Create a stunning pole to add colour

A pole of flowers
A pole of flowers
Now is the time to get to grips with your strawberry bed.

BRIAN KIDD: Strawberry fields forever – but renew them every three years

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I received a letter recently asking how to create a splash of colour in a forecourt and I would suggest a pole of flowers to provide a delightful display up in the air.

A four-inch soft wood fence post, treated with Bio Woody to preserve the timber, should be placed into a Metpost holder. This ensures it won’t fall over in the wind and will save you the job of digging a great big hole.

Fix a 16-inch diameter ring to the top – this is best achieved by cutting a child’s bicycle wheel in half because the spoke holes will enable you to screw it into the top of the post.

Two brackets strong enough to take the weight of a hanging basket should then be screwed in at the top of the pole on opposite sides.

About six inches below the first pair of brackets, fix another two brackets opposite each other. The idea is to hang a hanging basket on each bracket.

You are now ready for the planting.

Line the baskets with moss or a coconut fibre liner.

Plastic is useless unless you are prepared to make slits for the insertion of the plants.

Place some petunias into the basket and then pull the foliage through the mesh.

Never try to put roots through the mesh, after all you have paid a lot for the plants, why rip off all the roots?

The petunias will soon cover the sides of the basket so all you will require is eight plants for the sides of each of the baskets.

Fill the top with five ivy leafed geraniums if it’s going in a sunny spot or, if it will be in the shade for most of the day, try five Bidens instead.

You might also like to try adding one or two upright fuchsias.

If you want to give the whole effect a bit of a boost, then a single plant of Scaevola looks bold.

It is blue and looks very much like a giant lobelia.

If it’s a windy spot then add a couple of Helichrysum or cineraria Silver Feather plants or anything with a silver or grey foliage.

These plants always look good and protect the flowers from the wind.

The pole of flowers must be fed and watered really regularly because the whole idea is to encourage the plants to grow so that the flowers in the top grow down to meet the flowers below.

In turn, the flowers below will grow towards the ground, hence the descriptive name, pole of flowers.

Add a little food to the water every time you water.

If you read my advice regularly, you’ll know that it honestly will work.