & Ed slipper boots—ed-cloud-slipper-boot–natural


To view the full Ruby & Ed Collection click here:—ed-at-the-orchard

We also have a wide range of accessories for the mum that can’t get enough shabby chic styling in her home:


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As well as a little something for the mum who loves to entertain:

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Once you’ve chosen the perfect gift, let us do the rest, simply choose a card and gift wrap options at the checkout and we’ll personally hand wrap and hand write your Mother’s Day card, we can even deliver direct to their door so mum will feel special even if you ca’t make it on the day.

Gift Wrapping Service


To see our full collection of Mother’s Day gifts and more visit our website:

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