Maximising Colour in Small Spaces: The Best Potted Flowers for Spring and Summer

If you have a small garden or perhaps merely a balcony, don’t let this put you off gardening as these areas can be transformed into an oasis of calm and tranquillity by using our selection of best potted flowers for spring and summer.

There is a huge selection of plants now available in potted containers. Plants such as erysimum ‘bowles mauve’ are very easy to grow and flower for months, while others such as phormium are grown for their architectural foliage which comes in various colours. Bedding plants and bulbs are also ideal in small spaces when mixed amongst the more permanent plants.

The best place to start is by choosing the style you want to create or a colour scheme you prefer. The sky’s the limit here - we have seen absolutely beautiful Japanese themed container gardens where they use various bamboo, Japanese maples, dwarf pines, ferns and grasses with very little actual colour except perhaps the odd azalea, rhododendron or camellia mixed in. 

Bring a burst of colour to even the smallest of outdoor spaces

The great thing about container gardening is that you can move things around whenever you like or when things have gone past their best you can swap them for something fresh. Different levels work really well in a tight space, whether the plants are contrasting in height or have different shapes and forms, or whether you lift pots up on upturned containers.

Pencil-shaped junipers, tall grasses and shaped topiary contrast brilliantly with containers full of potted flowers for spring and summer bedding, or flowering plants and shrubs positioned amongst them.  

Plan for continuous bloom

If you are dealing with a small space you want to create maximum impact by using carefully chosen plants that will perform well for as many months as possible. Evergreens should be the backbone of your display so choose plants which contrast well with each other such as cordyline palms or phormiums with their strap-like architectural foliage. These also look great with dwarf pines or pencil junipers, Choisya, rosemary and pittosporum which are all good for sunny garden spots.

If you’re looking for evergreens that will thrive in a shady garden, go for aucuba, fatsia, sarcococca and viburnum. The next layer would be smaller flowering shrubs and perennial flowers and if you choose right, you should be able to have colour all year round.

Finally, bedding plants and bulbs fill gaps in spring and summer and often flower for months!

Select long-flowering varieties

We’ve included a list of some of our best potted flowers for spring and summer:


  • Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’
  • Armeria maritima
  • Euphorbia
  • Helleborus
  • Daphne

Early-mid Summer

  • Choisya ‘Aztec Pearl’
  • Philadelphus
  • Agapanthus
  • Dwarf rhododendron
  • Lavender

Late summer

  • Penstemon
  • Rudbeckia
  • Hibiscus
  • Miscanthus grasses
  • Dahlias

Unlock the beauty of compact gardens with these best potted flowers for spring and summer 

So don’t despair if you only have a small space to garden, get creative with container gardening! You don’t even have to use expensive pots as if you get the layering right the containers will be hidden by the next plant. We love a car boot sale to source preloved pots, but to be honest the plants will be the stars of the show.

If your outdoor space is big enough to create a trough or raised bed, our border kits start at 40cm wide x 2m long offering the perfect small space solution! Contact us for more guidance or browse our range of garden borders. Whether you’re looking to elevate your sunny or shady garden area or create a wildlife haven to attract bees and butterflies, each of our borders has been professionally designed by Antony Henn and the team so you can plant your dream border first time.